Dating Realizations: When It Comes To Crushes, I Self-Sabotageby Chiara Atik on May 13, 2020
Last night, I put on a hoodie and a pair of dark sunglasses and went to see "Something Borrowed," the new chick flick starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson. (Brief pause for a quick review: It was so disappointing, and hard to understand the motivations behind the characters, and made me want to watch the trailer for "Friends With Benefits" on loop because that would have satisfied my chick flick craving better.)
Anyway! Despite how disappointing the movie was (On a scale of "13 Going on 30" to "The Ugly Truth", it was probably a "Valentine's Day"), I did find myself relating to one aspect of Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin)'s personality: her tendency to just 'give up' on guys she thinks are out of her league.
In the movie, Rachel falls in love with the dashing and charming Dex. But she's shy, and despite the fact that he's sending some pretty strong signals, she won't let herself believe that he could be interested in her. When he finally asks her out (is it a date? is it just "hanging out"? It's hard to tell!), her (hot, blonde, confident) friend Darcy crashes. The scene unfolds basically like this:
DARCY (to Dex)
When are you going to ask Rachel out on a REAL date?
(freaking out, not wanting to be overly suggestive)
Dex and I are just friends!!!
Fine. Then ask ME out!
Rachel, then -- for fear of reading the wrong signals, for fear of being rejected, for fear of having to compete with her confident, go-get-em friend -- goes into self-preservation mode and pretends to be perfectly fine with the situation. Even when asked. Because, (as Rachel sees it), Darcy will always get the guy, so why even fight it?
As I watched this scene, in the middle of this relatively mediocre film, I felt a tightening in my chest. Because how many times had I done that exact same thing? See a guy at a bar, and then lose interest the second he's approached by another girl? Immediately drop all claims on a mutual friend the second another friend thinks he's cute? Basically, be completely unwilling to fight for someone -- because while he may be worth the fight, you aren't sure you are.
In the movie, Dex DOES go out with Darcy, but it's pretty clear it's been Rachel for him all along. This is one part of the movie that is highly unrealistic: in real life, a guy isn't going to secretly hold out a candle for you. A guy is going to sense you're uninterested, and then completely, permanently move on. Why should he secretly hold out for you, if you aren't showing any interest, and another perfectly nice girl is?
I'm not going to spoil the highly predictable ending of the movie here, but let's just say that if Rachel and Dex didn't end up together, but she had learned not to immediately back down, I would have still considered it a happy ending.
As for me, it's unrealistic to suddenly see the issue and say "From now on, I'll be different!" But this movie, for all its cliches, definitely opened my eyes to a behavior I know I'm subject to. And for that lesson, $13 + popcorn is a price I'm glad I paid.
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