Sunday, January 3, 2010

500 Days of Everyone I've Ever Dated

Yesterday I bought the movie "500 Days of Summer." Hands down one of the best movies of last year (ha, weird to say that now).

If you haven't seen it, please do! It's not your typical romantic comedy - very original and just done in a really cool way. There's no other way to describe it.

The thing that resonated with me most when I watched it is how much I can relate to the main character, Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He basically falls for a girl named Summer, who is closed off from most people and keeps him at arm's length pretty much for the entirety of their relationship (which she barely even calls a relationship herself).

She and Tom have amazing chemistry - they like a lot of the same music and movies, and they have a good time when they're together. Everything from the outside looks like these 2 are perfect for each other. But then it ends suddenly (don't worry, I'm not giving the movie away - the break up is in the trailer), and Tom is left wondering what went wrong. He replays the whole relationship in his head, trying to determine why the relationship ended and how he can get her back.

The part that really got to me is when he thinks back on a few encounters of theirs, and to the audience, everything looks all peachy keen. Then he looks back again and realizes little signs that he overlooked before - she doesn't take his hand when he tries to hold it one time, she gives him a blank look when he tries to joke with her, she tries to cut their date short, saying she's tired.

Hello! This Tom character is ME, and Summer is practically every guy I've been in a relationship with! In my view, everything seems perfect, but in reality, the guy is just not that into me and shows it through these small (and even large) signs that I've chosen to ignore. It's sad, but it is true, and this movie hits the nail on the head.

I think a lot about my last relationship, probably more than I should. Right after the break up, I racked my brain endlessly, searching for reasons - hell, a reason - why it ended. All of the elements were there - the chemistry, the witty banter, the laughing, the passion, the contentment with just being in each other's presence watching TV, the fun dates, the meeting of the families, the like-minded views on politics, values, morals and family. It was all there, and to me, he felt like my perfect match.

I don't mean to say he was perfect for me (because we all know perfection doesn't exist), but he was the absolute closest to this unexplainable idea I had in my head for who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I realized this fairly quickly after meeting him, and when we started dating, it was pure bliss. I'd never been happier in all my life.

The only flaw in the whole relationship was this bliss was mine and mine alone. I was in the relationship by myself, in a way. I was the giddy one, feeling those overwhelming emotions that you can never quite put into words. I know, in general, men move slower than women in the feelings department, so I gave it time, hoping he would come around and eventually express how he felt about me.

He never did.

To quote Tom in 500 Days, he says, "Either she's an evil, emotionless, miserable human being, or... she's a robot."

This was exactly my first reaction to the whole break up - if this guy has little to no feelings for me, he must be like a tin man with no heart whatsoever. I know this isn't true because he is a very kind person, but to go through everything he and I had and to still not know how how he felt about me just left me baffled, mystified, confused and heartbroken. It was the worst.

I wish things would have ended differently for us, I really do. But this is what I was dealt, and I need to just accept it. I'm a lot stronger today than I was a few months ago (not invincible, by any means, but small victories nonetheless). I'm still left baffled and mystified, but this time not about him - just about what the hell love actually is.

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