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8 Sweet Onscreen Gestures That Aren’t So Romantic in Real Life

8 Sweet Onscreen Gestures That Aren’t So Romantic in Real Life

Admit it—at some point in your life, perhaps after a particularly emotional breakup, or maybe after being single for a little longer than you’d like, you’ve sat there in your comfiest pajamas having your own private romantic-comedy marathon and wishing your life could be like the movies. Almost all of us have been there, done that. Everything seems so romantic when it’s on the big-screen, with these grand gestures and proclamations of love, followed by the ever typical happily-ever-after moment. Okay, pause. Rewind. Have you actually thought about how these gestures would play out in real life? Maybe it’s not as romantic as you thought. Here are some grand romantic gestures that you’ve probably seen in a movie at some point that, well, maybe you don’t want to have happen to you after all.

Image from Big Fish via Columbia Pictures
Image from Big Fish via Columbia Pictures


1. Rose petals leading to the bedroom

The concept is very sweet. Rose petals, or petals from your favorite flowers, leading from the front door all the way to your bedroom, where candlelight and champagne awaits you for an evening of romance. Just the thought is enough to make most girls go kilig. But think about the next morning—now it’s time to clean it all up. Unless your man’s romantic gesture includes cleanup afterwards, this is one gesture that’s best to leave to Hollywood. Or better yet, take it outside—use the petals to lead from the back door to an outdoor picnic instead. It’ll be just as romantic, without having to figure out why, two months later, you’re still finding rotten rose petals in dusty corners.

GIF from American Beauty via DreamWorks Pictures


2. Public marriage proposals

While some women might love the idea of a public proposal, perhaps at the restaurant where you had your first date, with all eyes on you as the center of attention, this is one case where the guy really has to know his woman—and what her answer will be—before he should dare try it. A public marriage proposal puts a lot of pressure on the woman; she’s going to feel obligated to say yes, so as not to cause a scene or publicly embarrass her beau. Unless you’ve already talked about marriage together and he knows for a fact that you will say yes, a proposal is usually best done in a private, intimate setting.

GIF from Once Upon A Time via Disney-ABC Domestic Television


3. Watching someone sleep

Okay, this can still be very sweet if you and your honey live together or if you’ve invited him to spend the night. I love the feeling I get when I wake up snuggled up to my husband and he’s just looking at me with love in his eyes. But when they show up, uninvited, while you’re asleep and just watch you as you sleep, it crosses a line from romantic to creepy. When Edward did this to Bella in Twilight, she seemed flattered by his gesture. In reality, most of us would probably call the cops, after we smack the guy in the head with whatever object is nearest to us. Hello, stalker alert!

GIF from Twilight via Summit Entertainment


4. Shower sex

They make it look so easy, sexy and romantic in movies, but in reality, it’s anything but. Go ahead, help each other wash, let him scrub your back while you massage his scalp with shampoo, no problem. But when it comes to actually getting busy, it’s usually a lot more complicated than it is romantic. If you don’t have a shower mat, don’t even bother attempting it—someone will slip and get injured, it’s pretty much guaranteed. And take it from me, getting soap or shampoo in your sensitive bits down there is every bit as traumatic as getting it in your eyes.

GIF from Pretty Little Liars via ABC Family

5. Traveling half the world to declare your love

Even in world of Hollywood, this one has gone wrong, like the time Ross from Friends flew to England to surprise Emily, and it turned out she was in the USA to see him. But even beyond mismatched destinations, there are so many things that can go wrong here. For example, what if they don’t feel the same way? You’ve spent a lot of money, time and effort to get there, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the reaction hoped for. Best case, they want to be with you too and you live happily ever after, but worst case, you just paid a lot of money to be a super creepy stalker. Again, this is one of those things that works when you’ve talked about a future together and have been in constant communication with each other; but doing this after a long absence or a fight just because you’ve had a sudden epiphany? Best to call first to make sure of your welcome.

GIF from Friends via Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution


6. Showing up on someone’s wedding day to confess your feelings

Seriously, you couldn’t have picked a more convenient time? Even if the confessor’s feelings are requited and the wedding is canceled, the one who was supposed to get married is going to resent you for forever for the public scandal, the last minute change of plans, and the fact that no one is getting that deposit back for the wedding venue. If you really love someone, get it together before the day of their wedding. At the very least, they should be given the chance to think it through, instead of having all this last-minute-life-changing-decision pressure put on them. Not to mention that someone is going to get punched by a jilted fiancee or pissed off bride, and it might well be you (plus, you’ll deserve it!).

GIF from My Best Friend’s Wedding via TriStar Pictures


7. Blasting “your song” outside the window

Sure, when John Cusack did it in the classic movie Say Anything, it swept millions of women off of their figurative feet. But come on, how many of you would actually appreciate your ex showing up outside of your house blasting loud music at your window? Even if he’s playing it himself on an instrument, instead of carrying a boom box, it’s not going to change the fact that you broke up for a reason. Personally, I have three dogs and I know they would be barking up a storm in unison with the song if this ever happened to me, which just subtracts even more from the supposed romanticism of this gesture. And can we talk about what happens if you actually dig the guy but you have to bail him out of jail for being a public nuisance after your neighbors call the cops?

Image from Say Anything via 20th Century Fox


8. Showing up in the pouring rain to beg for your forgiveness

I’d invite you in, but I already mopped my floors today. How many movies has this been done in? Too many. First of all, how did he get so soaked anyway? Did he walk here from another city? Hasn’t he ever heard of an umbrella? For some reason, when a guy shows up in the rain in a movie, the girl’s heart is instantly melted. In reality, though, showing up soaking wet just makes him look kinda desperate and pathetic, and not in the “oh, poor guy, come on in so I can warm you up!” kind of way, but more the “ugh, do I have to invite him in just because he’s wet? He’s not sitting on my couch!” kind of way. It just reeks of emo—and makes us wonder if the guy will feel the same way once he’s dry and the sun is shining.

GIF from The Notebook via New Line Cinema


There’s nothing wrong with the occasional wistful sigh while re-watching your favorite rom-com, along with all it’s grand romantic gestures, but don’t let yourself lose touch with reality—Hollywood men don’t exist in real life, and maybe that’s actually something we should be thankful for! Now, if my husband decided to step up and give me an entire library full of books, like in Beauty and the Beast, that’s a romantic gesture that I’d be swooning over!

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