When I first saw the film "He's Just Not That Into You" one of the main points really struck a chord.
"You are not the exception – you are the rule".
The film rightly suggests that men generally behave in a predictable way and, as much as we women like to make excuses, we should save ourselves the heartache and assume that if a man isn't behaving in certain ways that he just not that into us.
If you haven't seen the film yet, I highly recommend it.
For me and most of my girlfriends ‘you are not the exception, you are the rule’ has become a basic mentality that saves us from humiliation and keeps us relatively sane.
‘You are not the exception, you are the rule’ means you don’t spend endless hours wondering what could have been with a Michael, James or Daniel (see previous blogs.) Instead you just move on with the firm assurance that an-ex-is-an-ex-for-a-reason and you are better off without him.
But what happens when you meet a Craig?
Craig is the guy who appears when you least expect it. Craig is a gentleman. Craig has an amazing personality. Craig has a jaw-dropping physique. Craig is well educated, driven, passionate. Craig would be difficult to say no to. And most importantly, despite his notably impressive CV, Craig is genuine.
So when we meet a Craig is the determination to believe ‘I am not the exception, I am the rule’ really the right mentality to have or does it just push him away?
Have women (ok, maybe just me) used this ‘exception / rule’ malarkey as an impenetrable defense against letting someone in who just might be into us?
How many times have we hidden our hearts behind the idea that it is better to be safe than it is to be foolish? Have we stubbornly rejected a potential chance at romance in order to steer clear of failure? Have we settled for the radiator rather than the real fire? (Let’s face it, an open log fire is much more romantic than a radiator – but it takes real effort to light and carries far more risks!)
The more I’ve thought about this, the more I recognise my own tendency to take calculated risks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for living life to the extreme; mountain climbing, cliff-jumping, deep sea diving - you name it, I’ve probably done it. But these are all relatively safe bets. Sure, it’s brave to sky dive or bungee jump but with all the safety controls in place, it’s really not that risky.
True risk is when we’re not sure of the outcome and we jump anyway.
I’m not suggesting you should be foolish, but I do believe that there are some risks worth taking.
As C.S. Lewis says ‘To love is to be vulnerable’, sometimes you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone.
We need to accept that anytime we allow ourselves to fall for someone, we risk the chance of failure. There is always a possibility of disappointment and rejection.
Rejection is understandably a massive taboo to the single girl, but it shouldn’t be. Failure, disappointment and rejection are all part of a healthy life. Rather than running away from it, we should embrace it, learn from it.
We need to stop seeing rejection as a failure and start seeing it as a step forward to meeting Mr. Right.
There are about 61.7 million people in the UK, and half of those are men – 30 million or so. Let’s say you’re picky and only 1% are the right age, social demographic and height. That leaves a mere 300,000 to choose from. Now let’s say you’re really picky and they have to live reasonably close to you and have a degree – which is only 1% of the 300,000.
So, even if your selectivity renders 99.9% of the UK’s population undateable, that still leaves 3000 men to choose from.
To put that into perspective, that’s 1 man for every week of your life.
Honestly, you’re probably going to be rejected by quite a few, but that just means there’s one less player on the table. And, consequently, you are one step closer to finding Mr. Right.
If you look at it this way, getting rejected is only ever a good thing.
I'm not encouraging anyone to play Russian roulette with your heart and emotions because maybe Hollywood is right and none of us are the exception.
I’m simply saying; she who dares, wins.
The question for each of us to ask is whether the ride is worth the fall. Whether a Craig is worth the risk of failure?
I guess the only way to weigh up the risk factor is to truly assess the situation. Next time you meet a Craig, ask yourself a few simple questions:
Is Craig fun? Is this easy? Am I enjoying myself? And is Craig making an effort?
If the answer is yes, then maybe showing the real you might not be bad idea.
Maybe giving Craig an inch (excuse the obvious innuendo) might not necessarily result in him taking a mile, or your heart for that matter.
Try being vulnerable. Open. Honest.
Maybe you can have your cake and eat it x