If I could cut a scene in a movie…I mean cut it, make it bleed, and watch it wither and die… it would be this very scene.
Why, you ask? Because scenes like this feed into two of the most pervasive myths in romantic literature and movies: 1) That a person will suddenly wake up, apologize, and realize that we are the one for them and 2) That breaking up a wedding is the quintessential expression of love and romance.
Hollywood chick flicks have led many of us to believe that love and life is neatly tied up into 1.5 hours and that true love is characterized by a person who will travel around the world to find us after they let us go or who will go to any extent to prevent us from "making a mistake" by being with someone else.
Is it really love that would cause someone to destroy what is supposed to be the happiest day of our life...the day when expensive rings are purchased, personalized invitations are mailed, and a pastry chef spends two days making a wedding cake. The day when food is prepared for 200 people, florists import flowers, and people fly in from all over the country to attend the wedding.
Out of 365 days in the year, one person believes that this particular day is the only day to profess their love, so much so that they create a scene in front of hundreds of people, emotionally destroy the jilted bride or groom and waste the time of everyone who spent hours preparing to see a couple get married.
And yet someone stopping a wedding (and wasting someone else's money) is supposed to be our idea of love and romance. It is supposed to mean that they love you so much, that they can't bare to watch you spend your life with anyone but them.
But if we pried a little more into their emotions, we might see that they never even bothered to take anyone else's feelings into consideration, except their own. At the end of the day, they know that they can always have you back....and that's the thought that influences their actions.
Even without an imminent engagement or wedding, an emotional soft-spot can still be present in our world of dating. Most of us have experienced the random phone call after months or years of radio silence, the "I miss you" text message, or the email saying "I just want to know how you are doing." They lay the bait or trap and we fall for it...all the while hoping that just like the soap operas we watched, a person will awake from amnesia or a "love coma" and immediately be the person we were hoping they would be.
Hollywood chick flicks silently taught us that allowing someone to mistreat us, not appreciate us, or disrespect us, could all be forgiven with the words, "I'm sorry." We hold on to the idea that a person can suddenly wake up, apologize, and realize that we are the one for them. And then like Pretty Woman, they will show up with a dozen roses and a limo and we will live happily ever after.
So why would someone do this....why would they contact you after such a long time? Because it feels damn good to know that you have that much power and influence over someone's heart...And that you still have what it takes to send a tingle through their body.
What chick flicks don't teach you is that a healthy relationship doesn't force you to dream about a person realizing the error of their ways. They appreciate you now. They love you right now. And their actions match exactly what comes out of their mouths.
Instead of waiting for someone to realize that the way they treated you was wrong, focus your energy on understanding why you thought it was ever okay for you to accept pieces of them....a small part of what you really need in a relationship.
Stop settling for someone who thrives on control, drama, or the idea that they can have you back with sweet words and a few "I miss you's." Wait until someone comes around who realizes what they have right now, cherishes who you are at this very moment, and isn’t afraid to tell you what you mean to them. That kind of love puts all of the Hollywood chick flicks to shame and lasts a hell of lot longer.