3 Ways Reality Shows Have Distorted Our View of Love


“In every show, someone is either married, in a relationship, just got out of a relationship, or trying to get into a relationship.”

If you are like me, you are a reality show connoisseur. I literally watch all the black reality shows. Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, New York, and Hollywood, Black Ink Crew Chicago and New York, Growing up Hip Hop LA and Atlanta, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Potomac…you get the picture. Although I love watching these shows because I can live vicariously through them, I wholeheartedly disagree with the negative image they paint of love. There are very few images of healthy relationships on these shows because drama sells, not peace. As a mature adult, I can separate the scripted from the reality and understand that most of this stuff doesn’t happen in real life. But what about the young boys and girls watching these programs? They can’t decipher between what’s real versus what’s fake or what’s right versus what’s wrong. Growing up, I could watch shows like Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or My Wife and Kids to get a glimpse of what healthy love looks like. Nowadays, these kids are doomed because their examples are Stevie J and Joseline or Kirk and Rasheeda. I can talk for days on the subject but I want to focus on the three ways reality shows have distorted our view of love…

Men cheat, that’s what they do…My biggest pet peeve on these shows is how often they reveal how much men cheat and how the women handle it. In every single reality show, there is at least one man who has cheated on his wife or girlfriend. Once the cheating is revealed, she cries to her friends, he gets her a gift, then they’re back together. Basically, these shows are normalizing men cheating. Women are now believing that all men cheat, that’s just what they do. THE DEVIL IS A LIAR! This isn’t okay, it never was. Yes, there have been a few incidents where the woman actually left but that’s few and far between. The way they cope with it makes women look weak. They cry, drink a little wine, and then the guy says I’m sorry and boom, back together. I’m sure more happens behind the scenes but what they choose to show us is that women should accept cheating because it isn’t that big of a deal. It’s sad, that’s how a culture of side chicks has emerged because now cheating is accepted. I believe a huge part of this is the image we have been shown on reality shows.



Relationships are a necessity…In every show, someone is either married, in a relationship, just got out of a relationship, or trying to get into a relationship. Being single and healed isn’t promoted at all on these shows. It’s like if you’re not involved with someone, there has to be something wrong with you. Even when people are trying to heal from broken marriages or relationships, their friends are trying to force them to date because that’ll make them feel better. This is awful because it tells singles that there’s something wrong with not having a mate which is absolutely false. That’s why these people are miserable, they never take a break from dating. They jump from one man to another or one female to another. This tells people healing isn’t necessary, you can date in whatever emotional state you’re in. This is a COMPLETE lie. More people should be telling their friends to take a break and find themselves, instead of setting them on dates to find someone new.



Confrontation is the solution…I was watching Black Ink Chicago the other day and I was shocked by how they handle conflict in their relationship. Phor and Nikki were having a disagreement and she threw cereal and juice on him and walked away. Then Van and his girl had a disagreement, and they began to cuss each other out. I do know that they escalate things on purpose for good tv but it’s telling the viewers that this is how to handle disagreements in relationships. No calm resolutions, just go zero to one hundred real quick because that’ll solve your problems. This is the worst to me. I see so many young people yelling and screaming at their boyfriend or girlfriend because they think that’s the only way to handle an issue but it’s not. What happened to just sitting down and talking it out? What happened to taking a moment to calm down rather than just reacting in the moment? What happened to picking your battles because not all battles need to be fought? Toxic resolution is not the only way to handle problems in a relationships. That’s not what healthy love looks like. There are other ways to solve problems than yelling, screaming, cussing, and throwing, But we would never know that if we use reality shows as our examples.



There are several other ways reality shows have distorted our image of love but these are my main ones. What do you guys think? What ways have they distorted your image of love?


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