Is the second time around ever better than the first? Not in the movies!
On the big screen, it’s a very rare thing indeed that a sequel tops the original. For example, who can forget Sex and the City 2, Carrie Bradshaw’s second major failure (the first being ditching Aidan, of course), a film apparently so shiteous that it actually lost money domestically whilst being panned by pretty much every critic with unimpaired hearing? Although there are exceptions to the sequel rule, I’m going to generalize here and say that most don’t compare to the original. But can this rule be applied to relationships, as well? Does lightning strike twice with an ex and last?
If you read this site, you know I’m a big fan of the ‘exception/rule’ philosophy. Confused? Most of us are egocentric enough to believe that we are different when it comes to love, that no man could hurt us, screw us over or leave us because we’re just that awesome. And yes, we are all that awesome — but just because you, your friends and the general population believe you to be a kick-ass girl doesn’t mean a guy is going to see it the same way. Ergo, we are ‘the rule’.
Don’t feel bad about being one of many. Guys operate on their own freakish level of misunderstanding. For example, who would have thought than a paunchy, tattooed D-bag like Jesse James would score one of the most lovely women on the planet, Sandra Bullock, and then cheat on her with a bunch of cheap floozies? Sandy may be an Oscar winner and a millionaire, but she’s just like the rest of us, if not worse off. She’s been cheated on and forced to suffer public indignation upon public indignation at the hand of her ex-husband — after thanking him for inspiring her Academy Award winning performance in The Blind Side, no less.
Anyhoo, all relationships end for a reason, and it usually isn’t a positive one (unless you’re ‘the exception’). He just may not be that into you, or you’re not the one, or you caught him with his pants down and his penis up. Although a breakup usually means the end, sometimes you and your ex just can’t quit each other (and yes, I do mean in the Brokeback Mountain sense, though in a non-gay way). But will reconnecting with a former boyfriend bring you joy, pain or a mixture of both?
Let’s look at the facts here, as applied to film. Love sequels certainly haven’t seemed to work for the Hollywood elite. 8 Mile star Eminem and his ex-wife, Kim (the one he won’t stop rapping about) wed in 1999 and filed for divorce in 2000. She then tried to sue him, which he must have liked because they reconnected again in 2000, upon which she promptly decided to divorce him again. Although they officially divorced in 2001, they decided to give love a second shot in 2004. They remarried in 2006 and divorced again less than a year later.
The original Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder, remarried two of the same women twice, Flynn Belaine and Jennifer Lee. Elizabeth Taylor famously cheated on Eddie Fisher with her Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton (whom she married nine days after her divorce from Fisher was finalized in 1964), but the two split up in 1974, only to remarry again in 1975 and divorce again less than a year later. Last but not least, a sequel romance didn’t work out for Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, who met on the set of The Harrad Experiment in 1972. They married in 1976 when she was just 18 and divorced less than a year later. They re-wed in 1989 until she left him for the wily Spanish charms of Two Much co-star Antonio Banderas in 1996.
The evidence indicates that if love doesn’t work the first time around, it isn’t going to work for a second. Personally, I believe that if you suspect an ex was the one and are OK with whatever circumstance led to your relationship’s original demise, why not just go for it? It’s better to know for sure than to always wonder what could have been.
That said, I also don’t believe that sequel love actually lasts. Whatever was flawed in your relationship initially most likely won’t miraculously have gone away by round 2. Love takes time, work and dedication. If you really want to be with someone, then concessions need to be made on both your parts. Unfortunately, the older you become, the harder it is to cede what you want and what you’re willing to change.
Just like in the movies, we may view sequels with hope, but in the end, unfortunately, most just end up sucking.
* Thanks for this idea goes to Robbie, who actually is pretty when he speaks