Could watching movies prevent me from finding my vocation?

Hi everyone :slight_smile:

I’m wondering… is it bad for teenage girls and young women to watch romance movies? I’m asking this because I’m scared about the influence they have on me (I’m 19). These days, I think a lot about what my vocation might be, and I’m scared that if I watch romance movies too often, I may not find it. I know that it might sound strange, but think about it: if I’m destined to be a nun, but watch love stories all the time, I might start to wish I could fall in love and have a family. My vocation could pass me by. (Or could it, really?! I don’t know…). I’m quite worried with this.

Any thoughts?



Short answer: if it’s bothering you, then stop.

It took me over a decade to stop watching most TV all-together. I have NEVER been happier or more fulfilled.

Having said that, I don’t think romance movies will keep you from your vocation; they will most definitely skew and warp your perception of your vocation, even if it is to be a happily married mother of 12.

Think of it like junk food. It won’t hurt you much. But if that’s all you eat, well…

Blessings in finding your vocation(s), don’t ever feel that they are limited to only one (BTW). What fun is that? :slight_smile:

Great response! :thumbsup: A priest once told me to avoid TV (TV, movies…) but…I know the damage it can cause. As you rightly said, if something (maybe a particular programme or type of movie) bothers us, then we should stop. :thumbsup:

I think people got married and had babies prior to the invention of moving pictures, so I don’t really think it is accurate premise.

That being said, it doesn’t hurt to use discretion in your viewing habits.

How many movies per day/week do you watch? How many hours are you spending watching movies?

And when you say “romance” movies, what are you talking about? Are you talking about romantic comedies or something else? Can you list an example or two?

What are the movies you watch typically rated? Do the movies generally show unmarried couples making love? Is marriage honored in the movies you watch, or is it scoffed at and considered just a piece of legal paper?

Are you watching the movies as an escape from life? Why? (You don’t have to answer that question on this forum, but it’s worth thinking about in your own soul.)

What would be different about your life if you didn’t watch the movies? What would you do instead? Are your ideas about what you would do realistic; e.g., if you think you would spend 90 minutes a day in prayer and reading religious books, would you REALLY, truly do this? Or would you just sit around and read romance novels or go online?

If you weren’t watching movies, would you spend more time doing chores or schoolwork or interacting with your family and friends? Again, is this realistic? Is your family open to “family time” and conversation, or are they dysfunctional and unable to relate to each other? Do you have friends, or can you make friends if you don’t? Do you have transportation to be able to spend time with them, or are you living in an isolated setting far away from others?

What I’m getting at is that you need to figure out what exactly you would be doing if you weren’t watching movies, especially since you want to use that 90 minutes a day (or whatever the time is) to seek your vocation.

If you did spend a lot of time in prayer and Scripture reading, what would your family think of this kind of religious devotion? Are they OK with it? Would they encourage you or make fun of you? And how does your family feel about the movies? Are they OK with that? Do you feel that the movies are a source of conflict between you and your family? Do your parents nag at you to shut off the TV and do something useful, or help out with chores?

Do the movies bring you joy? Are they a means of relaxing and recreation? What kind of recreational pursuits would you get involved in if you didn’t watch movies? I personally feel that watching a movie every day is not excessive. Many people love movies, and if they are uplifting and inspiring to you, why not watch them?

Do you have any skills involving movies? Perhaps your interest in films is indicative of your vocation. My daughter is a professional stage manager in California, and throughout her childhood and teen years, she was always interested in plays, opera, ballet, etc. Could it be possible that God is calling you to a career in film or theater? There are lots of theater professions other than acting. Some examples are writing (screenplays and stage plays, as well as television scripts), lighting, sound, set design, stage management, makeup, costuming, carpentry, etc.

Or perhaps it’s the romances that are helping you to find your vocation. Have you ever thought about writing a romance novel? (I realize that if you are young, this might be kind of difficult if you haven’t experienced a romance yet!) Or perhaps there is some other kind of writing that you would be good at.

Or maybe God wants you to be a psychologist or counselor, and help people who are having romance problems.

Or perhaps God is calling you to be married and have a nice husband and children, and live a quiet life of being in love with your husband and raising your children up well. That is a beautiful vocation, and maybe the romance films are helping your to long for this vocation. I personally think that you would be better to turn off the fantasy romances and instead, spend time with other young people, both girls and boys, to learn to interact with real people. But I don’t see any harm in an occasional romance movie.

Are you in good shape? Does watching the movies prevent you from working out and eating well, or do you work out while you are watching the movies? I’m asking this because you should probably plan to be in good shape for your future vocation, whatever it is. There are very few vocations that are easier if you are out of shape, obese, and unhealthy. Marriage and childbearing are easier if you are in shape and at a normal weight.

I hope that some of these questions from a mom (with two grownup girls) will be helpful to you.

It’s certainly not a foregone conclusion that those who frequently watch romance movies will not respond to their true vocation, but I’m sure it is possible.

You can always do a sort of “test”. It’s not like it is a choice between never watching another such movie for the rest of your life vs. watching one a day every day and twice on Sunday. Set a goal. Tell yourself you won’t watch any such movies between now and the end of the year (or between now and Thanksgiving or whatever seems manageable to you…though I’d recommend going for at least a month).

Whatever time you would have devoted to watching those movies, spend that time in prayer instead asking for guidance on your vocation. God will take care of you. :slight_smile:

It’s not bad to watch romance movies (stick to the G - PG13 kind), but you shouldn’t be watching them to avoid thinking about or moving forward on your vocation. A spiritual advisor will be able to help you sort things out and discern a religious vocation, if you think you might have one.

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