Nadine Shaabana/Unsplash

So I have this concept I call "Emotional Velociraptors" - they're the people that stay in your life testing your fences for weak spots after you've set a boundary.


Rom-coms like to frame it as one person being madly in love and the other just not realizing they're in love yet. It's determination, it's devotion, it's "true love" and so romantic!

Nah, it's totally disregarding your boundaries and your autonomy and collectively can we just ... ya know ... NOT?

Hanging around waiting for someone to be emotionally compromised so you can swoop in and "save the day" with your love is predatory.

"Wearing them down" until they say yes to a date is predatory.

Sabotaging their friendships and other relationships in the hopes that they'll "fall back" to you is predatory.

Not romance. Raptors. Now cut it out!

Reddit user MysteryScallop asked:

"What do people need to stop romanticizing?"

And hey, would you look at the very first response, it's our good friend Rom-coms!

But they're not alone here. This list is full of messiness, take a look.

Rom-Coms Need To Be Stopped

Bbc Starz GIF by Dublin Murders Giphy

"People dropping all their own goals and interests for someone else. Yes, the plot of standard rom-com."

- Mattie725

"Which brings us to stalking. Also romanticised in rom-coms."

- CozyCauldron

"This!"

"It's scary how people in these threads I see are sometimes just like 'no this is so romantic' and 'oh look at their relationship progressing' while I'm like 'no wtf?! this is the behavior of a crazy person that I wouldn't want anything to do with in real life ever!' "

"Doesn't just go for stalking, goes for a lot of things really. Rom-coms/dramas etc are good at romanticizing these really weird and super unhealthy things."

- thanhpi

"Do you know the series 'You' on Netflix?"

"The protagonist believes he is the hero of a romance. Just watch the trailer, I love it. It's relevant."

- koi88

Manic Pixie Superpowers?

Sarcastic Rose Byrne GIF by Apple TV Giphy

"Mental illness is a serious condition. Having one does not make you cool, unique, or insightful. It's a disaster."

- Pretend_Drink5816

"The people who call ADHD a 'superpower' are just flat out wrong. ADHD is super debilitating overall."

"While there are some things we can do 'better' than people who are neurotypical, overall ADHD is extremely hard to manage and often can destroy a person's home life, school and/or career."

"Things aren't structured for us. At all. It's really hard to function."

- deja_geek

"Some individuals go as far as fetishsizing people with mental illness and its disgusting. That Manic Pixie Dream Girl is suffering."

- [Reddit]

"Some people called my autism a 'superpower' because smart or rich people also have autism and are really successful (Elon musk, Bill gates etc).but their superpower isn't autism, it's being a rich white guy."

"People don't seem to realize what Savant Syndrome is or what privilege is and just believe everyone with a mental illness or disability is some secret untapped genius, which is not the case."

"I don't have a 'superpower' and am not incredibly smart, what is different is my breakdowns which aren't fun believe it or not."

- Yuri-Bad

Followers

Social Media Reaction GIF by Travis Giphy

"Having Followers."

- gor8884

"I had an acquaintance tell me that he really liked this guy he had gone on a few dates with, but the the guy had less than 1000 Instagram followers, and he saw that as a red flag."

"We were probably 19/20 at the time, in college. This guy was obsessed with social media appearances. He would only post photos of himself with people who he deemed attractive enough."

"Once my roommate, her other friend, him & I all went out. He knew my roommates friend on the same level as me, just acquaintances. No real connection."

"The friend is super pretty; she looks similar to Shay Mitchell."

"He asked to take a photo with her so he could post it on Instagram and didn’t even ask my roommate who he is ACTUALLY friends with or I to get in it LOL."

"HE was definitely the red flag in that relationship."

- rahws

"Real" Fathers

darth vader father GIF by Star Wars Giphy

"My wife's ex-husband has documented schizophrenia, bi-polar and is a drug addict with a severe alcohol problem. He's also assaulted multiple people and posted pictures/bragged about nearly beating an old man to death at a gas station because he 'talked to his woman.' "

"People liked to romanticize him as just 'protective father.' "

"We lived in absolute fear anytime he got to see the kids. Would they come back with bruises, night-terrors, talking about strange people and places?"

"Or the week-long headaches with their clothes smelling of marijuana and having strange stains on them. What would go wrong this time? Or...would we even see them again?"

"Would he fly off the handle this time and beat or abandon them? Would he do what he's threatened and leave the state?"

"It's absolutely terrifying. The late night/early morning messages that didn't make sense, had him half-naked outside doing God only knows. The video chats of him being drunk or high."

"It took years to get him cut off completely, all due to the f*cking lie that 'children need their "REAL" father.'

F*ck. That. Shit. Sideways."

"No, they don't. Especially not if he's a dangerous maniac and they have a Father (ME) and only wants to love and protect them."

"He wasn't 'protective, he was violent. It cost nearly $10k and took ~5 years but he's finally been cut off."

"It only happened when he tried to break in, armed with a gun, drunk at 3am. He was caught a block away waiting for us to come out."

"Why? To be a real father and 'check on his children... with a loaded gun. The letter he wrote that they confiscated off of him that night really told what he wanted to do."

"We've since moved, and it's taken over a year of no contact for us to finally not be looking over our shoulder every second. Mental illness is awful and the man truly needs to be locked up, away from the general population with long-term care."

- importvita

Caught Up In The Game

ice cube film GIF Giphy

"The 'gangsta' lifestyle and all that it entails."

