Relationship Analysis: Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar  is a 2002 American romantic comedy film written by Michael Elliott and Rick Famuyiwa, directed by Famuyiwa, and starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan. The film is a story of a lifelong friends, A&R Andre and Editor-in-Chief Sidney.
88d74b48b3af5c4771a8e445d00dfc97 The movie started with the question, When did you fall in love with Hip-Hop? At first, I didn’t know the significance of that question, until I got to the end of the movie.

It’s not the just the story of how Hip-Hop started and evolved, but it’s also a story about how love grew between two people.

 

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Young Dre and Sid

The two can attribute their friendship and the launch of their careers to a single, seminal childhood moment – the day they discovered hip-hop on a New York street corner. Now some 15 years later, as they lay down the tracks toward their futures, hip-hop isn’t the only thing that keeps them coming back to that moment on the corner.

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Sidney Shaw fell in love with Hip-Hop and later became a music journalist and a successful editor for the XXL  magazine. She is smart, caring, strong, stubborn, hardworking, sensible, mature, clever, and passionate at what she does. In the movie, Sid served as the voice of reason, although she had her moments of being lost and confused, and when she slept with Dre. At least she made the right decision to ask for some space to think, and figure things out.She is played  by actress, Sanaa Lathan.

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Dre Ellis fell in love with Hip-Hop and later became a successful music executive. He is caring, fun, smart, stubborn, hardworking, charming, childish, and a player. In the movie, Dre is a bit messed up for me. He slept with Sid after finding out his wife cheated on him. It was hot, but I don’t consider it as the ultimate consummation of their love for each other. It was just wrong for me. He is played by actor and singer Taye Diggs.

For years, I binge on watching movies about best friends ending up together, but as I grew up, I realized that it’s bullsh*t to push the idea to people. Some writers, producers, and directors don’t understand the process of true love and relationships because if they do, they wouldn’t have done the particular movie theme. It doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of the idea, but I do believe that some best friends are meant to be together. And Brown Sugar is one of the movies, that is realistic and true.

86932283-a128-469a-9a00-f4f23ed2d061They are not affected by the Westermarck Effect. 

Why? 

Because they had come to like each other first/ fell in love with each other first before they even became friends. 

In the Westermarck Effect, men and women who grew up together in a close proximity have reached a certain level of intimacy and familiarity that prevents them from falling in love. 

What’s great about Dre and Sid is that they fell in love with each other, the day they also fell in love with hip hop. I always consider the first meeting to be important. I’m glad that they included it in the movie and they showed how important it was.

Dre getting engaged with Reese was the trigger of Sid’s secret feelings to come out, and it somehow also triggered Dre’s when they kissed the night before he got married. At first they tried to live their lives like before, but it didn’t work out because of the closeness they have and when Dre quit his job and told Sid first before his wife, Reese.

This is where I relate the quote of Antoine de Saint-Exupery below.

love-quotes-and-sayings2In the movie, Dre and Sid grew up keeping the same direction which is hip hop. They may have different careers, but their careers still involves hip-hop. It’s the factor that held them close to each other including the other factors that they grew up together, and they’re great friends.

Their chemistry in the movie started with Activity chemistry, when they discovered and fell in love with hip-hop when they were ten years old. As a person, we love to spend time with people who has the same interests with us, and the one who shares a hobby, and/or a passion with us.

Due to the 15 years of friendship between them, it made them very familiar of each other. In the movie, I saw the frequent times, Dre went to Sid, despite being married. When it comes to relationship, when the attachment had formed, we want to stick with them. And here, we can see that Dre is glued to Sid despite being married.

As for their Personality and Compatibility, Sid and Dre has compatible personalities, lifestyle, and careers. They are a team. He writes, creates, and/or produces music, and she writes a review about it. Dre is the thinker and the doer. Sid is also a thinker, a doer, and a supporter. She’s the voice of reason and support to Dre. And Dre also supports and believes in her.

As for the Principle of Completion, Sid gave Dre his key feeling. She supported him in everything as shown on the scene when he told her that he’s going to make his own record label and she became a financial source to him. She told him, “Look, you’re my best friend. There’s nobody who believes in you more than me.” She helped him make his dreams come true, contrary to what his wife did. His wife, Reese, doesn’t know better and she just treated his dream as a hobby.

At the same time, Dre also gave Sid her key feeling to feel complete. He appreciates her as a person, as a friend, and especially her skills as a writer, as an editor, and as a music journalist. He still remembers her first article, and he reads her column on the L.A. Times religiously, because it makes him feel closer to her. Compared to Kelby, her fiance, who only read the article she wrote about him. Sure, I’ll give him some break and consider that he did promised to read all her work, he takes care of her, he cooks for her, and he’s trying to accept Sid’s friendship with Dre. 

The problem is Sid is not just committed to him, the way she’s committed to Dre and his dreams and to her work. Her relationship with Kelby is a relationship that’s bound to end from the start.

Another good thing going on between them is their Intimacy. Sid and Dre already have emotional intimacy because of their 15 years of friendship. And that intimacy equates to the level of familiarity the characters have. That familiarity provided the characters a comfort blanket that made them stick to each other. 

As for Dre and Sid’s Lovemap, I will compare it to the research John Money, Emeritus Psychologist and Sexologist, had done years ago with kids. He conducted a research with kids ages from 8 to 11 years old. It is where he showed them pictures of other kids and made them choose. Then several years later, he got back to them and discovered that majority of them were married to the person who’s got a similarity to the person they chose from the pictures.

