Besides arguably having the best soundtrack in animated Disney history, (Thank you for your service to the world, Phil Collins.) Jane and Tarzan are a prime example of what can happen when we stop sucking at relationships and just accept that “we’re not that different at all.”
These two literally each learned a new language in order for their relationship to thrive. This is the kind of communication I would like to see cropping up in 2014. These are two people that though they do not speak the same language, are getting their point across and prospering. We can learn from that.
Most girls throw a fit/have a mini-panic attack when a guy doesn’t call for a few days after the first date. Imagine not being able to string a coherent sentence together, but still knowing how the other person feels for you. By not always vocalizing your emotions, you would learn to notice the slope of her shoulders when she’s upset, or the buzzing of his entire body when he’s excited. Words can get in the way. Tarzan and Jane learn to love each other by cutting out all the crap. She doesn’t have to lie and tell him that she likes his favorite band, even though she only knows their most current radio hit. All Jane has to do is exist next to him, feeling his love and giving him her own.
When is the last time you learned an entirely new concept in order to be closer to someone else? Each person in the relationship has a significant obstacle to overcome, yet the both handle themselves with grace. Jane knows nothing of dealing with apes and not wearing petticoats, yet you never see her complain. She shows compassion to the baby gorillas and intently tries to understand their own customs. As with Tarzan, he just wants to figure Jane out. And who wouldn’t want a pretty British girl with a charming accent and adorable father in tow?
We’ve stopped trying to figure each other out and have opted out of conversations, trading in listening intently for halfheartedly texting. On any given day, I might not even answer a text message if I feel like the tone is a little off, or I don’t really care to understand what the person could have meant. But, if I was in a jungle with a man raised by gorillas, you best bet that I’d be reading his body language, figuring out exactly which berry he’s deemed “poisonous” and ” not poisonous.” On a serious note, there’s something to be said for trying out someone else’s routine. Step into someone else’s life to see how they live it. Guarantee you’ll come out of it closer than before.
3. Physical Connection
I will repeat: Tarzan was raised by gorillas. If anything, primal instinct is one of the key factors in their relationship. Tarzan can sense that Jane is like him, and that they fit together. I don’t know about you, but I too can sense if I fit with another person. We have become content to try and make relationships fit when they don’t, hold on when we need to let go, or let them die out just when we need to hold tighter.
We have made relationships into such a complicated affair. She is a woman. He is a man. For the sake of argument I can say that a relationship doesn’t need anything more than the basic components of: we are both human. We like to be around each other, so let’s just do it.
Tarzan let Jane into his own world, at the risk of his family’s approval. Ultimately, he did bring destruction on his gorilla group family, but amidst the struggle truly became a leader. Your significant other can push you to become someone better, the best version you. At times that could mean giving up something you previously thought was important. Without Jane, Tarzan would have always stayed second best to his uptight gorilla daddy.
The most striking moment of the film for me is when Jane stays . She uproots her entire life because she’s found the one she loves. Modern relationships are so self-focused. Questions like “Is this good for me? How will this affect my life?” need to quiet down, and we should start listening to our hearts. What about finding someone worth it and then just making it happen, consequences be damned? Pick up and leave. Go to her. Stay with him. Forget about the rest.