"I grew up in Oakland and have witnessed far too many of the people I grew with get caught up in the game. Roughly half of the guys from my former neighborhood are either serving life sentences or were killed."

"I grew up in the 80s, but it's even worse now."

- frog_without_a_cause

"We've been glorifying lawless rebels who make their fortune through strength, cunning, and weapons since the start of time."

"Gangsters are just the modern version of outlaws, bandits, pirates, treasure hunters, and explorers. They answer to no one, they don't take any crap, you don't want to cross them, and the ones we idolize (whether real or fiction) are the ones that do that and succeed."

"We overlook the many, many examples of it being awful and focus on the few that show it being way better than our sh*tty boring, repetitive lives where we lack so much freedom."

- BillyPotion

Seriously Serial

This Is Weird GIF by Catfish MTV Giphy

"Serial killers."

- TheSmegmatician

"And putting details of what they did all over the media, giving them additional fame. A comic I can't recall the name of said 'I know more about Ted Bundy than I know about my family.' "

- tactfulvulture

"Ted Bundy legit got hundreds of love letters from women in jail. Really strange why women would find a person who specifically murders only women attractive."

"Humans are certainly bizzarre."

- Noob_master_slayer

"Last podcast on the left does a really good job of showing how these guys are actually just massive losers that turn to killing because it’s the easiest way they can be good at something."

- nurplethepurple

"You can't possibly be a "fan" of any serial killers they talk about, because they make it very clear what pathetic and horrible people they all were."

"I absolutely loved their Charles Manson episodes. 99% of Manson-related media makes him out to be some criminal psychopath mastermind."

"LPOTL makes him out to be a horny little conman troll who had no f*cking clue what he was doing and made a bunch of choices out of sheer panic or stupidity. There's no glamour there."

- GaimanitePkat

It's Just A Job

Tired Presidential Debate GIF by INTO ACTION Giphy

"Overworking."

"My coworkers tend to make it a competition to see who can make the most sacrifices for their career. Who puts in the most overtime hours? Who does things off the clock for work more? Etc"

"It's bullsh*t. I have a life and a family I want to prioritize."

- Disastrous_Emu_3911

"Saying that you work a lot isn't the flex most people think it is. Unless you're rich or you work for yourself, you're basically admitting that you're sacrificing your life for someone else's gain."

- haloarh

"I can see when everyone on my team logs in and out."

"It's super common for people to start working at 4-5am and stay on until 10-11pm. I see work getting submitted at 2am. I see people logging on during weekends."

"One person even worked on Thanksgiving."

"It's like they don't know how to occupy themselves if they're not doing their job."

- Firate

Hot People Can Be Evil

bella swan twilight GIF Giphy

"Attractive people doing harmful things."

"People shouldn't get a pass to do toxic and rude things simply because they're attractive. Why do I see serial killers and toxic partners get romanticized simply because they're hot?"

"Why does that make their horrible actions somehow badass and charismatic??"

- Basic_Material

"Back when the Boston marathon bombing happened one of my friends on Facebook started posting a bunch of pictures of one of the bombers, talking about how she would have dreams about him and how obsessed she was with him."

"I straight up blocked her after the second or third time because I couldn't get over how messed up that was. Dude killed and maimed multiple people, his objective attractiveness became absolutely null at that point."

- WhoIs_DankeyKang

"Ugh Twilight absolutely romanticizes this!"

"It's NOT ROMANTIC that a guy breaks into your bedroom at night and watches you sleep. It's not suddenly less terrifying because he is hot."

- Trueloveis4u

Yandere

mirai nikki gasai yuno GIF Giphy

"In the anime community, can we please stop with the premise of a 'Yandere,' where someone is so obsessed with someone that they'd go out of their way to hurt other people that person falls in love with."

"I once had a girlfriend in college tell me entirely seriously that she had killed someone before and would physically harm the person I went out with if I ever went out with someone else."

"It was terrifying. It led to me having a fight with another close friend before finally mustering the courage to break off the relationship."

"She's been out of my life for three years but she still causes me issues with relationships to this day (for a few other reasons as well)."

"Not once did I think it was hot to have her earnestly threaten someone else. F*ck that."

- AverageMormonGamer

It's Not Organization

Sobbing Jamie Lee Curtis GIF by filmeditor Giphy

"OCD."

"It’s not quirky or funny when I’m late for work because I had to back upstairs to check that the gas stove is off for the fifteenth time because I can’t stop envisioning the whole building blowing up."

"I literally stand frozen to the spot trying to fight the urge to go back when I KNOW I CHECKED but the intrusive thoughts are too upsetting to deal with."

"OCD isn’t being cute and quirky organized."

"For me its believing that people will die if I don’t check again. Again. No again."

"Even if it hurts me. Again."

"I watched a TV series called Whitechapel where the main detective has OCD. There’s a scene of him flicking his office light switch off and on repeatedly whilst screaming his head off desperately wanting to stop."

"That is exactly what it feels like for me."

- UnspeakablePlants

"Howie Mandel talked about this on Conan's podcast the other week."

"As an example, he said he'd miss business meetings getting stuck in a loop of checking that the front door was locked for hours."

- ispysomethingorange8

What does it say about us as people that almost all of these were related to the ways we glamorize our own destruction?

I know I came hard for rom-coms at the beginning, but let's be honest this list is kind of disturbing. What's more, I'm sure you all have things you could add here.

So let's talk about them. What dangerously romanticized thing would you add to the list?

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