That research also applied to Sid and Dre. The only difference is they grew up together. They molded each other’s lovemap as they grew up. They both love hip-hop which served as a glue to their friendship and which led them to fall in love with each other. As time goes by, that friendship and love became deeper and more mature. And when that happened, that’s where romantic chemistry and sexual chemistry set in.

In the movie, Sid finished her book and called it “I Used To Love Him“, she described it as her love letter to hip-hop.

Her final words in her book.

I always thought, one day I would outgrow my relationship with hip-hop. 

I never thought it was a fad, like many.

But I never thought it could grow and mature.

I thought it would be an adolescent memory I’d look back on, like a crush on the captain of the football team.
But I realize we have more than that. Much more. 

We have a history…a friendship.
We listen to each other.
We laugh together.
We finish each other’s lyrics.
I don’t have to pretend with hip-hop, and hip-hop doesn’t have to pretend with me.

My feelings have never been more clear, and I know they will never go away.
To Hip-hop.

Just like any best friends who crossed the line of friendship to love, their is a bump and that’s the fear that the relationship might not work, and they might lose the friendship. Which is what happened to Sid. So in the last scene, after some time had passed,  it was finally revealed to everyone that Hip-hop is Dre to Sid. She said.

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During Sid’s interview in Hot 97, Dre called and asked her the question back, “When did you fall in love with Hip-Hop?” She finally told him the truth and he told her.

“Sidney… I have loved you from the first time I laid eyes on you.
And I love you still. You’re my air.
So, I don’t want to be your friend no more.”

This is the first time where Sid and Dre told each other that they’ve been in love with each other for a long time after everything that happened between them. It’s doesn’t exactly follow the process or stages of love I wrote about, but it is realistic. After all, love doesn’t care if it’s proper or right, it just wants to exist. And that’s why we all have brains to make the right decision and not just follow our heart all time. Because our emotions, when it comes to love, relationships, and decision making, it can also be governed by being lost, confusion, stress, lust, and more.

What I can say with the script is it was clever. I love the research they made. How they wrote the love story, and include hip-hop in it. It’s probably a very simple story, but it’s the kind of movie every in loved best friends should watch. It’s the kind of movie, you’d want to watch and get that good feeling in the end, also the really good and thrilling feeling of falling in love. The theme of the movie is subtle, the script wasn’t preachy, the scenes, and the chemistry of the actors are not forced. It is a movie, that will make you laugh, cry, fall in love, and feel the thrill for almost two hours.

Relationship Analysis: Avatar

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Avatar (marketed as James Cameron’s Avatar) is a 2009 American epic science fiction film directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver. The film is set in the 22nd century, when humans are colonizing Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system, in order to mine the mineral unobtanium, a room-temperature superconductor. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na’vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film’s title refers to a genetically engineered Na’vi body with the mind of a remotely located human that is used to interact with the natives of Pandora.

HumansullyJake Sully was a former marine and who replaced his twin brother, Tom Sully, in the Avatar Program. He  is an introvert, fearless, determined, has a good heart, headstrong, has a lot of guts, cheeky, charming, a fast learner, adaptable, and cold to outsiders, but once he gets to know you and vice versa, he opens up to them.

His training and experience as a marine made it easier for him to relate with the Na’vi, and he’s injury made him look at things in a different perspective. He is portrayed by Sam Worthington.

When it comes to Jake’s *lovemap, I interpret the person’s lovemap usually by basing it on their upbringing, their relationships with everyone around them, and their experiences that will mold their lovemap match.Avatar actor iphone 6 plus wallpaper

Since I can’t find all the information I need about Jake and Neytiri, I can only based their lovemap’s interpretation through their chemistry, their personality, and their experiences.

For Jake’s, I believe that when it comes to a woman, he would want someone tough and someone who could handle his personality, and accept him wholly even the baggage he brings.

And somehow Neytiri matches Jake’s lovemap because she’s tough and she can handle him just fine.

He fell for her because even though he’s a moron, slowly she accepted him for who he is. She gave him so much.

In fact, the song I See You by Leona Lewis, described it pretty well. She opened his eyes to their culture, spirituality, and most important of all, love. She basically gave him a new life, a new start in the clan. She revolutionized his world and gave him a new perspective in life. She made him care and feel not just for him, but for the people around him too.

In the movie, there was the  Jake’s dream hunt scene that wasn’t used in the movie. In here, Grace won’t allow Jake to eat the worm because it might kill him. They don’t know what the worm would do to an avatar’s brain. Grace also told him that he can never truly be with her, because he will always go back to his own body. But Jake was desperate to become one of them. I love this scene, because this is where I saw how much Jake wanted to become one of them, how much he wanted to be with Neytiri. So it’s a very important scene for this post.

In the dream, he was supposed to hunt the animal that would represent him and it will also let him truly See like the People. Well, that’s what the scene meant to me.

Was it love at first sight for Jake?

It could have been. Why? Because Neytiri saved his life. And just like I explained before in my Relationship Analysis for Tauriel and Kili here, Jake unbelievably is the damsel in distress. Whether we like it or not, we tend to fall for the person who saves us in every way. It is also easy to fall in love especially when we are vulnerable. And he is vulnerable because he almost got killed the first time they met.

