7 Lessons I Learned From Chick Flicks

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Dangerous delusions about love—and the romantic comedies that feed them.

See also: The Philadelphia Story, High Society, The Parent Trap, Mrs. Doubtfire.

The Real Ending: You continue to hate the bastard for years to come, despite the fact that your shrink says rage won't help you heal. And whatever side of the joint custody battle you might fall on--be it mom or stepmom--the kids aren't going to make the situation any easier.

 

If you're a stepmom, get ready for the cry of "You can't tell me what to do! You're not my mother!" to take up permanent residence in your psyche.

If you're the real mom, the line will be "When we're at Dad's house, Bambi never makes us do our homework/eat our vegetables/stop playing with knives."

The Pretty in Pink Trap: Your next-door neighbor just happens to be a Calvin Klein underwear model. Lucky you. You've brought him countless jars of jam that need loosening, and even gotten locked out of your place in your cutest dress.

Yet he hasn't asked you out. In the words of Journey, "Don't stop believin'."

See also: Notting Hill, Love Actually.

The Real Ending: There's a fine line between healthy optimism and insanity. There's also a reason the quarterback in high school always dated the head cheerleader—their kind is biologically predetermined to go forth and make other popular kids for everyone else to envy. It might be smarter to set your sights on the guy in 2B with the sweet smile and the receding hairline.

From J. Courtney Sullivan's Dating Up: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Man You Deserve.