Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Lists, Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Real-Life Relationships You’ll Never, Ever, Ever, Ever See In A Movie

"Why are you smiling?" "Just thinking about how lucky you are that I like your cologne."

I’m generally a fan of things Jason Segel has a hand in — “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Knocked Up,” etc — so it didn’t take much convincing for me to go see “The Five-Year Engagement” a few days ago. Without giving any spoilers, I’ll say that I enjoyed it but was somewhat disappointed by the fact that it started to veer into “Whoa. I’ve never seen this relationship situation really addressed in a movie before“ territory — which I greatly appreciated — but then got a bit more Hollywood towards the end.

Now, I understand why movies do tend to inch toward the “Hollywood relationship.” Although we bitch and clamor for realism, we still do generally want to be entertained and feel good at the end, and showing certain types of “real-life” relationships might cause people to enter the theater with buckets of hot buttered Zoloft instead of popcorn.

With this in mind, here are four types of real-life relationships you’ll probably never actually see in a movie

1. The man with the life-long side piece

In one of the most baffling types of real-life arrangements in existence, there are men who  have started and ended multiple relationships but managed to maintain the exact same side chick throughout each one. I guess it makes sense — comfort and consistency are, frankly, the shit — but if that isn’t the most ambitious-less, Everest College-ass relationship shit I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.

2. The f*ck buddies who don’t even really like f*cking each other

A couple years ago, a friend told me about an arrangement she had with a guy who’d come through once a week, have a couple glasses of moscato with her, and then would proceed to have terrible, awful, unbearably awkward sex with her. They both hated it — apparently he once fell asleep while she was on top of him, woke up, gave a couple more pumps, and fell back asleep — but this “relationship” continued for a couple months.

Thinking that this friend was an just a sad anomaly of coital despair, I told the story to another friend, who expressed that she also was in a similar arrangement — a full NBA season (seven months) of awful sex. When I asked her why she continued a friends with migrant worker benefits arrangement, she replied “I don’t know. I guess I just liked the way he smelled.”

3. The people only dating because…wait, why the hell are they dating again?

I was actually in a relationship like this a few years ago. We didn’t really like each other all that much, we both knew it wasn’t going to last longer than a year, and, well, did I mention the fact that we didn’t really like each other all that much?

I guess you can say that we stayed together because of the sex, but is it really worth staying in a relationship where both parties give each other a 5.5 to on the “10 point Like Scale” just because you’re sleeping with them four times a week?

It ended after exactly one year, which was maybe 11 months too long.

4. The people who’ve always pined for each other…but die without ever actually getting together

In the movies, these situations usually get resolved with some contrived-ass deferred meet cute that puts them in a situation where they have no choice but to realize that they need to be together.

In real life, though, sometimes these people continue to see each other in passing and at parties and continue to wonder and fantasize, but never actually hook-up — a situation as sad as the thought of Derrick Rose proctoring a PSAT. (Too soon?)

Anyway, people of VSB, can you think of any other types of relationships you’ll never see on screen? Also, if anyone out there has actually been in one of the type of relationships described today, come to #REMINISCEDC Saturday night and either I or Panama will give you a hug (if you’re a woman) or a shot (if you’re a man). Actually, f*ck it. Hugs and shots for everyone!

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • Mini

    Anything starring Chris Brown and Rhianna and a happy (sane) ending

    • Mini

      OMG! I have the first post, I feel like my response should have been way deeper. Let me reflect and come back to this…

      • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

        once again, it was snatched from right up under me. lol

      • Tea

        lol

    • GypsyCurl

      “3. The people only dating because…wait, why the hell are they dating again?”

      I had relationship like this for 9 months which was 11 months too long. And believe me, it wasnt about the sex. Lets just say, 1/3rd of a pump and it was over. Im embarrassed for me and him.

  • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

    3 and 4…. definitely been there and done that

  • Loving Me

    The you’re just together because you’ve been together so long it doesn’t make sense to split relationship. I know people who have been together since high school, lost the passion before high school even ended, but are each other’s best friend and have been together for so long that since they don’t hate each other, they’re just together. Not engaged, but still just together same as always.