Another reason is he was impressed by Neytiri. As a marine, he probably assumed that he can take all those viperwolves with his training and experiences in the war. And he didn’t expect to be saved by a local Na’vi girl with impressive skills. He’s a marine and he can’t even take them, but she did.

neytiri_in_avatar_2-wide-do-we-really-need-avatar-2Neytiri te Tskaha Mo’at’ite is the Na’vi princess of the Omaticaya clan. Neytiri is the daughter of the Chief and Tsahik (One who interprets the will of Eywa, their clan’s diety). She is considered of royal blood as her parents owned the highest title of the tribe. She is loyal, brave, has a strong will, wise beyond her years due to her ranked, tough, caring,  stubborn and rebellious. The Omaticaya clan hated the sky people, because according to them, it’s hard for sky people to See and also because Neytiri’s older sister, Sylwanin died in front of her. She is portrayed by Zoe Saldana.

Jake met Neytiri when she saved him from the viperwolves in the forest. She was supposed to kill him, but there was a sign from a woodsprite, very pure spirit (Seeds from the Secret Tree). She planned to leave him afterwards, but more woodsprites surrounded him.
Neytiri’s parents, the Chief and Tsahik of the tribe, decided to let him stay to study him because he is a warrior dreamwalker. And they’ve never met a warrior before that belonged from the Sky People (depicting people from planet Earth). Neytiri impressed Jake. But Neytiri thinks he’s a moron for not knowing what to do.

She saved him because he’s got a strong heart. No fear, but stupid and ignorant.

Tsu’tey is supposed to mate with Neytiri and the next Chief of the tribe. I can’t say much about them, but it only seemed like a political match. They greet each other formally, but they don’t seem close. They don’t seem to see into each other, only their relationship with the nature and Eywa. Tsu’tey and Neytiri are only united by their goals to rule and protect the clan. He may have real feelings for Neytiri, but she fell in love with Jake.

But then, there were deleted scenes I got from Avatar Wiki and Extended DVD Edition (I think?). One of them is where Tsu’tey got jealous of Jake. In the party where Jake finally became a part of the people. Tsu’tey was supposed to open up to him, but Neytiri invited Jake to dance. Tsu’tey was jealous and especially when he realized that Neytiri mated with Jake.

It was also during their dance where Mo’at and Eytucan decided to separate Jake and Neytiri. They noticed their closeness and that they’ve fallen for each other. This is an important scene for this post because it showed the real status or how Jake and Neytiri perceived each other.

Of course, Neytiri was sneaky, that’s when she took Jake to the tree of souls. Then she explained that since he’s already part of their clan, he may carve his bow from the wood of hometree and he may choose a woman. And we know what happened next.

This is the first time I’m going to bring up the *Westermarck Effect. It is said that when a man and woman who lived in close domestic proximity during the first few years (0-6 yrs old) of their lives, they become desensitized to sexual attraction. It is according to Finnish Anthropologist Edvard Westermarck in his book The History of Human Marriage (1891).

Also, even Dr. Helen Fisher, an Anthropologist and Relationship Scientist, in her book Why We Love, said that when a man and woman reach a certain level of friendship, intimacy, and familiarity, they become desensitized to sexual attraction and romantic feelings to each other.

When it comes to body chemicals: The chemistry of attachment, can quell the chemistry of romance. The kind of attachment Neytiri have with Tsu’tey is too much and family like, to the point it has already desensitized her  from falling in love for him.

I’m sure Neytiri cared for Tsu’tey, but not in a romantic way.

For Neytiri’s *lovemap, I have to admit that somehow it was hard for me to observe, because I usually observe real people, I only got to observe Neytiri closely through her facial expressions, voice, and body language. They made it easier for me to detect what she’s feeling.

While Neytiri gave Jake so much, I can say that she fell for a Skxawng (Moron) who made the effort and never gave up to study their culture, and relationship with their diety, Eywa. Just like Jake said, At first it was just orders. Then everything changed. I fell in love with the forest, with the Omaticaya People, with you. 

He gave his everything to her, because what did he have to lose? Most important of all, he let her be herself and appreciated and accepted her for who she is, because in the tribe, she needs to act as the chief and tsahik’s daughter, and tsu’tey’s betrothed. But with Jake, it’s different. He can make her smile and laugh. He somehow opened her mind more to sky people, that there’s goodness in some sky people and they are able to See.

According to the Avatar Wiki, Neytiri is supposed to be in her teens or she’s eighteen years old, but despite the young age, Na’vi grow up fast. With the efforts Jake had done to become a part of The People. He also became someone to lean on and depend on by Neytiri. When Jake became the 6th Turok Macto, Neytiri was afraid, but not anymore when he came back and sided with them.

Was it love at first sight for Neytiri?

I believe so, in the form of being drawn to him. It wasn’t obvious because of the existing hatred for Sky People. She wants nothing to do with him, but whether she likes it or not she was drawn to him. She grew fonder of him and slowly, she realized that he made her feel things that she never felt before and feelings that even Tsu’tey could never trigger in her. He is a moron, but he gets away with it with his fearlessness, boldness, charm, cheekiness, confidence, and eventually hardwork to become one of them. His fearless nature is truly a sight to behold, it could take your breath away. He is the kind of guy who would jump over a cliff even if he doesn’t even know what he’s doing.

