Who doesn’t love the romantic comedy in which the hot journalist and advertising stud have contradicting assignments? Kate Hudson has to snatch up then drive away a guy, Matthew McConaughey has to make a girl fall in love with him, and both coincidentally in 10 days? After an excruciating 10 days and blown assignments at a holiday party it seems Kate maybe has lost him for good with all her annoying antics and pushing away. But then, they both realize their true feelings for each other, and all is forgiven as all loose ends of their love tie up neatly on the Manhattan Bridge, and we assume they live happily ever after.
But real-life 10 days don’t have same gratifying plot finish as the one we’ve been told by Hollywood to expect if it’s “meant to be.”
Step 1: Catch him.
I could write another piece about how to attract a great guy. There are plenty of those out there already, and I agree with all of them. In short, it goes like this: finally be over your ex. Get in the best shape of your life. Appreciate your friends, your job, your family. Be confident about who you are and what you want.
Meet up with a guy for drinks. You already know he’s great. Everyone does. He was a great guy in college, and his new fancy school business degree only makes him more of a catch. Enjoy yourself immensely. Talk about everything with him. Eventually introduce him to your close friends, even your parents. Go on a weekend trip with him. Learn his quirks, his likes (steak), his dislikes (vegans) and begin to fall for him.
Start planning your future with him in your head. Then when everything is going great, begin questioning everything (he’s not doing the same asshole things other guys do-something must be wrong!) and get ready to lose your man in 10 short days.
Let your stress from work affect your attitude with him. Be annoyed with his pick for dinner. Don’t tell him this. Just act annoyed. Don’t communicate about what you want in bed, but make it clear you’re not enjoying it. Roll over and go to sleep.
Flirt with everyone (male, female, I mean everyone) the next day at your work party that you had a few too many at. You really shouldn’t be surprised when that cute coworker you’ve had a crush on for over a year finally asks you out after you beg him to give you a ride home. Act surprised anyways. Tell him you’re seeing someone. Let the thought of what you and the coworker could be consume you for the rest of the night, while ignoring the texts from the great guy you already have.
Be short in every interaction. Reluctantly join him and his friends for drinks. Make it clear you don’t want to be there by saying how tired you are and picking arguments with his friends about everything. Ask him to come over. Don’t appreciate when he does even though he could’ve stayed out with his friends. Be annoyed at him for wanting to hook up with you right then. Do your laundry instead.
Make no attempt to meet up with him until you’ve gotten completely sloshed one night. Be annoyed he’s asked you to come meet him with his parents. Be irritated he wants to celebrate one of the best wins in your team’s recent history downtown with you and his friends. Make it clear you’d rather be at a small bar across town with your friends. Tell him he can come over. Be annoyed when he does come over. Tell him to stay with you. Be annoyed he’s in your bed. Refuse to kiss him because you’re tired.
Drive him home. Make sure he knows how inconvenient those 10 minutes are. You could be recovering from your hangover at breakfast by now. Tell him you’ll hang out later when your hangover isn’t affecting your mood. Ignore the plans you made to hang out later and go to your friend’s. Discuss your relationship with your friend. Leave out the minor detail that he may be one of the greatest men you’ve ever dated. Convince yourself he’s the problem. Decide to go on that date with that coworker.
Tell the coworker you’re taking things slow and not being exclusive with the other guy (Wait, what? Where did you come up with this? He was just introducing you to his parents as his girlfriend…). Ignore that voice of reason in your head.
Tell your perfect guy that you’re busy with work and your dog when he asks what you’re doing. Ignore his text about being stressed with his work. Tell your friends at dinner how annoying your perfect guy is. Make plans to tell him that you want things to slow down and not be exclusive right now. (It wasn’t lying if you were planning to say this anyways right?)
Be shocked when perfect guy is disappointed in how things are going. Play it way too cool when he says he’s not sure he sees this going long term after the last week and that you two should stop seeing each other. Don’t apologize for being a jerk for the past week. Say you were going to say the same thing. Convince yourself it’s for the best. Now you can go on that date with the coworker without feeling like you’re going behind the back of a great guy.
Don’t realize how great he is when the perfect guy texts you to check on how you are doing. Don’t realize yet that you are the asshole.
Go on that date with your coworker. It is on this date, the perfect date for you, that you will wish you were there with the perfect guy you just drove away.
Go over and over those 10 days all weekend. Finally realize how perfect for you the guy was, and how badly you messed up. Think about how great your future could be, how compatible you actually are. Tell him to come over because you have things you wish you would’ve said to him. Tell him how you were taking him for granted, that you had your guard up, that you pushed him away, that you want another chance. Kiss him like you mean it. Wait for your perfect Hollywood ending.
Spend the next few days acting like the great girlfriend you’ve always had in you. Hope he’s forgotten about those 10 days and sees the potential you two have. It’s all too little too late. He’ll tell you a few days after this that it’s best for you both to stop seeing each other (great guys won’t drag it out and let you continue the chase when you’re not what they want). Realize you’ve lost your perfect man, and all it took was 10 days.