    And although I do know one movie that featured this kinda relationship (although they gave it a totally Hollywood ending) it rarely gets mentioned so the we’ve known each other for 20 years, have really great grown up time every couple years, have love for each other but refuse to actually try being together relationship. I’ve had a couple of these and they don’t end happily like the movie

    • Leila

      “The you’re just together because you’ve been together so long it doesn’t make sense to split relationship”

      My last relationship!! We should have stayed together for 2 years max, but we dragged it out to 7. Not sure why, but think we were both comfortable.

      • GoldenSangria

        Yes!! Ugh.. complacency is one heck of an addiction

        • http://www.twitter.com/bmorebmw Tentpole

          No. it’s called the fear of being alone.

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

        7 YEARS?! shiiiiiiiid. I can’t! I won’t! But damn, I applaud you.

      • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 Tristan

        seen this plenty, you been with someone for years bcause you been with them for years. At some point if you honestly dont see marriage or kids down the line you’re prolonging the inevitable

      • http://sarcasmforbreakfast.com MizzCam

        Sadly, I had one of these 7 year [and a little bit on and off for another year or so] relationships. We started dating right before my senior year of HS and I finally had to dump dude a couple years after I graduated college. We were obviously never getting married, and he really just wasn’t sh*t. Still isn’t.

        I just DID NOT WANT TO START OVER. You feel like you’ve invested so much time in one person and maybe things will get better… But they never do. Ugh. Thank God I was young when it ended.

        • missluna1

          Story of my life. Me & my ex got together senior yr of HS & it should have lasted only 2 years but neither of us hated each otherhad no reason to break up and had invested years in each other(we were friends for years before we hooked up). I think at the 2yr mark our relationship reverted back to our friendship but neither of us wanted to start all over…..so we stayed together all the way up until after college,when ther was a reason to break u. I’ll say I’m SO GLAD THAT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS YOUNGER….. couldn’t pay me to do that all over again.

          • missluna1

            *break up

            So many typos please forgive me lol I’m on my phone & my cursor and space bar are apparently unreliable.

  • SANTA MONICA

    The black married couple that has no baby mama drama, no mistresses and did not meet at a club. According to hollywood, these couples are like unicorns…

    • Nick

      Or in the church

      • JEHeartbreak

        @ Nick

        I’m a self proclaimed church girl. Married a Deacon. (Boo!) And he did the fool for a # of years. Then after we divorced I began spending time with another “good guy” who purchased me lavish gifts, cashed me out if I said I needed a new shoelace… or trip to Vegas. But flat out refused to claim me or committ. Told me the Lord wanted him to be alone so he could devote his time to him totally. But whenver he wanted a dinner date or someone to spoil I was “that chick”. I released him a couple days ago becuase I feel he is blocking the view for whoever is really trying to “find” me. So, yes a real church story should be told. No gospel song at the end. No hugging at the altar. The whole truth. Truth = even good guys act a fool and won’t committ.

    • MJoy

      Ironically enough I’ve seen this couple in a Tyler Perry movie

      • Meisarebel

        I don’t believe in Tyler Perry

        • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

          damn you made it sound like tyler perry was santa claus, lol

          • Meisarebel

            Worse. At least ol St Nick brings joy to millions of children. Tyler Perry gives us House Of Payne…

            • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

              So he more like Freddy Kruger, lol

      • Kidsister

        The first couple that came to mind was Jill and the Sheriff.

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      Does “Not Easily Broken” count? Even if there was an “almost” mistress…

      • MJoy

        “Almost doesn’t count” -Brandy, or maybe Monica? Tomayto, Tomawto.

    • http://www.serenitysoulproducts.com Serenity Soul

      Well here is your unicorn…Happily Married, BOTH BLACK, and no baby mama or baby daddy drama on either end and yes we both have kids from previous relationships and it all works out and NO THIS AINT NO JADA/WILL BLENDING MESS either! Couldn’t be happier, but I was in the Just together Just to BE Together prior to this and had to kick myself in the junk for being so stupid..he was 2x my age and 2x as broke…not a good look!