It would have been really easy for Jake and Neytiri to fall for each other because they spend too much time together. While watching the movie, the Na’vis don’t seem to have the concept of personal space because they touch intimate body areas all the time like their chests, arms, and they invade someone’s personal space all the time. I mean even Tsu’tey touched Jake in his chest. Casually touching each other is essential cause in their tribe that’s what Seeing into someone truly means. avatar_2_posterThe people are close to each other because they have physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy.

Just like how Norm is trying to explain to Jake. When they say I See into you, it doesn’t mean I see you in front of me. Instead it’s saying I See INTO you. Which I will relate to what I said in my Intimacy post.

Intimacy is INTO-ME-SEE. When you say I See you, I see into you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

In real life, you can also be close to someone physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But it takes a lot of work. It involves consistent transparency to each other, communication and quality time together.

The other way is through meditation in a sacred or quiet place. Jaime T. Licauco, an authority in the Psi Phenomena and a Parapsychologist,  is a living proof to this event. He explained his experience in detail in one of his books. In his experience, he and a woman merge souls and they were able to see into each other’s past experiences, feelings, thoughts, and more.

What is somehow good in Neytiri and Jake’s relationship is that before they became physically intimate, somehow they were able to get to know each other, and study to become intimate emotionally and spiritually. Which is essential in every relationship that ever existed. They became friends first, became familiar, and eventually fell in love.

Just like in any other relationship, it’s the differences that draws you to each other more. And the more they spend time together, the more they adapt to each other’s personality, culture, beliefs, they even start to resemble each other and even copy each other’s mannerisms.

Basing it from the *Principle of Completion, Jake and Neytiri made each other feel the key feeling they’ve been looking for. Even if Neytiri, wants nothing to do with him first, she eventually became a big supporter to him. And as for her, Jake appreciated Neytiri as a person and he let her be herself. And the most important thing he gave her is he somehow he returned some innocence in her because of Jake’s childish wonder. She lost that innocence when her sister died, and when she became the next Tsahik of the Omaticaya Clan.

Jake and Neytiri are united not just by their similar goals to care and protect the clan, they are also brought together by their love, and by their spiritual relationship with the nature and their diety, Eywa. Eywa choose Jake for the Omaticaya, and also for Neytiri. Jake and Neytiri’s union was blessed by Eywa. 

Do they have *chemistry?

I think they have the *activity or *creative chemistry. After Jake bonded with his ikran, their relationship reached a different level because Jake is good at flying. And when two people enjoy the same things, their chemistry grows.

Eventually as they got closer, *romantic chemistry happened. You can see it in the way they interact, their looks, touches, and body language.

Due to their personalities compatibility and being able to bond with their queues, I can’t imagine their relationship ever diminishing in the years to come. Instead I expect it to grow more and I expect them as a couple who are one in mind, body, and soul. Of course, they have their own individuality. But they also have a natural affinity to each other which is already obvious before they even mated, and made the bond (tsaheylu, connecting their queues). Or am I expecting too much? They have a neural connection after all. I believed that they feel each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually aware of each other’s thoughts, feelings, and their past experiences.

zoesaldanasamworthington62ndannualdirectorsxo33migqysvlThe effective and captivating relationship between Jake and Neytiri is also thanks to the actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. God! They really have a damn good chemistry. You can see it in the way they interact in their interviews. It’s fun and refreshing to watch them. You won’t get enough of them. I’ll even pay big money just to watch them host any show. Kidding. 😉 Don’t have that kind of money, but still. They’re really fun and entertaining to watch. When you have that kind of chemistry between two actors in your hands, there’s so much potential in a romantic story, and it would be easy to get away with any scene or story.

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Due to my busy schedule since 2004, I hardly have time to explore on movies I like so I wasn’t aware of the planned sequels of Avatar. Last July, I saw Avatar a couple of times on Star Movies and it made me want to write a Relationship Analysis just because of the words, I See You. I wasn’t a big fan of Avatar the first time, but I’m already a big fan of James Cameron.

So after seeing Avatar in a different light and a couple of times. It just grows in you. Of course, I’ll have to say that what James Cameron achieved with Titanic, Avatar and other movies is a stroke of genius that never ceases to amaze me and always captures my attention.

I was hopeful for a sequel. And then last Sunday, as I was researching for this post, I only found out about the planned sequel, and the explanation why there are planned 4 sequels. I was ecstatic. I found out the sequels here. Click link for more details. I debated whether to continue this post or not, because I don’t write relationship analysis post for stories that are not done yet, just like what I did with Before Trilogy directed by John Carney.

Now, I will repeat what I said in my twitter. I’m hopeful, skeptical, and a little excited.

Hopeful that it will succeed. Even though I have a special love for The Hobbit, I wished that it won’t have the same flaws of The Hobbit trilogies. I wish that the story would be somehow original, unpredictable, and that they keep my attention to Jake and Neytiri’s relationship, and that they make their relationship consistent and improved.

Considering that when it comes to love stories, James Cameron approach here and in Titanic is always life changing by someone who is lost or in a lifetime crisis. In Titanic, it was Rose who was somehow in a crisis. And Rose said that Jack saved him in all the way a person can be saved. I’m paraphrasing. In Avatar, it was Jake who was saved by Neytiri, but in the end, they both saved each other, and their whole clan which meant more.

 

Relationship Analysis: Best Of Me

~ S  P  O  I  L  E  R    A  L  E  R  T ~

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The Best of Me is an American romantic drama film directed byMichael Hoffman and written by Will Fetters and J. Mills Goodloe, based on Nicholas Sparks’ 2011 novel of the same name. The film stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan with Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.

