Breaking Down The Break-Up

Last night we watched “The Break-Up“. It was a DVD I had chosen. This morning things are a little contemplative in this place. It may or may not be because of the movie.

(And yes, I am about to talk about the movie and there may be someone out there who hasn’t seen the movie but is reading this blog post. If you don’t want the movie spoiled in any way, shape or form then please do not read this post.)

I guess we are all familiar with the Hollywood formula. Guy meets Gal, they fall in love, they have some major (usually stupid) issue, they break up, madcap misadventures ensue, they make up, they make out, they live happily ever after, the end.

The Break Up follows the formula up to a point. Guy and Gal just never make it to the ‘make up, make out’ part. They may or may not make it to the ‘hapily ever after part’ though.

Reading the Memorable Quotes on IMDB, the following dialogue made me sit up and take notice:

Brooke: I just don’t know how we got here. Our entire relationship, I have gone above and beyond for you, for us. I’ve cooked, I’ve picked your shit up off the floor, I’ve laid your clothes out for you like you’re a four year old. I support you, I supported your work. If we ever had dinner or anything I did the plans, I take care of everything. And I just don’t feel like you appreciate any of it. I don’t feel you appreciate me. All I want is to know, is for you to show me that you care.

Gary: Why didn’t you just say that to me

Brooke: I tried. I’ve tried.

Gary: Never like that, you might have said some things that meant to imply that, but I’m not a mind reader…

I’m not saying I’m Brooke, because I am not, but it’s that last line of Gary’s that is the lesson for me.

Both of us have a tendency, I think, of not quite saying what we really think and feel. We go quiet on each other and because neither of us are mind readers, we tend to assume the worst about what the other is thinking.

I know the movie is called The Break-Up and that is exactly what it is about but there were times when I wished the two of them would just sit down and talk about stuff instead of resorting to the stupid tactics (that are ever so successful in formulatic romcoms) that just do not work in the real world.

Him and I need to talk more, something we both have to work on.

At the end of the movie they bump into one another on the street and sure it’s a little awkward but not in the ‘I’m still bitter and angry’ way. They smile, they’re polite, they talk of getting together and though a part of me would like to believe that they may just get together one day I think it’s more realistic that they might be friends and occasionally hang out together but the romantic relationship is gone and both have moved on.

And how is that not a happy ending?

We talked about it last night and I said something along the lines of ‘we think of happiness as this permanent state of being when maybe happiness is just moments in time’. And if we string enough of those moments together then maybe it does seem like something permanent.

Relationships, whether they work out or not, teach us about ourselves. I have written about this before, about how one defines a successful relationship but I don’t think I am any closer to an answer. Yet if I look back on all my romantic relationships there is a little something new I learned about myself.

Those things, those bits of knowledge, allow me to work on becoming a better person, better by my own definition and for my own benefit. I have to be a better person for me because I will never be able to meet everyone’s expectations. When it’s just me I have to be able to look in the mirror and see the person inside, like and love the person inside, be proud and happy to be the person inside.

In the end it wasn’t a bad movie. It educated and entertained me and I got to write about a break-up that is not my own but taught me something anyway; not a bad use of a Friday night.


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