  • Tea

    love it…# 2 would be hilarious to see played out in a movie

    • http://delaneydiamond.com Delaney Diamond

      I agree. That’s a comedic setup waiting for a script to make it happen.

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      It also sounds like the premise of a Judd Apatow film.

  • Justmetheguy

    1. I like Jason Segel and want to see that movie now.

    2. Champ u had to get a restraining order on a chick? LMAO! Man, I always forget that that actually happens in real life. My radar for crazy is tuned pretty well so far (knock on wood). I know how to find them only slightly neurotic to moderately crazy or impulsive. Never batsh*t psycho tho lol

    3. I guess I’d say the people that always wanted to get together or at least it seemed like they were feeling each other, but before any solid confirmation could be made they started dating mutual friends before they got the opportunity to explore the attraction (Maybe there has been a movie about this one though. I wouldn’t know)

    • MJoy

      I don’t know why I love this so much about u… The fact that u like MODERATELY crazy women. Ur radar’s on point ;)

    • nillalatte

      *winks @ JMTG* Was last night good for you boo? I don’t think they noticed you and I were occupied during all that fussing, huh? :D *turns and sings ‘slip sliding away, sliding away, you know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away….*

      • That Ugly Kid

        O.o Word? *Plays soap opera music*

        How will MJoy take this devastating news? Will she cry and in her depressed state, commit suicide via “freak accident” during a shark wrestling competition?

        Or, in her fit of rage, proceed to bodily harm JustMeTheGuy in such a way that afterwards he’ll have to change his name to JustMeTheGirl?

        Find out next time on the next episode of, Chicken Noodle Soup!

        • Chanelle

          lmao……Chicken Noodle Soup though

        • Justmetheguy

          D*mn, justmethegirl tho? Smh lol

          As far as that other situation Imma have to quote Chappelle.
          “I plead the FIF!” lmao!

          Hi Nilla :)

          • MJoy

            Negro I will cut you in more than one place!!!!! You’ll be the girl with no fingers and toes only on your left foot!

            • Kema

              Hmmmm…. This seem a bit more than MODERATELY crazy

              *waves seductively at JMTG*

          • nillalatte

            @ JMTG… I loves the FIF… that means you can keep yo’ mouth shut when you supposed to. ;) *takes JMTG’s hands, pulls him close, gives him a hug and a light kiss on the cheek* later boo.

            • MJoy

              I can see why he would want to keep his mouth shut when it comes to you. The *special kisses* are reserved for me.

              • Breezy

                LMBO: Chicken Noddle Soup is hot today!!! I am so glad I don’t have to worry at PA because like he said yesterday I am his ONLY e-boo. *snaps fingers and flips hur* RECOGNIZE!

                As you were.

              • nillalatte

                Is Nilla sensing a lil bit of a jealously thing going on with MJoy? Surely not. Me and Justmetheguy are friends connected only in special ways. He loves you. Don’t be mad girl. We’re just friends with no strings attached. ;) lol

                • MJoy

                  Who knows if he loves me… he tells me nothing. Just gets mad when I flirt then sneaks off into corners with you. Oh, I noticed!

                  Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen….

        • JEHeartbreak

          Rotfl!

      • Breezy

        LMBO!!!!….@JMTG…hi!

        *lips are sealed*

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      “I guess I’d say the people that always wanted to get together or at least it seemed like they were feeling each other, but before any solid confirmation could be made they started dating mutual friends before they got the opportunity to explore the attraction (Maybe there has been a movie about this one though. I wouldn’t know.”

      Part of “The Royal Tenenbaums”?

      • Justmetheguy

        Oh really? I gotta check that movie out then. Was it good?

        • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

          Yesir! I would say it’s Wes Anderson’s best film, hands down. His films are are generally good, although the humor is a little quirky.

          • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

            Thanks for the recommendation, Mr. Pervert!

  • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

    f*ck buddies where the f*cking is bad? what the hell? this doesn’t compute to me.

    • Aisha White

      I know…right?!? What the hell?

      • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

        i’d rather have no sex than bad sex. don’t know what those folks are on. lol

        • Meisarebel

          Or head.

          Just sayin… <_<

          • Justmetheguy

            ^ Riiiiiiiiiiiight! Those were my thoughts too. Everybody can make themselves useful if they try lol

    • Yoles

      that’s not real life, champ’s friends are golem (i had to think of some kind of weird mythical creature that isn’t desired) because that aint true… i refuse to believe dat!

    • Jay

      What would the title of a movie about this be called?

      What The F*ck Buddies

      or

      F*ck Buddies: You’re Doing It Wrong

      • MJoy

        I vote for What the f*uck buddies. This should be a movie b/c I can’t imagine it being real

        • JEHeartbreak

          That was the original name of “No Strings Attached” starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        “What The F*ck Buddies”

        BOL

        • http://www.twitter.com/bmorebmw Tentpole

          I see that and the VIVID version too

      • http://www.becauseimwrite.com Muze

        LMAO at what the fck buddies. i vote for that one.

      • nillalatte

        “What The F*ck Buddies”
        +1, excellent work!

      • Tea

        +1
        WTF Buddies! lol

      • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

        Or…”Hit It And Quit It” LMAO!!!

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        YES!!! Team “WTF Buddies”

    • http://delaneydiamond.com Delaney Diamond

      “f*ck buddies where the f*cking is bad? what the hell? this doesn’t compute to me.”

      Lol. I know. What’s the point? If it goes to the big screen, it would never be a drama, though, because it just doesn’t add up. It would have to be a comedy.

    • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

      My theory on the phenomenon behind #2 is a situation where the man is not enjoying the coitus. the one where dude always pretends to come and doesnt or he “fires” but does not have the big O. Believe me, there is a difference btw firing off and having the big O for men.

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

        I’m all ears! You should consider being an erotica writer….ehe, continue, give me the technical details of it all oo!

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Thought trust…if there isn’t a “live shoot”, that’ll be the last time I holler at that woman. I’d rather watch Janet Jacme or Cherokee D’A$$.

      • http://www.twitter.com/bmorebmw Tentpole

        It is really about it’s better to do anyone than be stuck with doing yourself.

      • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

        there is definitely a big difference. a lot of women think “oh there’s physical evidence so i did a great job”…. naw i could have done that myself.

        • http://sarcasmforbreakfast.com MizzCam

          “oh there’s physical evidence so i did a great job”….

          *snorts* I just pictured this chick with a smug look on her face while mentally patting herself on the back and you sitting behind her with an annoyed look. #NoCountryForWackSex

          • Negrodamus

            |#NoCountryForWackSex” hahahaha

            • Breezy

              LOL

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      f*ck buddies where the f*cking is bad? what the hell? this doesn’t compute to me.

      I was watching some Discovery Channel special about a guy who weighed like 700lbs because he kept eating food even when he hated it. Maybe this is the same thing? It’s one episode of “My Strange Addiction” I would watch

      • AKenyanGal aka andromeda

        @IAYP

        LOL…it could be the same thing. You may be onto something.

        I don’t get it though, if we are FWB then the sheets must be burning. I can get boring s*x in a relationship where feelings are supposed to be involved.

      • MJoy

        LOVE THAT SHOW

    • miss t-lee

      Exactly! Why would you continue to be FB’s if the booty was basura? *confused scrunchface*

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      I believe it, and here’s why: one word: BOREDOM.

      Never underestimate the power of having too much time on your hands and nothing to do.

      • http://voodoochile88.tumblr.com Craig and Dem

        Boredom can make you do ish you had no idea you were capable of. . . . . . like almost getting caught with a backpack full of fireworks in Arizona after getting the cops, SWAT, the bomb squad, and fire station called on you for blowing out 6 windows with cherry bombs

        • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

          OMG loool

          • http://voodoochile88.tumblr.com Craig and Dem

            Yeah. . . . .not one of my best moments. . . .