First, I just need to get this out of my system. What is it with tragic love stories and stars?

I promised you last week that I’m going to write about a movie with a happy ending. Because I’ll admit that I still can’t move on from Tauriel and Kili’s love story. I’m at least glad that there’s closure for both characters in the Best Of Me.

I always love Nicholas Sparks works ever since I read The Wedding. That’s the story that made me buy and read his work, but he broke my heart when he wrote Dear John and I was/ am also brokenhearted so I stayed away from love stories for a while.

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When I saw the Best Of Me novels, I was excited to read it and watch it. Another reason I love Best of Me is because I’ve always loved Liana Liberato and Michelle Monaghan.

The reason I chose it because I’ve always thought it was a happy ending and I’m having a really hard time writing an analysis for the movie I chose for this week.

My analysis for the story is somehow split because I love the chemistry of the adult actors, but I wasn’t feeling it between the younger actors, but it was nice seeing the flashbacks. It gave me insights on their relationship.

In the movie, Amanda is the one with an outgoing, straightforward, kind, and bubbly personality. She’s also determined and passionate for children since she plans to major in child psychology and public policy.

While Dawson is shy, doesn’t know how to talk or flirt with a girl, respectful, hardworking, studious, introverted, passive, abusive upbringing,  and he likes the stars. He shared his interest in the stars when he said that humans have always looked up to the stars for consulting and that he made his own telescope.

With those descriptions between two characters, you can sense right away that they have chemistry. They are a complete opposite of each other and that’s what’s pulling their characters together.

My favorite scene here is when they were talking as adults and Amanda said that it’s dangerous for them then she complained how he didn’t get ugly or something. It was great. I can’t ignore the sizzling tension between the characters.

Friendship, intimacy, and security somehow go hand in hand between Amanda and Dawson because they were able to share parts of their lives right away with each other. On the part where she confronted him for making her wait, showing her his bruises, and getting to know each other in the water tank.

As for love, as time goes by, the friendship grew into something more.

When Dawson got shot, I was shocked, but what made me cry is when he fell, and the last thing he saw were the stars.

It reminded me of their last goodbye ever since their reunion.

One of the things he said:

“I’m gonna trust in the stars,” He said that because he considered their reunion as a second chance for them to fix the things they’ve left behind. It provided closure for both them and declaration of love after all these years. It’s my second favorite scene.

In fact, he was hoping that the universe will realign the stars for them and things will fall into place for them. And when he closed his eyes, he saw Amanda in the garden in Tuck’s house.

In the movie, I don’t remember where Dawson’s mom is, but that’s how lovemap came into play in his life. Somehow Amanda also took cared of him the way a mom should. As for Amanda, she has a privileged upbringing, but when Dawson came into her life, just by existing, he made the best version of herself.

This is an incredible movie because at the same time, they also tried to establish how the characters Amanda and Dawson were fated to each other.

  • First is when they were younger. Amanda asked Tuck if he believes in fate or destiny. Instead, he shared a part of his love story with his wife which says that he believed in coincidences and faith. At that time, Dawson refused to believe any of it.
  • When Dawson had an accident where the explosion threw him in the water, he dreamed of Amanda then after waking up, he got a call about Tuck. That’s what made him believe that somehow it led him to find her again.
  • Due to the hardships and loneliness, Amanda experienced, she became scared and believed that fate and destiny are not real.
  • And when he died, yes, he saw the stars. He closed his eyes, and he saw his dream again in the hospital. And that scene where everything made sense.

I truly believe that there’s an endless love, but unfortunately, it’s not just for the characters somehow. Even if Dawson died, a part of Dawson will somehow always be with Amanda.

It’s still a great movie, with a very interesting twist and I still recommend it.

*Thus marked words are defined on this LINK.

Friendship and Familiarity Are Needed In Relationships

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The secret to a long-lasting and enduring relationship is a strong foundation of friendship.

That’s the common trend in novels, Hollywood movies, and TV series right now. It’s the solution they have to the moonlighting curse. It is when two actors in a will-they-won’t-they situation finally get together, then the ratings will dip and until the show gets canceled. Scriptwriter or authors now, prolong the sexual tension by making the characters friends for a long time while flirting and more, until the right time for them to get together happens.

Flirtations and courtship provides an endless thrill to the audience and even to the readers, but when two characters got together, it doesn’t have that kind of thrill anymore. That’s why some audiences stop watching.

Is it still relevant? I’d say yes and no because I stopped watching some show when the couple got together, but that’s for a different blog post.

Going back to the topic. Yes, friendship does help a lot in making a relationship last. Why?

  • Because when two people are friends for a long time, they learn to look past each other’s differences. They accept each other for who they are.
  • Because friendship establishes an intimacy that leads to a deep trust.
  • Because it eventually provides security through acceptance and familiarity.
  • When friends fight, they reconcile because they can’t help being angry at each other, no matter who apologizes first. While some couples won’t reconcile right away because they don’t want to apologize first, they want to be right, and they are holding on to their pride.

So friendship and familiarity goes hand in hand. Two important things that solidifies any relationship.

