7 Relationship Lessons I Learned From Chick Flicks

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As guys, we are programmed genetically to despise most of the movies that women love, and vice versa. I get that. My buddies and I are not going to hop in a car on a Friday, and go see if Hugh Grant or Patrick Dempsey or Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling can get the girl.

But you know what? You know who women go to the movies to see? Hugh Grant or Patrick Dempsey or Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling, that’s who.

So I started asking myself, why am I trying so hard to avoid learning from the men that women so desperately want?

Women aren’t programmed like men. They aren’t wanting these guys because they are sweaty, shirtless towers of man meat with dreamy eyes. Oh, they may think they do, but they don’t. Often times, there are other men in the movie who pass the eye test too, but the women don’t line up to see them.

The real reasons they fall for these mythical movie mountains of masculinity, are the 7 lessons chick flicks taught me about relationships. (SPOILER ALERT: I refer to the endings of some movies in this blog. If you see “Spoiler Alert,” you may want to skip that part. Most movies are older, and you should have seen them by now anyway!!)

1. Pursue, Pursue, Pursue

I mean this in the nicest of ways, but women are simple creatures. We make them out to be this complex algorithm on a hallway chalkboard that not even an ex-juvenile delinquent janitor with the body of Adonis and the mind of Aristotle could solve. But they truly aren’t. They are human, and they want to know they are desired. What better way to show them, than the pursuit? How creative are you? How do they know you aren’t like one of the other 900 guys who just want them for a night? Do you just show up on her door step for the first date? Or do you show up in a rented Jaguar chauffeured by your tomboy best friend?

Do you want to stand out? Pursue her like no other guy has. There has never been a better example of the art of pursuit than this:

Diane Cort never had a chance.

**** IMPORTANT NOTE **** There is a small, but distinct difference between Creative and Creepy. One must find that delicate balance.

2. Be Real

How many times have we seen it in cinema? The guy spends about 75 minutes pretending to be something he’s not. Sure, the something he pretends to be is a hit with the ladies, perhaps even the leading lady. But, soon, she will find out that he actually IS the mean mega bookstore owner trying to put her out of business, and now he has to undo all the damage and make her love him for who he actually is. Guys, that’s a lot easier in a movie with the sole intention of getting these two people together. In reality, she probably won’t give you another chance. You may only have one shot. Shoot with who you actually are, not with someone you’ll have to spend the next 50 years pretending to be.

3. Never Feel Sorry for Yourself

Nobody likes a pity party. Not everything in your pursuit is going to go your way. Not everything in your relationship or your life is going to go your way. Don’t use your misfortunes as an opportunity to sit around and feel sorry for yourself, especially in front of or to the girl you’re pursuing.

She wants to know you have a strong spirit. She wants to know you will be that solid rock for her when she’s down. She doesn’t need to see you throwing a fit. Even if you look like Ryan Gosling, that’s difficult. It’s especially difficult if you look like Billy Crystal.

SPOILER ALERT: Harry bounces back. He realizes he’s not getting Sally if he stays in the depths of his despair. He caps it off in an epic show of not feeling sorry for yourself.

“You see? That is just like you, Harry. You say things like that and it makes it impossible for me to hate you!”

Even Billy Crystal gets the girl.

4. Put Her First

In the classic boy meets girl/boy loses girl story arch seen in most chick flicks, the #1 cause of boy losing girl is the boy’s inability to show that the girl is a priority in his life. We’ve seen it a million times. His job is more important. His hobbies are more important. His friends are more important. The fastest way to lose somebody important is to treat her with less importance than somebody else will. I’m not saying your work isn’t important. I’m just saying it can’t come at the expense of your lady, unless you want her to find someone else. Even if you’ve slipped into this category, it’s not too late. Just come up with a great speech like this.

5. Perseverance

Are you willing to fight for what you want? Are you willing to never give up the search? Sometimes things don’t go as planned and it takes blood, sweat and tears to see your relationship flourish. But that’s what women love. They want to know they’re worth fighting for. They want to know you see them as valuable enough, that you’ll turn over every last rock to find them, or help them, or love them, or forgive them, or just be with them. Persistence and perseverance are key to winning the girl in every good chick flick, even when all you have to go by is a name from years and years ago.

6. Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last

We see it over and over again, not just on the big screen, but in our lives. Women get wooed by man after man who never have their best interests at heart. And for some reason they fall for it time and time again. Maybe they like the danger, maybe the “bad boy” image appeals to them. But what always happens? It gets old. They get tired of being hurt, and here comes our nice guy hero to save the day. In other words, they all want to spend the rest of their lives with the nice guy. That’s not a bad place to be!

Ok, that scene has nothing to do with the nice guy getting the girl, but it’s my favorite scene in the movie and makes me laugh every time. Anyway,  SPOILER ALERT, in that movie, the nice guy gets the girl after she finally figures out the dooshrocket is not for her.

7. Marry Her. Then….Keep pursuing. Keep Persevering. Keep Putting Her First. Keep Being Real. 

Have you noticed most chick flicks end with the guy and girl finally getting together, or the guy and girl finally getting married. But what happens next? How do you maintain what you worked so hard to establish? That’s just it, YOU have to maintain it. She fell in love with the nice guy who was pursuing, and persevering, and putting her first and being real. Don’t stop now! Go on dates, surprise her at her office for lunch. If you have to, each day, pretend you have to win her again today. Treat every moment as if she’s still trying to decide if you’re the one, even after you ARE the one. As I said, most movies end before we see this. But the best place to learn this lesson is, The Notebook. SPOILER ALERT!

So there you go. Stop being the guy who refuses to see chick flicks. From now on, look at them as teaching tools. I’m not suggesting we all get together and go watch Magic Mike, I’m just saying pay close attention when she asks you to watch one with her. You never know, maybe some day I’ll write a blog on what women can learn about guys by watching action movies.

Until then, Meg Ryan is your best friend.

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