Why Do People Love Fake Dating Tropes, Like The One in ‘Marry Me’? Story

In Marry Me, pop star Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) is supposed to get married on stage to singer Bastian (Maluma), when she discovers he’s been cheating on her.

Instead, on the rebound, she decides to marry a random high school teacher in the audience, Charlie (Owen Wilson). After that impulsive moment, they decide to spend a few months of photo ops for publicity purposes. But they get to know each other and…well, you know the rest.

The reason you know the rest is that this is a standard rom-com trope. The fake relationship that turns into a real relationship is a staple of the genre, from Pretty Woman 

(in which a rich guy pretends he’s in love with a *** worker and then falls in love with the *** worker) to the first season of Bridgerton (in which a pretend romance for mutual social benefit becomes a real romance—for even more social benefit). 

And there are lots of other examples: Green Card, The Proposal, 10 Things I Hate About You, Decoy Bride—not to mention a slew of romance novels.  

Which raises the question, why is this such a popular trope? Why exactly do romance fans love seeing pretend love turn into real love?