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A relationship without friendship is like a house just standing on the ground without roots embedded below to support and pass the test of time like storms, and hurricanes

mhGwPtWWhen two people has a strong friendship, they get to establish a certain level of intimacy and familiarity that gives you a feeling of love and belongingness. Attached with it are respect and acceptance. If you want to keep someone in your life, you would want to keep someone who;

1) accepts you for who you are,
2) respects your beliefs, dreams, principles and decisions in life,
3) makes you feel secure,
4) lets you be yourself all the time,
5) is always honest and straightforward with you rather than lie to protect you,
6) will not take advantage of your kindness, weakness, and/or naivete,
7) you can rely on through ups and down,
8) will teach you about life and enjoy it too,
9) who will teach you what’s right from wrong,
10) who will always have faith and believe in you and more.

And those descriptions above is a description of a friend, and not just a lover who will warm your bed. Couples in a relationship also have those things I mentioned above, but with couples who are friends first, the intensity, commitment, loyalty, respect, passion, and love is much deeper and stronger.

After all, friends are irreplaceable, but you can always meet someone new to date if it doesn’t work. Of course, there are friendships that don’t workout, but most people don’t easily give up on their partners because of the deep friendship they have compared to couples who only got together because they have good chemistry and they fell in love.

143033-stock-photo-woman-man-love-couple-friendship-contentmentChemistry is a trigger of a good relationship, but it is not good enough reason to get together. Love is very important, but it’s not true that love conquers all as well.

In a relationship, you need; Chemistry, Compatibility, Intimacy, Friendship, Familiarity, Love, and a matched Lovemap.

The Importance of Intimacy

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When I was fourteen years old, I have a text mate and let’s just call him Josh. I was actually texting my classmate, but I found out that one of the numbers I typed were wrong.

We became friends. At first, he didn’t want me to become a text mate because I’m younger than him. I kept asking him how old he is, but he never told me. We texted about school, life, and forwarded quotes. Since I was young and naive, I developed some feelings for him. Again, at first, he wanted to stop talking to me because of our age gap, but in the end, we became more. It was only for a few months, then he disappeared.

After two months, it was December and I was trying to finish my cross stitch project. He texted me let’s meet. I told him why, and he said, so we can become more intimate.

I got scared and nervous because for me, being intimate means to have sex.

Now, I know now Intimacy don’t just mean physical, it also means emotional. In our time, it is prevalent among the teens and even the ones in college to believed to show someone you love, you should have sex with them. In fact, when I was googled images for this blog after typing intimacy, majority of the results were couples on bed.

Back in College, I’d known so many of friends who did it and said, they did it to prove their love for the guys their dating. I’m not here to preach on what age people should have sex, but rather to encourage emotional intimacy to deepen and strengthen the connection of two people.

I don’t think that sex should be a pre-requisite for a woman to prove her love and vice versa, but that’s for a different post.

Partners and marriage couples tend to separate for many reasons, but one of them is the lack of intimacy, the physical and the emotional. Once in a while, it’s important to get physical even just once a week because it assures and solidifies the existing connection you already have by the bonding hormone Oxytocin and Vasopressin, which is responsible for attachment.

Intimacy indicates a deep understanding of something. Do you get it? Now let me explain it to you, Into-Me-See. Now, you get it right? Emotional Intimacy is one of the most important among the four types. Some couples can last even without getting physical because the emotional connection and satisfaction they get from each other. Some people have problems connecting because they don’t know how.

The 4 Types of Intimacy

(1) Cognitive or Intellectual Intimacy – It is when you share ideas, thoughts, similarities and differences.

(2) Experiential Intimacy or Intimacy Activity – From the word experience, it is when the couple do things together and much better if they try new things together to create novelty and maintain the chemistry in your relationship.

(3) Emotional Intimacy – It is sharing of feelings and emotions. Getting to know and understand the person’s emotional side.

(4) Physical Intimacy – This is the most popular because tv series and movies had sold this notion over and over again. Which is sexual activity and sensual expression towards each other.

The key to expressing intimacy is showing vulnerability and curiosity. At the same time, if the two of you have unrealistic expectations or conflicting issues that you keep ignoring and delaying, you’ll be able to fix it.

How to show intimacy? Partners and couples should ask these questions and explore the answers to strengthen and solidify your relationship.

  1. What strength do you bring in the relationship? 
  2. Describe the moment you knew he/she is the one for you. 
  3. When was the time of your life when you think your relationship needs more tension? 
  4. How satisfied are you with the amount of time you spent with your special someone? 
  5. What’s one way you could be a better couple? 
  6. What are you most scared about your future? 
  7. What is something that you and your special someone used to do that you miss now? 
  8. What does he/she makes you feel when you’re with them? 
  9. What is your relationship views? 
  10. What are your expectations in this relationship? 
  11. What are your plans in the relationship? 

Those are few questions, you are free to add more questions on the list.

There are also barriers to intimacy.

  1. Lack of communication
  2. Lack of time
  3. Self-Awareness – If you don’t know yourself, then you won’t know what you want in a relationship.
  4. Fear of Rejection – This is normal and I’m sure everyone can relate to this, but it’s something you must overcome. How can you share your beliefs in a relationship when you’re afraid? How can you make a relationship work if you’re afraid to do something about it? Take a risk and live life.

So what happen to us (me and Josh)?

Aside from feeling scared and nervous, I was also angry. This guy disappeared and came back to me and treated me like a booty call. I ended things for good. Today, I’m glad he disappeared in my life. I like to think that if he didn’t leave, I would have still refused to meet him, but there’s part of me that might have agreed. Besides if he didn’t leave, by December, maybe we’d already known each other much better. I might have trusted him more then.

