Why Romantic Grand Gestures Aren’t So Grand
The problem with grand gestures is that all too often they’re just that — gestures.
I’ve always found it funny that romantic comedies end with grand gestures. Call me cynical (which you probably do each time you read my articles), but I can’t help imagine the couple going home, making dinner, and pissing each other off in all the same ways they did before the guy stopped the plane to win the woman back. Why? Because a person doesn’t just make a complete and permanent transformation over night. I’ve learned this first hand many times.
I dated a guy once who would forget to call me for a week, ask me to do things at the very last minute and, even then, wouldn’t drive twenty minutes to see me. Yup. I drove out there each time. (One of those things you do when you’re young and you have yet to realize it gets WAY better than this.) Anyhoo, I dumped him, and not long after college took me to a town two hours away.
One day, just settling into my new home, I get a call. It’s him. I’m on my way to see you.
I was, as any girl would be, floored. I was gushing with emotions. I felt like I was getting my personal movie moment. And it was nice while it lasted … on the street, on the steps to my apartment, and to my bed. One week later, no word. A midnight text: lunch tomorrow? No word ‘til 3pm “tomorrow.” I got caught up in stuff.
And that’s when I said oh f*cking forget it.
When you break up with a guy, you can lay it all out on the table. You can tell him each and every thing he did wrong and he might even get it! Or if he doesn’t, he might put in a teensy bit of effort to get it when he’s lonely a few weeks later after a few drinks. Just the way you put a teensy bit of effort into studying those pretentiously enormous words before the SAT because you realized, oh shoot! My life may not go the way I want it to if I don’t pass this!
But let me ask you something. Do you use any of those SAT words today? Probably not. And a guy might sit down, go back in his mental notes, and memorize each and every one of your criticisms before showing up at your door to say I’m so sorry. You were right. I totally was _______, _________, and I never did ________.
But, let’s face it, people who are intelligent about humans and emotions are a lot more impressive than those who are book-smart. And a guy simply can’t fake having that first kind of intelligence, no matter how many notes he writes on the back of his hand to call girlfriend.
I know it’s tempting to take him back when he makes the grand gesture. But try this. Tell him he can do all the things he has promised to do, every day, for a few months without you actually taking him back. See how far the grand gesture actually extends.
Julia Austin is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers travel, lifestyle and love+sex for a number of media outlets including Discovery’s PlanetGreen, LipGlossCulture.com, and QuickieChick.com, a site dedicated to giving busy women quick and easy workouts, recipes and lifestyle tips to better their body and mood. When she isn’t writing she is planning her next trip or sharing dating stories with her friends at happy hour.