We know that the media gives us unrealistic portrayals of sex, love and romance, but how do we teach ourselves not to buy into it? Most of us were affected mentally in some form by the media content we were raised with. A well-known example is the affect that Disney cartoons have had on girls. Disney is more feminist conscious now, but many of their earlier films depict girls and young women in fantastical love stories, full of unrealistic romance and fairy-tale happy endings. Correlations have been found between this kind of media diet and unhealthy expectations of relationships later in life, which can cost people relationships, time in repairing relationships and money in relationship counseling bills. So how do we train ourselves to resist the brainwashing of media portrayals of sex, love and romance?
First and foremost, we have to retrain ourselves in the way we view sex, love and romance through any means necessary. For some, this might require drastic measures. Romanticized media portrayals can cause delusions, love addiction and can even contribute to mental disorders. Professional treatment or therapy may be necessary for some. The average victim of unrealistic media portrayals of sex, love and romance is simply misguided and can usually use critical thinking and self help to adjust their thinking. It is important to remove sex, love and romance from the pedestal that media puts them on and approach them realistically by acknowledging that relationships are something to take seriously. Being frivolous, flighty or emotional about relationships will lead to their destruction.
Secondly, monitoring our media diet so that we do not take in unrealistic portrayals of sex, love and romance is very important to our continued mental health. Being selective in the media we watch will inform us of realistic ways of seeing the world, including in how we see relationships. One of the best things a person can do for their current or future romantic relationships is throw out the media that has been filling their heads with unhealthy relationship perceptions.