Sometimes when you’re going through a break up you want to be molly coddled. Swathed in hugs and showered in tea and sympathy and to be told that everything is going to be okay as you wipe tears and snot up a dirty hoody sleeve that you wear simply because it smells like him. You watch movies or read books with happy endings and develop this Disney and Hollywood sense of “everything will work out okay in the end” because love prevails and will conquer all. But it doesn’t.
When I’m these moods I watch the likes of 10 Things I Hate About You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Pretty Woman because if love can conquer all when you’ve been dating someone for a dare/for a magazine article/when the person you’ve been dating is a hooker, then it’s pretty likely that you and your beau can overcome your current circumstance/problems and work it out.
Sometimes you need a dose of realism and cynicism when it comes to love, relationships and breakups rather than putting faith in HAPPY EVER AFTER.
Not all relationships end up being great love stories, instead they may only exist as a story about love and breakups and the mess in between… 500 Days of Summer is one of these stories. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn’t. The end.
500 Days of Summer doesn’t sugarcoat all that crush, love and break up crap, it tells it how it is. Butterflies in the stomach exciting, dancing in the park happy, overwhelming, perfect, blissful, hard, messy, unfair, so f*cking diabolical that you wish you could lock yourself in a cupboard and never have to see anyone for weeks and so hard. It’s a film which instead of a rollercoaster of emotions it throws you up and down and side to side through like a Sizzler at a fairground through a back and fourth recap of the 500 days that Tom spends with/around Summer.
10 Stages of a Relationship
(with 500 Days of Summer)
The “Meet Cute”. If you’ve seen the supposed to be Christmas film but it passes all year round “The Holiday” starring a plethora of stars such as K-Wint, J- Law and C-Diaz you’ll have heard of the “meet cute”. A meet-cute is a scene in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. Also known as “the moment you lay eyes on eachother and you realise that you have to have eachother.
We’ve all (I hope) experienced that blissful feeling of really connecting with another human being. When your interests and sense of humour are the same, you like the same music, you text eachother at the same time and during the moments you spend together you can’t help but avoid the flashing “MEANT TO BE” signs. Your usual pessimistic feelings around soul mates and serendipity melt away because you’re sinking into that gooey “love” stage and everything just seems to be perfect as you fall into that “couple” kind of lifestyle.
The breakup. Awkward.
When you first break up with someone (especially the dumped) it’s easy to look back on the relationship with glasses that are rose tinted. The holding hands in IKEA, shower sex and liking all the same bizarro crap leaves you crying into your pillow, wondering where it all went wrong while punctuating your loo breaks with trips to the shop to buy Jack Daniels and edibly pastries. Sometimes it’s important to really look back, see the bad stuff as well as the good stuff, I don’t know, make like Ross Gellar when he has to choose between Rachel and Julie and make a list.
After the sobbing and banshee style wailing comes the unadulterated hatred. The blasting of Kelis “I hate you so much right now”, wishing grievous bodily harm on them, decided that all those things you once loved about that person you now hate. Their haircut, their face, the sound of them breathing? The hatred part can last for days, weeks even. Even hearing their name in passing can make your blood boil and your hands sweat. Don’t worry, you’re not a psycho: this is a key part of trying to get them out of your system. Begin to worry if you consider arson or murder or anything in the same “illegal crime” bracket.
When the overwhelming anger and the hurt subsides and you begin thinking rationally, you begin to formulate a “get them back” plan (unless you just hate them, period, and never want to see them again). Plans may involve grand gestures of love such as a Spotify playlist, a love email or happening upon them at a mutual friends celebration (weddings work well) and hoping they fall for your charm all over again. Standing outside their window may wind up in an harassment/stalking case so are not advisable.
Films and TV shows have depicted that these grand gestures of love work. Tap into your sensitive side, find your romantic bone and love will prevail. We’ve all seen the films where they split up, they listen to sad music, she tells him she’s moving to the other side of the word, he doesn’t care… UNTIL THE VERY LAST SECOND and he faces a race against time to stop her at the airport and beg her to stay, and she does. That’s the movies and our expectations are usually flattened by reality. That’s why when you’re planning your grand gesture it’s important to think: Will this really work? Have they moved on? Will they laugh in my face? If you’ve answer yes to more than one of those questions, you should probably go back to the hating stage. Soz.
Realisation dawns and your rose tinted glasses are smashed on the floor just like your poor beating heart. Those tell tale signs of the end is nigh become clear: the constant bickering over nothing at all, the way your future plans were on oppposite spectrums of eachother, how he said tomato and you said tomata…
…and you think back to one of the first things they said to you about their take on love and relationships and realise that if you had let that overrule the feeling in your pants, you wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.
I know it’s a “touchy feely” theory and it feels like you should be paying by the hour whilst lay on your back in a psychiatrists officebut closure really does help the healing process. Over coming the longing and hatred for another person until you reach the stage of indifference towards them is an important part of moving on.
Until the whole process begins again.
“Tom: What happened? Why – why didn’t they work out?
Summer: What always happens. Life.”