Why ‘The Notebook’ Sets You Up for Relationship Failure

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When it comes to romantic movies, “The Notebook” is often hailed as a classic. It has captivated the hearts of audiences worldwide with its tale of passionate love and undying devotion. However, beneath the surface of this seemingly heartwarming story lies a dangerous set of relationship myths and toxic behaviors. This blog post will explore why “The Notebook” can lead to relationship failure and the importance of approaching romance with a more realistic mindset.

Love Lesson #1: First Love Isn’t Always True Love:
One of the key misconceptions perpetuated by “The Notebook” is that first love is synonymous with true love. The film portrays the intense infatuation between Noah and Allie as the epitome of a perfect relationship. However, first love is often characterized by youthful naivety and limited life experience. Building a lasting relationship requires more than just the intensity of a fleeting romance.

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Love Lesson #2 Don’t Glorify Infatuation
“The Notebook” romanticizes infatuation and the idea of summer romances. It portrays them as shooting stars, spectacular moments of light that quickly fade away. While these intense feelings can be exhilarating, they are not a solid foundation for building a long-term relationship. True love requires commitment, compatibility, and the ability to weather the storms of life together.

Love Lesson #3: Remember that Noah is an Idea, Not a Real Person
Noah, the male protagonist in the film, is portrayed as the perfect embodiment of love. However, he is merely an idea, an idealized version of a partner. In real life, no one is perfect, and holding onto an unrealistic image of a partner can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction. It is essential to embrace the imperfections and complexities of real relationships.

Love Lesson #4: Avoid Toxicity and Maintain Healthy Boundaries
“The Notebook” showcases various toxic behaviors that should not be romanticized. Noah’s persistence in pursuing Allie, despite her initial disinterest, crosses the line of respecting boundaries. Additionally, the film depicts emotional and psychological abuse, such as love bombing, which can manipulate individuals into relationships. These behaviors are harmful and should not be seen as romantic gestures.

Love Lesson #5: Be Wary of Unrealistic Expectations and Grand Gestures
One of the film’s main pitfalls is its portrayal of grand romantic gestures as the key to a successful relationship. Building a lasting connection is not solely about extravagant displays of affection but rather the consistency, reliability, and day-to-day effort invested in nurturing the partnership. Real-life love is about shared values, mutual support, and the ability to navigate everyday challenges together.

Love Lesson #7: Give the Good Guy a Chance
“The Notebook” perpetuates the myth that a good relationship should be filled with constant fighting and drama. While conflict is inevitable in any relationship, the film glamorizes unhealthy arguments and physical altercations. In contrast, Lon, the “good guy” character, represents a healthier relationship approach based on respect, trust, and compatibility. This depiction challenges the notion that tumultuous relationships are more passionate or fulfilling.

“The Notebook” may be an enjoyable film to watch, but it is crucial to approach it with a critical eye. The movie promotes several relationship myths and toxic behaviors that can set couples up for failure. Understanding the difference between fantasy and reality is essential for building healthy, lasting relationships. By recognizing the unrealistic expectations portrayed in “The Notebook” and embracing a more realistic approach to love, individuals can navigate relationships with a greater chance of success and fulfillment.
So, by all means, enjoy watching “The Notebook,” but remember to bring some strategic thinking with you.


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4 months ago

I see The Notebook in a whole new light now. Is there a “Love Lesson #6” that’s missing between #5 & #7?

Amy P
4 months ago

Thank you both for putting this out there and for saying what needs to be heard!!! I wish this information was taught 40 years ago, it might have saved me decades of heartache! I’ve shared this with my son. I wish young people would know/learn this BEFORE they start dating.
This might not be well received to most, but movies and books like this (50 Shades of Grey!!) really do set us up for toxic relationship behavior and relationship failure. Thank you again!!

Diana N
4 months ago

This was great & I’m to share with my guy. Been there with a Noah type & never again. Thank you!

4 months ago

What is Love Lesson #6??

4 months ago

I found this to be really interesting, and I love that I didn’t feel like I was being sold anything. Thanks for this – 10/10 would watch more!

4 months ago

I totally agree with you! You make excellent points- movies make money because we want to live a life in fantasy!! Unfortunately, many people want this to be true life and end up blaming others- not taking responsibility for their own actions/behavior…and reflect on what they bring to a relationship. I don’t mean being dependent on another or expecting perfection- but to realize that I am responsible for my own emotions/feelings- I don’t rely on someone else to make me happy…I love your podcast- it’s fantastic!!

4 months ago

Loved the breakdown

Elizabeth Clark
4 months ago

I am probably the only one who has not watched movie but plan to because of this pod cast. I am almost 70 and starting a relationship with an old classmate after a previous relationship died 17 years ago. Really enjoyed pod cast

4 months ago

I always thought there was something off about the Notebook, now I understand more. Thank you. One other movie I love which I think could fall into a similar category is “The Lucky One” with Zac Efron. I would love to hear your analysis on that.

4 months ago

I’ve been saying this for years. I hate this movie. Lon was the better choice and a great guy. He got shafted and somehow the audience doesn’t care and calls it romantic when Allie cheats on him and leaves him for Noah. I hear ya on me maybe putting too much emphasis on chemistry. I just got out of a severe up and down relationship with occasional grand gestures. I have a new guy I’ve met who would probably treat me like a queen but I don’t feel that desire with him. Will it grow over time? What if it… Read more »

4 months ago

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4 months ago
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