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'500 Days of Summer': Knowing where you are in a relationship

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, Calif.
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

"(500) Days of Summer"


Out of all of the Pinterest quotable pins, the one that should be pinned the most is a quote from the 2009 film "(500) Days of Summer":

Every day you make me proud, but today you get a card.

In the film, Tom (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has a way with words as a copywriter. But knowing the right words to stop playing the uphill and downhill battle with his love interest Summer (played by Zooey Deschanel) is exhausting to watch.

Probably everyone has met a Summer at least once in their lives. This is the person who starts off the flirty introduction with, "I'm not looking for anything serious." And no matter how many times this person says it, the other person thinks he can change her mind. But what's the point of trying to change someone's mind who has less interest in you than you do in her? Would this energy be put to better use if utilized with someone who is just as receptive to your need for both mental and physical satisfaction?

Majority of the movie is filled with Tom putting in all the initiative to create a relationship and Summer doing everything to rebel against him. And it's not until the "Expectations" versus "Reality" screen split that the way Tom is being treated sinks in by him -- the moment when he finally is able to see his relationship with Summer the way the rest of the world sees it. Going nowhere. And then he walks away.

Whether you're going through a breakup or remembering this type of breakup, "(500) Days of Summer" gives a much needed laugh to both groups. The robe scene of Tom wearing a robe and buying orange juice, whiskey and Twinkies is worth many laughs. And there are a bunch of funny moments, including the beginning "fictional" disclaimer and the sympathy card meeting, like this through the whole film.

Watch the movie to smile about how you got over someone like Summer. Watch the film to laugh until you cry along with Tom, and then realize it's time to take the robe off and put on clothes. Or, watch the film to just point and laugh at him so hopefully you'll never be him. "(500) Days of Summer" is a win for everyone -- except Jenny Beckman of course.


Additional Relationship Tips:

Mistake #1 for Tom: Tom and Summer are on their way to a movie and Tom is frazzled in the car. He wants to know his relationship status with Summer. She just wants to see a film. He asks what their status is, and she is indifferent and wonders why does it matter.

Tip #1: If one person seems content with the way the relationship is going while the other is completely unfulfilled, it makes sense to air your grievances or state an ultimatum. But be prepared to be shut down. And if you do give someone an ultimatum, stick to it. Otherwise you'll look like a joke the next time you try the same action.

Mistake #2 for Tom: After another guy at a bar underestimates Tom and thinks Summer can't possibly be on a date with him, he tries to flirt with her right in front of Tom. Tom has enough of the disrespectful comments and hits him. And after the fight is over, Summer isn't thrilled with him joking about the slow-fast fight. He thinks he is defending her. She thinks he is being overbearing. He demands that their relationship be more than just friends. She says it is not. But later that night, during a pretty sexy slow-walking, rainy scene, Tom goes to the door and Summer wants some affection. But she never acknowledges his boyfriend comment.

Tip #2: An argument that goes unresolved with intimacy still doesn't resolve the issue. And that same issue will come up again and again. In the film, Tom found out a limited amount about Summer, but she still never went past saying they were friends. She got what she wanted. He got nothing other than what she wanted. Meanwhile at work he's creating greeting cards that say, "I love us."

"Us" includes two people, and as long as both of you don't love "us," there's no point in dragging it out for a one-sided relationship.

Recommended Reading:

Movie Review: 'Miracle at St. Anna' (5 out of 5 stars)

Movie Review: 'Don Jon' (4.5 out of 5 stars)

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago dating, sex, marriage and work relationship entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Relationships channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Let's Talk About Sex...Health" Pinterest board.

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