I sympathize with the main character in 500 days of summer.
And many men should be able to do so.
The guy goes through what every guy deals with when they are disillusioned by romance. Personally, I think every man goes through similar issues throughout their time of dating people.
You look around and your heart flutters, catching the eye of the woman you like. She turns and smile at you and then your heart really fails; heart transplant is needed. You think to yourself, “Man, I really like her. We like the same stuff. Blah blah blah. I think we’ll be great together.”
Sounds like a typical thought process of someone infatuated with another person. Not to viciously bash on puppy love, BUT some disclaimers need to be made. With the limited knowledge gained from my short span of living here, I realize that real relationships typically do not start off on that foot. And if they did, there would be something far deeper than fluttery heart failures that would keep the relationship going. Common cause, like-mindedness, common relationships, like-minded philosophies, same callings to life, etc. It seems like there’s always something that unites strong relationships together.
Yet, there is a point where it all starts; where one side asks the other to become a deeper part of their lives. This is what “Defining The Relationship” is about.
So, you see a person and you like him/her. However, just as you have the privilege of asking him/her out, he/she has the privilege to refuse/accept.
Just because you like someone does not automatically make them yours. They can reject you AND they are not obligated to give you a reason.
And that’s the way it is!
It’s quite interesting to say that and receive appalled reactions from people. “How can you say that?” “That’s being insensitive!”
Did you know that the dating phenomenon is unique to THIS half of the century? Typically, guys/gals did NOT engage in dating-like activities in the past [probably the closest is “courtship”, which is a whole ‘nother entry worth of stuff to write].
The typical pattern of love-relationships in the past has been marrying first and then hoping for love afterwards. Some of these, there may have been love that was developed before marriage, but dating was not how it was developed. We also see that adultery, rather than pre-marital sex, was the bigger issue of the time. Hence, there are many portions of Scripture that is vehemently against adultery; it was a large issue at the time.
The “dating revolution” gives people a unique privilege that was unheard of before. The ability to “choose” your potential spouse is a unique entitlement in our day. Hence, acceptance/rejection comes with this privilege.
When a man initiates and asks a woman out, the woman has the choice to accept or decline his invitation.
It is her prerogative to choose and she doesn’t have to tell you why she chose.
She just has to choose.
[IF she does tell you WHY/WHY NOT, then you are blessed beyond belief]
Just as a man has the privilege to choose WHO to ask out, the woman has the privilege to choose WHO to go out with.
For an example, you like a person a lot. You invite her to your life. She declines [or even better, she does not respond to your invitation]. You feel bummed. Later that week, you see her going out with another guy. Evidently, she likes the other guy.
The natural response is to feel mopy and sad about your forlorn luck with the opposite gender. Bitterness and depression commence.
BUT that is self-centered and it completely misses a major point. Does she not have the same privilege to reject you, especially if you exercised the privilege to ask her out?
PS: On some portions, I use “him/her” or “he/she.” This isn’t to support feminism or anything like that; I personally believe in masculine leadership. HOWEVER, in the realm of dating, there CAN be extenuating circumstances where the gal has to step in and make the guy notice.
PPS: There are other extenuating circumstances where a guy HAS to DTR with a gal because either side has invested so much time & heart into the relationship and boundaries/status have to be redefined/reestablished. This messy aspect of DTR is worth TWO entries of stuff to write.