I have a slightly guilty pleasure; don’t tell the bride and a constantly changing selection of mills and boon. This combined with the not so guilty but just as pleasurable collection of rom-com chick flicks on my shelves would make an alien observer use the word ‘obsessed’ to describe my relationship with love and relationships – and I’m not alone.
Every girl I know has at least one chick-lit paperback on her shelves, several films of the rom-com persuasion and a delight in discussing and dissecting relationships – their own and other peoples. Which is why very few relationships stand the test of time; everyone is searching for perfect as opposed to perfectly acceptable.
I’ve just watched ‘The accidental husband‘ (again) and while I truly enjoy the film it does show just why a lot of relationships are doomed to failure and why some people hardly stand a chance even before the thought of a relationship can take place.
Uma Thurman (oddly gorgeous) is a radio ‘love doctor’ offering one-sided advice based upon the snippets of information provided about a relationship by her listeners. Colin Firth is the the intelligent, dependable and handsome man she’s engaged to marry. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the ruggedly gorgeous fly in her otherwise perfect future.
Now, right there – before telling you about the plot of the film you can see the problem for most people; ‘gorgeous’ and ‘handsome’.
About 10% of the population fall into the gorgeous category the rest of us have to middle along with descriptions like pretty, cute, plain or downright ugly – the occasional ‘striking’ may feature but on the whole we’re average and worried about it; which is why we bankrupt ourselves to overcompensate with balms, lotions, hairstyles, clothing, accessories, fancy cars, the latest tech and other mainly meaningless trappings.
So every day from birth we’re bombarded with the message that to find true happiness with another you have to be gorgeous or at the very least good looking – and good looking all depends on the latest crop of models and celebrities on show; people who have a stable of helpers to make them look the way they do practically every day of the week. Who has that kind of help in real life?
I mean.. Good looking is subjective really; look at the guy playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight films; people are going gaga over him but for me he does nothing. I can’t understand how he got picked for a part that calls for ‘unearthly beauty’ but there you go – I don’t bother with potions, lotions, hairstyles and accessories to try and look good 90% of the time either so perhaps there’s a link.
..Anyway – back to my point (I do have a point, stick with me)
In the film Uma dumps her solid, dependable, perfectly acceptable, attractive fiancee at the alter (well, actually he does the intelligent thing and bows out amicably because he is, after all, almost perfect) and goes for the impulsive, sensitive,reliable, fun-loving, family oriented, misunderstood hero instead. The GORGEOUS impulsive, sensitive, reliable, fun-loving, family oriented, misunderstood hero.
Thereby reinforcing the ‘fact’ that every woman deserves to find the fairytale man. Who doesn’t exist. (..and the rich gorgeous, vulnerable yet strong, fun-loving female stereotype for the guys is just as rare)
I’m guessing if she’d been poor then he’d have been rich as well but because she makes a good living it’s ok for him to be poor; I can’t recall a rom-com where both hero and heroine are poor and struggling to make ends meet without some kind of lottery win easing the way for true love.
This is what makes ‘Dont tell the bride’ such compelling watching; the main reason most of these couples apply to the show is because they can’t afford to get married without the £12,000 injection the show gives them.
None of the women trust the guy to do a good job because they’re either terrible with money, planning or just plain lazy (or all three) but they love the guy and really want him to prove them wrong – to rise to the occasion and show that they can be relied on; otherwise it’s an omen for the rest of their lives and confirmation that they have to really think about what they’re planning to do.
From watching this show I can say no man will ever pass the test with flying colours – at best they’ll scrape through on emotion and the brides ability to accept and work around perceived faults; because, lets face it, if you can’t do that you’re not really in love with the other person are you? ..and this works both ways; it’s not always the man who’s at fault you know.
No-one is perfect, no-one will ever tick all the boxes for you. You just have to decide which qualities are the deal breaker for you and work around the rest. This was really evident in the latest episode of the show, Kayliegh very nearly broke off the relationship completely because Simon failed SPECTACULARLY. It was edge of seat viewing I assure you. I’ve never seen a more clueless groom (he trusted the budget to a roulette wheel ffs!) That’s the first time I’ve honestly thought the wedding wouldn’t go ahead.
What was interesting to me was Stef’s view of the show; he’d not looked at it as a test of the man by the bride – he saw it as all about the money and being on TV and any woman who broke off the relationship because he screwed up the wedding was shallow and didn’t value the sanctity of marriage – a good show was more important to her than the relationship.
He seemed just as stunned with my view as I was his – which highlights how difficult maintaining a relationship is for anyone because no viewpoint will ever mesh unless it’s discussed and both sides understood.
The deal breakers for me are an inability to communicate, gambling and mind games; which is why Stef is perfect for me – none of the above apply but the qualities I admire the most; intelligence, humour, sensitivity and affection, do.
(..and yes dear – MANLY too; sensitivity does not detract from your machismo I assure you *kisses the guns*)