Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Groundhog Day" on Dating

The movie "Groundhog Day" doesn't seem like it would have a lot to really teach about dating, but think about it. It's one of HP's favorite movies, so we watch it every year on February 2nd. This year I've been thinking about it ever since.

At the beginning of the movie, Phil is the worst date ever. And he goes through several incarnations of bad date throughout the movie. He:

  • Thinks only of himself

  • Considers getting a date a conquest

  • Thinks only of what he can get out of a date

  • Uses manipulative techniques to "trick" women into thinking he likes them, which he found out by basically stalking them (although in this movie it comes across differently because he flat out asks them things on successive days)

  • Tries too hard to create "spontaneous" romantic moments. It's almost painful to watch the second night they build the snowman and see how hard he tries.

Now, granted, by the time he gets there he is starting to get better at the dating thing. A lot of times it's real cute when a guy tries that hard, to be romantic, but it's a fine line between cute and creepy. Trying to be spontaneous never goes well.

Of course he gets the girl in the end. And how does he do that? He stops thinking not just about himself, but also about how he can win the object of his affection. Instead he starts thinking about EVERYONE else around him. There's the tear jerking sequence where he tries to help the old man. He helps the kid who falls out of the tree, the old ladies with their tire, the man who chokes, all of that. He also works on improving himself. He expands his reading (which starts, admittedly, as a way to manipulate women). He learns new talents (piano playing).

He lives for someone other than himself. And it is that which makes him such a wonderful date. Which makes anyone, male or female, a good date.


Natalie said...

I find that my relationship is a happier one when I spend more time trying to meet my partner's needs and less time focused on what I'm missing. Doing more for him means he is appreciative and does more for me in return - it's a happy little circle.

I tagged you in 7 Facts award. If you want to play along, check it out here: Happy Saturday!