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For the love of God, don't be Tom Hansen.


I recently wrote this post, very reluctantly published it - I almost deleted all, but I held my breath published it, and then closed the tab pretending I never did. I can't quite put my finger on why I felt so on edge about hitting that publish button. It was personal, yes, but for somebody who carelessly published a post simply titled 'Sex' a few months back, that clearly is not an issue for me. It was about one specific person, yes, but it wouldn't hurt him, nor would he read it. I didn't want to publish it, because although I was having a bit of an "I need to be treated better by the guys I like" "I deserve all the effort" moment, both of which are true, I was also being, a bit of an asshole.


You can go ahead and read this post, or if it's a little long - I'll summarise, the post was a guy I liked, who was very on and off with me, the post was about how I deserve better, which of course, is true, I deserve the very best - nonetheless, I think there was something quite selfish in my thought process.


I was watching (500) Days of Summer when I had a bit of an epiphany. If you haven't watched that film you need to. To give you an insight into the movie - this is how the narrator opens:

"This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met "the one." This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total misreading of the movie 'The Graduate.' The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent's marriage, she'd only loved two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story."

Tom falls for Summer before he even really gets to know her, she tells him from the start she doesn't believe in love and wants casual. He then tries his hardest to get her back when he loses her. Although, technically he never had her. Yes, they dated, yes they had sex, but she was never his girlfriend.

I watched this film and felt like I could really relate to Tom Hansen. I am Tom Hansen. I believe in love, I believe in fate and I thought I'd found it. The other person just didn't agree with me - like Tom and Summer, and then, like a tonne of bricks, it hit me.

Tom Hansen is a dick.

He's selfish. Summer never wanted him. I mean casually yes, but for nothing more, and she did nothing to lead him to believe otherwise. Tom confronts her about the situation, he tells her:

"This is not how you treat your friend! Kissing in the copy room? Holding hands in IKEA? Shower sex? Come on! Friends my balls!"

Previously I would have applauded Tom for this (I reblogged it so many times back in my Tumblr days), however, relationships are not black and white. They should be, but there's not. Especially as a young adult, lines are slightly more blurred. I do believe if someone wants to be with you nothing will stop them. But there are those in-between relationships, where there's no future, but you can't be friends, you're more than that because you're attracted to each other in a romantic/sexual sense. And sometimes, you're not quite ready to cut them out of your life. Casual relationship are pretty common, a lot of people have friends with benefits, or have friends that are slightly more, or that person that with added vodka, you call, and kiss, and decide you'll be together forever and ignore the next morning. It's not as simple as you are single, or you are not.

So Tom is right that is not how you treat your friends, but just because you're not friends, but it does also not mean you're in a relationship when you're the only person who wants that. Sometimes it's difficult to find a label, and I think the main reason a lot of people want the label, is through insecruitity of not knowing where they stand, but that being said, if you are with the person who wants to be in a relationship you will very much from the start, know where you stand, there will be no questioning whether or not you are or will ever be together, because you're in a full on relationship.

It sucks to not have the security, but Tom knew the deal from the start. Summer told Tom she wanted casual - he wanted more, and that is not her fault. He's selfish, he thought of what he wanted throughout, never what she wanted. He's kept trying to win her over, which could be romanticised, but at the end of the day, people aren't prizes. You don't get one at the fair when you manage a decent throw.

The more I realised how much I disliked Tom character, the more I couldn't help but compare him to me, my situation. I have always known where I stand with this guy, I simply read into things how I wanted to. He's told me several times he never anything serious. Soberly, he never pretended to like me more than he did, and we all know drunk minds sure as hell do not speak drunk minds (seriously, the person who came up with that saying has issues). He's simply kissed me because we've never been just friends. But we've also never been anything more - so like Tom Hansen, I'd try to get him back, although never had him. He has never belonged to me. It doesn't matter how blue his eyes are, or that my heart melts a little when he  plays guitar, that sigh of relief I feel after seeing him for the first time in a while, or how wonderful his kisses are. All of these things, mean nothing as he doesn't want to be with me. He is not my property because I fancy him.

I think in wanting, I convinced myself to read into things how I wanted, which was wrongly. I  convinced myself he leads me on. He never pretended he wanted me. I just wanted him to.

It's time to stop being Tom Hansen, the world is full of enough selfish people already.
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