Below are various views on Intimacy:

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Intimacy-is-not-who-you-let-touch-you

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In Intimacy Institute, there are eight kinds of intimacy. Click the image to go to their link.

Who Will Complete Me? : Understanding Compatibility

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It is morning and you enter a crowded restaurant, pause and look around. Where should you sit? There are only two tables, each with a guy sitting across from and unoccupied chair.

The guy on the left is wearing a crisp polo shirt and black slacks. He’s eating a Salad Niçoise slowly and keeps glancing at his phone. He has a maroon briefcase with a white cloth folded on top of it. He raises his gaze and sees you. He smiles and offers the other chair.

The guy on the right is wearing a black shirt with a skull graphic in the center. He’s eating a Filet de Boeuf Sauce au Poivre. At his side is a black bag on the floor, but you can’t make out the shape. A worn copy of Carrie by Stephen King is on his table. He notices you when you come in, points to the chair in front of him and smiles.

Who do you choose?

It’s more important than just choosing where to sit for the morning.

You make assumptions based on your impressions of each guy.

What are those assumptions?

What can you tell about their personalities?

And more importantly, which of those personalities do you believe would best compliment you?

We’ve all seen the Charmed and Before Sunrise, laughing at the idea of finding love through horoscopes, personalities and compatibility tests. But these play a huge role in the decisions we make about friendships, partnerships, and relationships whether we realize it or not. There’s no such thing as not compatible. There’s only more compatible couple and less compatible couple.

In college, I had a friend whose personality was one-hundred percent the opposite of mine. Because of our differences, I shrugged her off countless times. I even promised myself that I’d never fall for a guy with the type of personality that my friend had. But eventually, she and I became very good friends. In fact, we’ve been the best of friends for almost ten years now.

Despite our differences, we found tons of similarities with each other. We started to joke that our personalities are so compatible to the point that if one of us was a guy, we’d be getting married after college. I learned to laugh at our differences. I also learned that compatibility is much more than similarities or differences in our personality. Ever since then, my friend’s personality has become my criteria in dating guys and years later I accidentally fell for a guy who has the same personality as her.

I’ve made unexpected discoveries about just how much compatibility plays a role in our day-to-day relationships with friends, family, and that special someone. My relationships have improved after applying what I learned from Personality Plus, a book by Florence Littauer about the four kinds of personalities. I’ve learned to understand people around me and easily read their personality. The book proved what I experienced with my college friend and the guy I eventually fell for.

Many prominent people have been teaching men and women to find their right match and to coexist with people we don’t get along.

And there are different ways that each categorizes and defines compatibility. Dr. Helen Fisher, the author and matchmaking consultant behind the dating website Chemistry.com, is focused on four temperaments to find dating compatibility.

Florence Littauer, known for her book Personality Plus, and Nicholas Boothman, the force behind matchedopposites.com, both have their own definition of the four basic personality types for compatibility. Still, others base compatibility on astrology like Linda Goodman in her New York Times bestseller, Love Signs.

Unfortunately, scientists and authors can’t always agree on an exact definition because it could be applied psychologically, astrologically and so many other ways.

People are psychologically compatible when their way of thinking matches and when they have complementary traits, values, beliefs, hobbies, or experiences. But that is where astrology comes into play and since our psychology and the characteristic of our astrological sign often contradict each, the fine line between them is blurred.

The personalities, temperaments and signs described in numerous books are very elaborate. They have different names and definitions, but they are all related. I’ve taken all the tests, studied the theories and experimented by applying them to people I know. I also had some of my friends take the test so I could compare the results.

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What I’ve learned is that compatibility is the right combination of opposite qualities,  and similar hobbies, principles, values, direction and qualities that will help a romantic relationship to grow mature and last longer. We are all looking for a key feeling, not someone.

We don‘t really fall for the guy, instead that guy complemented our personality by making us feel what we’ve been looking for. Compatibility serves the principle of completion. We need a certain feeling to be completed that is based on our personality.

The same idea applies to friendship. I choose to be around people with whom I get along and those who share my hobbies, values, and principles. Even if we have different personalities and astrological signs, these traits are based on a lot of similarities. Our differences and similarities complement each other and complete us.

Going back to the restaurant scenario, I’d choose the guy on the right because his choice of food might be an indication that he’s not that strict when it comes to his lifestyle. His black bag lying on the floor was a violin case and that complements my love of music and piano playing. We both loved reading mysteries and I enjoyed the book, the movie, and the musical, Carrie. These clues helped me make a quick decision about where I might like to enjoy my morning coffee.

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Let me remind that yes, assumptions are not always right, but as people, it’s our nature to respond to something familiar. That is one way how a *lovemap works in people’s lives, through familiarity. That’s why abused people are prone in creating the same abusive relationships with other people.  That’s why women tend to fall for a guy who’s like their father, and vice versa. Familiarity.

In the case above, I chose the one whom I feel more comfortable and familiar with. I can sit with the other guy eating Salad but in my mind, he seems too intimidating to me and it will pressure me to order something light. On the other hand, I can sit with the guy reading Carrie, at least in my mind, I can easily start a conversation with him and order something I’ll enjoy more. Or I can sit with other people who I might find less intimidating and more interesting. Now, that says a lot about my personality. How about you?

