Because Not All Love Is Romantic

One of the biggest complaints that I have had about entertainment – in all mediums – is that everything ends with the boy and the girl falling in love.

As a child, I protested many Disney Channel shows for the blatant ‘a boy and a girl are best friends and end up in a relationship together’ trope used over and over again. I was pissed about Lizzie and Gordo. And then Kim and Ron. The Famous Jett JacksonPhil of the FutureEven Stevens… It was everywhere.

It still is.

And I’m less pissed. Just even more ready for change.

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Maybe this is because, as an adult, I realize that I never had that ‘best friend romance’ or ‘high school sweetheart.’ I didn’t grow up with someone of the opposite sex that I realized was meant to be my other half. Maybe, this is because I’m actually a gay man.

But, maybe – just maybe – this is because the love in those shows felt cheap. Predictable. Expected. Boring. Unrealistic.

Where are the stories where two schoolmates are good friends… and are just friends? Where are the shows that follow a girl and a guy who don’t end up in a relationship? Where are the stories that focus on people just loving each other and not being IN love with each other?

This is my theory on why Frozen did so well. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that everyone had Frozen Fever for a while. Some people still do. But there was something about the movie that shocked people and stood out above the crowd of Disney’s typical formula. My speculation: This wasn’t about the love of a man and a woman; Frozen is all about the love between two sisters.

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Granted, yes. Frozen wasn’t the first Disney movie to do this. And it won’t be the last. However, the movie fooled us into believing that Anna was all about finding the love of her life, and then threw the curveball that warmed our hearts – and hers.

I think it’s time that we start focusing on relationships like this. Why does Love have to always be romantic?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that romance shouldn’t be in anything. I just think the world is ready for the unpredictable and a change of pace. Romance and relationships shouldn’t simply be added in, without any regards to the lack of previous chemistry, as a plot point or dramatic element.

There was no need for Black Widow and Bruce Banner to start developing feelings for each other in Age of Ultron. How can Lizzie McGuire, who obsessed over Ethan Craft for years, suddenly in the span of like two episodes decide she’s actually in love with Gordo and it actually works out? This is why I hope so strongly that Rey and Finn don’t end up together in Episode VIII. It’s predictable, expected, and will feel forced. (Pun intended).

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I’m tired of romantic subplots for the sake of romantic subplots. Why can’t we just be content with a good show about friends without the need of them turning lovers by the end? Why can’t we be content with people ending up single at the end of a movie or a tv show?

Sometimes love isn’t romantic. And I think that’s something that needs to be explored a lot more than forced pairings.

Originally posted on The Writer’s Cohort, February 4, 2015