Monday, April 15, 2013

Rules and Exceptions

The end of every love affair brings questions, confusion and hurt, especially when everything is going absolutely right (or so you thought) and then the other person quits you cold turkey, without so much as an explanation or even a word of good bye. Even if in your secret heart of hearts you knew when you began this affair that it would leave you irrevocably broken and your heart would be shattered in ways you didn't think possible; there is still the hope that this is the time you will be proved wrong...

In the midst of my sadness about RL on Saturday night, I turned on the tv and found myself watching "He's just not that into you," a movie that I've probably seen at least half a dozen times. I freely and readily identify with one of the main characters, Gigi (played by Ginnfer Goodwin). She is the hopeless romantic who is constantly finding herself in situations where she is over-analyzing every move the guys in her life make, making more of everything than it really means...everything to Gigi is a sign (side note: I apologize to all of my friends who listened to me go on and on about these "signs"). After one totally messed up date, she finds herself at a bar, where she meets Alex (played by Justin Long), a bartender who lays it all out on the table for Gigi about how men work. Now during or after every encounter with the opposite sex, Gigi calls or goes to see Alex to get his perspective. Through this experience, she slowly starts to learn not to read too much into experiences, to not see everything as a sign, and she learns that she is "the rule." Throughout the course of the movie, many of the characters explore the all too common trap that women fall into...believing that we are "the exception;" that somehow we are different and we will be the one to convince a man that he really does want to get married, or he really wants to be in a relationship, or he will stop cheating and be with only us or whatever it is. Part of this comes from our absorption of fairytales, romcoms, and other happily ever afters and part of it comes from actual real life experiences that we hear about (as Drew Berrymore's character in the movie says, "well, my sister has a friend who has a third cousin twice removed who it worked out for."

Whatever the reason, it is all too easy for me to believe that I will be the exception and my actions and words will work their magic, or more recently that God will open the other person's eyes and we will have our own fairytale ending. A while ago, I posted about Eat, Pray, Love and how I identified with Elizabeth Gilbert because she always sees the highest potential of men, instead of who they are at that moment. Yep-still true with RL, even though I was doing a remarkable job (compared to previous boys I dated) of taking his words at face value, not looking for hidden meanings, and being direct in my communication of needs and wants.

The scary part for me is that not only was I desiring to be RL's exception, but he was fast becoming mine. This man is my Kryptonite... I was completely willing to overlook character flaws and habits that have caused me to break up with other guys or not even consider dating them... that is an incredibly dangerous position to be in!

As Gigi says at the end of the movie (where of course she ended up being Alex's exception and living happily ever after)....
"Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up. If a guy punches you he likes you. Never try to trim your own bangs and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. Every movie we see, Every story we're told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe... it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is... just... moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope"
So, even after this debacle with RL, I will not give up, I will continue to have hope and I will trust that God has a better plan than I could ever imagine, even if it doesn't include a happy ending that I want.


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