We can fall in love with a person who we have little similarities, but if he gave us the feeling we’re looking for, and we also gave him that feeling, then it’s a done deal. Some people don’t choose the person they end up with based on a personality all the time, but because they made them feel complete. Find who you are more compatible with because people with compatible personalities don’t have to work as hard as people with less compatible personalities. So still, kudos to the couples who are so different, but they made it work. After all, no matter how big or little the similarities are, one of the important ways to make a relationship work and stand the test of time, is how a couple handles their differences.

*Thusly marked words are defined on this LINK.

Relationship Analysis: Love’s Kitchen

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Love’s Kitchen is about Rob Haley (Dougray Scott), an up-and-coming chef and restaurateur in London, is grief-stricken when he loses his wife. With encouragement from his infamous friend and real life TV Chef Gordon Ramsay, Rob decides to spice up his life by turning a run-down country pub into a gourmet restaurant. His food catches the eye – and taste buds – of beautiful American food critic, Kate Templeton (Claire Forlani) and they soon both write a recipe for love that leaves both their hearts – and their stomachs – full.

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How did the characters meet?

Rob met Kate when he went to The Boot to inquire the owner if the place is still free.Kate is a food critic and a regular visitor of the place and she told the owner he shouldn’t sell it.

Apparently, Rob has a strong dislike to food critics due to his previous experience before. So he immediately acted like a wounded jerk to her the moment they met.

How the characters in the movie are attracted to each other?

When Rob officially opened The Boot, an incident led Kate and Rob to start a deal that led to a friendship and something more.

The attraction wasn’t apparent when they first met, the second time they encountered each other, that’s when they became friends and slowly got to know each other.

Is it *love at first sight or just *lust at first sight?

In the movie, it is not love at first sight or even lust because Rob is still hung up on his dead wife while Kate didn’t really showed interest in him.

The way they see each other only changed when they started the deal and when Kate tasted the meals he made the second time around and his special trifle.

Was there chemistry between the couple?

What’s great about this couple for me is that their chemistry is a good balance between *intellectual, *sexual and *romantic chemistry.

Intellectual because they connected through food.

Romantic and sexual chemistry started to develop as Kate spends more time with him and his daughter, Michelle.

If you read my relationship analysis posts all the time, you’ll notice that I didn’t go very specific with them.

Why?

When people are faking and forcing chemistry on screen, you can get very specific on how the couple tried to act like they have chemistry.

But the chemistry here is so real and natural, it’s sexy subtle. Throw in a little trivia here, I’m probably wrong, but the main actors playing Rob (Dougray Scott) and Kate (Claire Forlani) is married in real life. I don’t know the whole story so if you’re curious, you can tell me about it.

What is the man’s *lovemap? Is it healthy or not?

The man’s lovemap became unhealthy after his wife died. He refuses to take risks in life. Aside from his wife’s accident, he’s deeply traumatized by the critic, he got that at first he refuses to take a risk on The Boot and getting publicity for The Boot.

It was Kate who had changed things around him. She somehow influenced him to take risks and to resolve his issue with food critics.

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My favorite dialog from him to Kate are:

You’ve got to take risks once in a while.

You reminded me of who I was and who I’m supposed to be and what I could be.

Everything has changed because of you.

What is the woman’s *lovemap? Is it healthy or not?

Kate has a healthy lovemap because she is sensible, straightforward, mature, independent, responsible, dominant, proper, does the right thing and has a great sense of humor. Well, you might notice that I’m praising Kate so much, but she’s not perfect. She wasn’t brave enough to confess to Rob that she gave him a bad review years ago.

The movie didn’t focus much on Kate, but if you watch her character. She is so well put together. Yes, she is also sarcastic at some point, which sometimes I find charming and annoying in some parts of the movie.

The great thing about her is she influenced Rob in a big way and even her father. I love her conversation with her Dad when she told him that not everything is about him and how he had hurt her when he fooled around for a while.

Does the relationship contribute to the growth of each person in the relationship?

I’d say, Kate’s personality contributes a lot to Rob’s personality. In fact, in the movie, she may responsible for his failure, but it’s also her who did him a lot of favor.

Do the personalities balance each other, complete each other, or makes them a good team?

Yes. Rob is an introvert while Kate is the opposite. Kate is mature, responsible and a risk taker, but Rob sometimes needs a push to do things.

As for Kate, Rob can tone her impulsiveness and her quick judgment at times.

Are they capable of maintaining a long-lasting relationship?

As long as Rob will stop acting like a bloody fool, a wounded failure, and a jerk. And as long as Kate will have a patience for him and continue giving him stability by being the traits I mentioned above then they will be fine.

Why the relationship will work and last longer? Why not?

The relationship will last because they are both open and straight to each other when it comes to their thoughts,  opinions, and actions.

Well, if Rob acts like an immature, wounded failure and by bringing up the past, and if Kate loses her patience over him, then the relationship won’t even work.

If you’re looking for a movie with foods that will feed your eyes and your taste, unfortunately, that’s not the focus of the movie, it’s the romance, personal growth, and healing. The movie has some bad reviews, but I don’t really care about them because what I care about is the quality of the relationships in movies. It’s a feel good movie with its own charm, funny moments and characters with some growing up lessons and second chances in love.

What’s the point of having a cool plot, explosions, and expensive movie budgets, if the developed characters and relationships are crappy and actors are wrong for the characters? Right?

*Thusly marked words are defined on this LINK.