You know that movie? It’s the one where the guy falls in love with the girl and because The Thing That Happened happened, she wants nothing to do with him. So he persists and persists until she gives up and gives in and they live happily ever after. You know that one?
AKA every chick flick that was ever produced?
Yeah. That’s bullshit.
In real life, if she was smart she’d take out a restraining order against the guy. And never speak to him again.
These movies do not show true love. These movies are Hollywood-produced examples of dysfunctional relationships. Except they get it backwards and the moral of each one is that ignoring boundaries and enabling narcissistic/obsessive
behaviour is the path to happily ever after. The woman is routinely gaslighted into believing she had misunderstood who he is so she gives him a chance.
That’s not what happens in real life. In real life, that leads to serious danger and pain- physical and emotional.
(This is the only way in which feminism has ruined me. I love chick flicks. I’m a sap at heart, but now that I understand power dynamics and healthy vs unhealthy dynamics, I can’t unsee it)
Lemme share an experience I had:
So there’s a guy (J)I used to go to church with. We met on Facebook years ago through a mutual friend who connected us due to our shared love for a certain hockey team (hey we’re Canadian 😉 ). I was just like, “oh. Random guy who likes the same hockey team I do. Okay”.
We friended each other and occasionally commented on posts/pictures but never developed an actual personal relationship.
One day, out of the blue, J messaged me. And we’ve never met at this point – we even lived in different cities and different provinces.
J said that he and a married couple he knows were going on a road trip to the states and asked if I wanted to come with them.
I got weirded out and said, “uhh I don’t know you, and I feel like it’d be very inappropriate for us to take what sounds like a couples trip across the border. So thanks, but no thanks”
He back tracks and says, “ohhh you misunderstood me. It’s a whole group of people going. Of course I wouldn’t just ask you out”
We went back to virtual silence aside from occasional public comments. I thought that awkwardness was behind us. Although he’d occasionally post flirty things on my wall that I ignored.
A year or two later I wind up moving to his city and I started attending his church (most of the people I know in this city attended that church so it was the natural choice for me). And J was dating someone at this point so I was convinced it was done. He not only stopped the awkward flirting, he gave me the cold shoulder when he saw me in person. Wouldn’t acknowledge me if I stood right beside him.
Several months later, I attended a small group meeting that J’s girlfriend had decided to drop in on (Neither J not his girlfriend belonged to my small group, she was friends with the leaders) and I caught her staring at me constantly. I thought I had something on my face and kept trying to find ways to subtly check.
Less than a week later, I found out they broke up because she came to me and she told me they broke up (I thought that was weird because we’d barely ever had a real conversation before) and suddenly became extremely clingy with me and wanted to discuss it and be bffs. I blocked her because it was too much.
And somewhere in there, J unfriended me. We hadn’t talked since before they started dating so that on its own wouldn’t have meant anything to me. But the unfriending and the suddenly clingy ex-girlfriend made me think I was somehow a factor in their breakup. I still don’t understand what happened, and I don’t want to know.<
e waits a few months and refriends me.
And then pretty quickly asks me if I want to go for coffee with him sometime. I tell him, "no. I'm not interested in dating you and I think if we ever hang out, it needs to be only in group settings"
He said "ohh I agree with you! I wasn't asking you out! I just wanted to get together to plan <mutual friends> birthday party (this particular friend's birthday had taken place weeks earlier). I told him to go talk to the friend's brother if that's what he really wanted and leave me out of it.
Fun fact: I went to my group leader who knew this guy, and told him all of this and how uncomfortable he made me feel. His response? "Well he does seem to be acting a little inappropriately. But he's not a bad guy. Give him a chance!"
If I had not listened to my intuition and given him a chance, I would have ended up in an emotionally abusive situation. Here is a passive aggressive individual who cannot handle rejection or opposition, so his immediate reaction is to gaslight rather than accept what has been said.
That's "a bad guy". That's a very bad and dangerous guy.
And want to hear something really disturbing? He's not the only "creepy guy" in my past I could use as an example. In fact every woman reading this likely has at least one, if not multiple creeps of their own they could talk about.
Wouldn't it be nice if unhealthy/obsessive power dynamics stopped being the romantic example of what we should expect? I'd love to see the day to day model of love become healthy boundaries, respect, and consent (going both ways).
But until that happens: ladies, always listen to your intuition. There are too many creeps out there who think that Hollywood is the expert on relationships.