‘I like you very much. Just as you are.’

Thoughts on being your ridiculous self.

If you have ovaries, then you know the title line.  If you were dating or married to a woman in 2001, you were likely forced to sit through the movie Bridget Jones’ Diary. This movie frequently resides in the single girl’s collection of emergency movies in the event she’s ever let a man throw her off-balance or has gone through any type of breakup. As a matter of fact, Ben and Jerry’s needs to just sell pints of Chunky Monkey with every purchase of the movie.

Bridget, the perfectly flawed single girl who feels as though she constantly walks about as some sort of mistake to society, is told at one point in the movie by the dashing Mark Darcy that he “likes her very much,” just as she is.

I love this scene. I think you are missing a heart if you don’t. And being a deep feeler, of course, I love this scene. One thing I love so much about it is that as Mr. Darcy leads up to his big “just as you are” line, he mentions a few other things first, like, “There are elements of the ridiculous about you.”

If I had to choose one line that sums me up perfectly, that would be the one. But Mark Darcy must say it first.

A person that I cared very deeply for once said to me that he had very high criteria for the girls he dated. And that I didn’t meet said “criteria” for a long-term relationship. It was Valentine’s Day. Super fun, huh? I like to look at him as my Hugh Grant. Looks great. You think it’s great. But it’s anything but great.

Recently, I’ve had a brief encounter with another gentleman who is incredibly lovely and kind. But then I realized something I hadn’t noticed at first. I thought he was just someone being overly observant about everything. Then it hit me. It wasn’t just seeing things. He was sizing them up and then criticizing them. The face I was making wasn’t the one he liked. So he commented for me to change it. My response to a question wasn’t the one he wanted. So he asked me to change it. And not in the way of saying, “I like you as you are.” It was in the form of saying, “You should be someone else.”

Well, I’m not.

I’m just me. 

The thing I love about life and people is that we are messy—some more than others. I can’t speak for men, but we are all over the place as a woman. We gain weight. We lose weight. We grow our hair out. Then we cut it all off. We make mistakes. Typically in thinking that bangs are a good idea and why wait until the salon is open. DO IT NOW! 

We get some things right. We can cry—for apparently absolutely no reason. We frequently have no earthly idea what we want, and other times we are so focused and driven that you should run and hide under the covers.

The man who finally figures out that the beauty of a woman is her being exactly as she is, in all her messy glory, is the man who finds happiness with her. Even more so, contentment.

To me, men who want to change us are only creating a reality that doesn’t exist and they will be left with disappointment someday when the blinders are removed. The same goes for women who think they can change a man.

Of course, I believe in growing and changing and the art of compromise. But for a man to want to change a woman at the core of who she is will never lead to anything true.

We are who we are, and if most women are like me, we revel in our ridiculous elements. More women need to stop trying to be who they think a man wants and just be herself. Honestly, I think that’s all most men seek. And there is something beautiful about a woman who likes herself just as she is.

So here’s to being a perfectly flawed human being. Here’s to saying all the wrong things and turning the soup blue. To dating all the wrong men and believing in the crap society sets before us. And to be exactly who we are.

Because I like you very much. Just. As. You. Are.

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