11 Things That Happen To Single People In Movies But Never IRL

Do you know what I would really love to be, if ever given the opportunity? A young, single woman in a romantic comedy film, preferably made in the early 2000s!

I fit most of these qualifications already, actually. I am young and I am single. I am just not in a mid-budget movie, and that, of course, is what makes all the difference. You know what I’m talking about, right? Single people in the movies–particularly ones that come out in the summer and are advertised with words like “fun” and “romp” –tend to lead lives that are charmed, blessed, and, of course, highly improbable all at once. Their hair is always perfectly coiffed. Their apartments, spic, span, and most likely totally beyond the scope of what their entry-level job at a publishing house might be able to afford them, rent-wise. Their main qualm is that they are single, but even this singledom isn’t too bad. It’s a plot device, so, you know, it keeps things interesting.

Obviously, movies don’t usually portray life exactly as it happens, and they don’t really intend to, either. Movies and TV shows are meant to be an escape from reality, and an interesting one, so most of them provide alternate universe that has a main character that’s almost like the person watching the movie, but, you know, better. But, you know, because of this, most movies about single people portray certain things as normal occurrences, but, for most people, are not normal.

Check out these things that happen to single people in movies, but pretty much never in real life:

1. Being single is their biggest, baddest, most serious problem.


People who happen to be single in movies talk about it all. the. time. IRL? It’s not actually that big of a deal.


2. In fact, being single is usually the only problem in their life.


*movie voiceover* “Alexis had it all. She had the clothes. The friends. The Harvard business degree. The high-powered job as a dual corporate attorney and cardiologist. But the one thing she was missing was…love. Would she ever find it?”


3. Everyone goes on dates all the time.


Maybe to combat what they view as being the main problem in their lives? I don’t know. But movies about single people often work as a revolving carousel of date montages. Which is nice, for comic and cameo purposes in the movies. But, in real life, who has the time?


4. And all of those dates are extremely attractive. Even the bad ones.


I mean, yeah. That’s just the Hollywood biz, probably. But still!


5. Everyone’s had, like, twenty-seven serious relationships over the course of their relatively short lives. 


To echo an earlier sentiment–who has the time?


6. Everyone around them is in a relationship.


IRL, there’s more of an even split.


7. And, because of this, all of their friends try to set them up with other people.


Who knows that many people?


7. Except for that one fun, wacky friend who takes them under their wing and whose only real purpose in life, it seems, is to teach them how to be be as crazy and ~loopy~ as them.


Almost always played by Rebel Wilson.


8. In fact, everyone around the single person is very concerned about the fact that the main character is single.


In real life, your mom cares. And that’s about it.


9. Valentine’s Day is viewed with the same amount of dread and angst as SOMETHING.




10. Being single either means having a ton of sex or the longest dry spell of your life.


Actually, this one tends to happen. Life is weird that way!


11. And, of course, the single person always finds their soulmate by the credits.


Because someone can’t just, you know, be single. One can only be complete as part of a couple!


What do you think about the portrayal of single people in movies? Did I miss any weird things that happen in movies but not real life? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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