  • Aisha White

    Chortle! Chortle! Gasp…! Damn. This is funny as hell…Yep, I’ve been in the ‘Pine for a Dude’ category. The timing was always screwed up! In fact, he contacted me after he was freshly divorced and I was newly married. The irony of that is too much to bear. But…(sigh!) I always thought we would be so perfect together…

    • GypsyCurl

      I will always remember the one that got away. *Le sigh* He never stepped up to tell me he liked me. And at the time, I was such an ingenue, I didnt realize he liked me. I liked him but was too scared to say anything. I thought he just saw me as a friend. But now that I know that guys cant just be friends with a girl, I know in hindsight he liked me.

      • Aly

        Wait a minute! This sounds eerily similar to Jay’s story (see below). Hmm…

  • MJoy

    The ‘Im with you just because I don’t want you to be with anyone else” relationship. This is currently leading to my sister’s wedding in September. I’m already planning the divorce party, I mean bachelorette party ;)

    Does #2 actually happen? Eww

    If #4 was a movie we’d all jump off a cliff afterwards.

    And I love that you used the phrase “meet cute”. I thought only screenwriters talked like that. Bravo.

    • Yoles

      MJoy i had to comment on that #2 b/c that shyt (<~ see what i did there) can't truly happen, not in real life… no ma'am

      • http://www.twitter.com/bmorebmw Tentpole

        Yoles, Yes it does. This is the case where people are trying to make something broken work because it looks right. I.E. two people who look cute to each other but have no chemistry

    • Meisarebel

      “The ‘Im with you just because I don’t want you to be with anyone else” relationship.”

      Oh this is sooooooo real.

      • Justmetheguy

        ^ YES! It is not only so real, but it’s soooo common. Both sexes do it, but especially handcuffin @ss men smh

  • Yoles

    i can’t come up with movies titles that go against what you have said but:

    1) i guess a movie that shows a man with a long term mistress or whole other second family is the equivalent of long term side piece right?

    2) i have never, never ever, never ever, ever, ever, known, heard of or overheard (yall know i’m nosy) of FWB that don’t enjoy each other s.exually… isn’t usually they know it won’t work but the coitus is so good and they can push each others buttons so efficiently that they keep doing it?!?!? that sounds like some real bullshyt… i don’t like to waste my wet & i thought that most women were down with me on that respect!

    3) this would make the plot so plotless imo

    4) well i have seen movies with people that pine that never hook up for ex. the Legend of King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table, where his Queen, Guinevere fell in love with Sir Lancelot but they NEVER hooked up.

    the only type of relationship i can think of that i haven’t seen in a movie yet is a gay male couple in which both dudes are just guys who dig dyck, no femininity or softness, no over sensitiveness or sashay shante or whatever…

    • Aly

      “the only type of relationship i can think of that i haven’t seen in a movie yet is a gay male couple in which both dudes are just guys who dig dyck, no femininity or softness, no over sensitiveness or sashay shante or whatever…”

      Brokeback Mountain? Does “I wish I knew how to quit you count as over sensitiveness”? Iono…

      • Aly

        Man, I really messed up the quotes in that last sentence. But ya’ll know what I mean. It’s late, and I’m going to bed :-)

      • Yoles

        i never saw that movie… do you recommend it?

        • kaname

          You should see it! Be forewarned, there are some scenes of homophobic attackers.

    • Iceprincess

      Chuck & Larry, but they were just pretending lmao.

    • MJoy

      I was going to say the gay thing but I guess brokeback tramples that.

      Also for #4… that movie ‘Once’ with all the amazing music. I was utterly and completely depressed when they didn’t end up together in the end.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        Yoles definitely described Brokeback Mountain.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      ” i don’t like to waste my wet & i thought that most women were down with me on that respect!”

      I’m with ya on that! *raises glass of water*