Couple Relationships in Movies

We will explore how couples are portrayed in the media

The Notebook's Mate Selection and Relationship Forming

How did the couple fall in love?

The two young couple Allie and Noah were enjoying their time on an ordinary day like any other in an amusement park, until Noah laid eyes on a beautiful girl, who's smile lit up the world. Noah with his stubborn mind and overwhelming confidence insisted on asking Allie out on a date, and their journey on the road of love began. Similar to traditional courtship rituals, in the 1940's the concept evolved to the informal social invitation of dating, which is what Noah did in order to spend time with Allie for pleasure and romance. Women at the time could accept or reject the invitations, and in the start Allie rejected his invitation, then later on accepted it, unaware of the consequences and happiness that may follow.

Murstein's Filter Theory

  1. Attraction Filter (Physical and Personality) Noah and Allie began their relationship due to physical attraction of appearance and also their individual characteristics. They both joined their happy and free personalities into one soul to begin a prosperous life.
  2. Homogamy Filter (Age, Race, Education, Socio- Economic Class, Religion) The greatest challenge among all was to pass through this filter, because it seemed that the net's holes were so tiny, making it almost impossible to filter conflicts in Noah and Allies relationship. They both only had one common trait in their lives which was age, when it came to education,class and wealth Allie was sure to surpass Noah.
  3. Compatibility Filter (Temperament, Attitudes, and Values, Needs, Roles, Habits) Both Allie and Noah had short tempers, which is what made their relationship as open as it is. Their dating life consisted of constant bickering and little fights, which allowed them to lay out all their issues clear on the table without hesitation. Both of them had similar values and attitudes, respectful but honest, wild but romantic, and emotional but strong.
  4. Trial Filter (Cohabitation, Engagement) As a result of pressure and external relationship conflicts from society, Allie was engaged to another man; however she evetually realized that her true love and second half was Noah, he was the only one who really understood who she was, and knew her more than she knew herself. As years passed Noah built a home with his bear hands and from each drop of sweat, he created beautiful details, and in every inch added he would think of Allie. At this stage, they both continuously put each other before themselves and that is the true definition of love. Later on at this stage Allie moved with Noah for a week in which they tested their compatibility.
  5. Decision Filter The dilemma began at this stage, where Allie had to choose between her Fiancé and Noah, here began the question of "I don't want to hurt anyone" but the decision is too crucial to consider others feelings, and one must only consider their own, because it is about their personal feelings and happiness. The final decision was made at this stage where Allie chose to spend the rest of her life with Noah.
  6. Marriage Filter The couple got married and began a beautiful family of their own.

Murstein's Filter theory is exactly portrayed through the movie "The Notebook". As the relationship progressed and as it evolved from a childish, rebellious relationship to a more serious relationship it resulted in the reediness for marriage and a lawful union. Throughout the plot of the movies the filter's tend to get finer and finer, eventually making it clear and coherent that these two belong together.

Companionate Marriage and Conflict Resolutions

Before Marriage

A major element of conflict resolution is understanding that when disagreements heat up they become conflicts.This was an element that Noah and Allie let get out of control, which created hardships and obstacles throughout their dating process and Murstein's Filters. This element resulted in a disagreement evolving to a conflict, that blinded them from reason and rational, because they were heated and angry, this eventually lead to their breakup and a separation of paths for a period of time.

Midlife Marriage

At some point all couples face an issue, disagreement or fight that challenges their calm. In most relationships communication is not problematic until disagreement arises; however Noah and Allie's relationship was different because they were easy- going and did not avoid concentration, but on the contrary embraced it as a way for them to settle their disputes and resolve their conflicts.

Later Life Marriage

Following the stage of empty nest, which is the later life marriage, the major conflict arises many years after Noah and Allie marry. They begin a good life with children, and grand children, but as they both grew older Allie was struck with Alzheimer's disease, and could not recall her extensive past. Her mental deterioration was taking her away form Noah and created an unbearable issue in both of their lives. At this stage with both declining healths, the couple had to adapt to these life changing situations, and portrayed that this relationship and dating process was the right path to develop strong and indestructible martial relationship in life.

Marriage Principles in "The Notebook"

  • They let their partner influence them This displays how they both honor an respect one another in the relationship
  • Overcome gridlock The major principle in the movie was turning the gridlock into dialogue, it is the principle where they both determine their martial dreams and work together to build that life, this was shown when Noah built 'their' dream house.
  • Create shared meaning Marriage is not about raising children, dividing chores and making love, it is also the spiritual dimension that joins both souls creating one. It is an appreciation for your roles and goals that led you to that life, and the honoring of becoming a part of the family you created.

Impact of Family and Society

Due to the time period in which their relationship took place, their was a huge emphasis on finding a "fit" husband. As a result of WWII many were on the poverty line, and did not make enough money for survival and did not even own any property to have anything to offer in a relationship. Although Noah was an honorable man, his only mistake was making a pay of 15 cents an hour, where as Allies family was wealthy and high class, they were able to spend thousand of dollars without concern. After developing an intimate relationship, Allie's family developed discreet inquiries about the social and economic suitability of her future partners. Noah had nothing to offer but love, and that was not enough for Allies parents, so they forbid her from seeing which resulted in ending their relationship for a period of time, and then they were reunited by fate.

Allie affected by the parents decision

Her mother's previous experiences with a poor man showed her that the mom would've been happier if she chose to spend the rest of her life with the man she loved, weather than choosing the man with most wealth.

Noah affected by the parents decision

Noah was devastated by the way Allie's family viewed I'm that he suggested they hold breakup.

Socio economic Control

Children had more restricted freedom due to social and economical factors, rather than religion

Current Research and Trends

Each relationship has it own unique trajectory, and relationships at one stage of the life course undoubtedly shape all the other stages. It is a very difficult transition to live through relationships as an adolescent and to carry them out through the adulthood transition, because major changes in the dating process occur. In my opinion the couple from this movie do indeed reflect current trends, and fit into the Murstein theory, however the following video I created will explain my opinion

Current trends and Family concept

Created by: Shaden Hamdan

Ms. Breen

Couple Relationships:In the Movies

The Notebook