Why Are We Ruining Relationships?

Marie here.

I’m a huge movie and television buff but I am pretty picky about my drama preferences. I usually like something with a paranormal, horror, or sci-fi spin to it, but on occasion I will find a regular drama on TV that I enjoy. I say on occasion because some writer always has to ruin it down the line by portraying a woman in a way that pisses me off.

No, this is not a feminist post. This isn’t about women being underrepresented or even having stereotypical roles. What I find the most disturbing, and harmful, about most dramas is how the female characters act in relationships.

Now, it being a drama, I expect maybe some cheating, someone hiding a secret past, baby mama drama, the usual. These little stories can (usually) keep it interesting without going overboard. People make mistakes, hide things about themselves in a new relationship; this is all normal behavior. What riles me up is the way writers have to have at least one female character who acts like an immature high school girl with her boyfriend. 

For example, I enjoy The Rookie. I adore Nathan Fillion’s character and find the everyday cop issues entertaining. However, one episode had me rolling my eyes and wondering what the hell the writers were thinking. See, so far, the characters in this show had acted as adults their age tend to. The younger cops made rookie mistakes, older cops kept them in line, everything was transparent and realistic. Until this one episode, this one scene that very nearly ruined the entire show for me.

A female cop has a boy toy, a guy that she isn’t technically dating, and she wonders what he is doing on Valentine’s Day. She asks him to dinner that evening and he says he already has plans. Does she say okay and leave it at that? Of course not. This character, who I had really liked prior to this, goes through the calendar on her not-boyfriend’s phone and sees he has a dinner date with a woman. Of course, as expected, she gets upset.

Why would you do that, television writer? Why did you have to take perfectly mature characters and make them act like a bunch of hormone-controlled jerks who can’t even legally drink yet? The female cop confronts the boy toy about it later and finds out it is actually a legit meal with a friend, not some threat to their non-relationship. So, I ask you, television script writer, what was the point of this new drama? Why did you feel like you had to make the watcher lose all respect for this character?

People make mistakes, people do stupid stuff when it comes to relationships. We are only human. What I don’t understand is why the media keeps telling us that it is “normal” for people to act so horribly to one another. Adult relationships are supposed to be different than teenage ones. We are supposed to spend more time having real conversations and real confrontations if need be. Why are we still teaching adults that petty, jealous acts are “just how women are” and screaming and shoving matches out on the lawn at four in the morning are “normal.”

This is not normal.

Here is what is normal: trust. If you don’t trust your partner, why are you with them? If you have to resort to sneaking around and checking their emails and text messages for signs of communication with another man or woman, that only shows that your relationship is a joke.

Here is what is normal: communication. If you have an issue with your partner, talk to them about it. That simple. Real adults communicate in a relationship just as you would with a friend because your partner is supposed to be your best friend.

So, why all the drama? Why the need for a big scene in front of friends or colleagues? Why embarrass yourself and others because you aren’t mature enough to have a real relationship? Can we start portraying real relationships on TV again? I expect this crap from a teen romance, not from a show aimed at adults. Or a movie aimed at adults. Hell, I still read adult books where female characters do this shit and that is an immediate dnf.

Stop normalizing this kind of crazy behavior. Stop trying to make deceit and pettiness part of a healthy relationship because it isn’t. It is not healthy. Teens can get away with this kind of crap because they are still learning what relationships of all kinds are really about.

Adults should know better.

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