Despite it being a movie classic, I’d never seen the movie Groundhog Day before. Watching it for the first time this week, I realized the film has quite a powerful message about love, which we can all use when it comes to dating.
Released in 1993, the movie centers around a cynical TV weatherman (Phil) who goes to to the small town of Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania to cover the Groundhog Day festivities.
After the day is over, he goes to bed. When he wakes up at 6am the next day, he realizes that the events are repeating themselves over again. He is stuck in a time loop, doomed to experience Groundhog Day over and over again.
Since there’s no tomorrow and he’s miserable, he uses it as a chance to do whatever he wants. Drinking, reckless driving, being rude…he just doesn’t care.
After that he spends several of his loops trying to get his love interest Rita to fall in love with him. He takes her on a date and once he knows more about her, he starts using this information to try and create perfect the date.
She likes poetry. Initially he pokes fun of her love for poetry, but once he gauges her negative reaction, he then says how much he admires her love for poetry. In the following date he even quotes poetry.
He does everything to try and woo her. One day he manages to get all the way to the bedroom, but then he messes it up by pushing her when she says she thinks it’s moving too fast. Each date always ends with a slap in the face.
Eventually he gets so depressed that he tries to kill himself several times, but he always wakes up again in the time loop.
Eventually he tells Rita about what’s happening to him. She doesn’t believe him at first, but eventually he manages to convince her it’s not a lie. She sympathizes with him, but the next day he wakes up alone…again.
In the end, he uses each day to be positive, do good deeds and better himself. He learns to play the piano beautifully. He learns to sculpt ice. He helps a group of old ladies when they get a flat tyre. Eventually Rita is so impressed by Phil’s talents and his good nature that she falls in love with him.
What this movie teaches us about dating and relationships
So much dating advice focuses on manipulation. It’s easy to obsess over what to do and say in order to have the best possible outcome.
Yes you can pretend you have similar interests with the person just to woo them, but in the end, it’s not an authentic connection.
Groundhog teaches us that the best way to find love is to be authentic and to focus on all the things you love. It doesn’t have to be piano or ice sculpting, but if you have genuine passions and interests, you’ll become much more irresistible. You’re focusing on yourself and not what you think the other person wants. You’re not chasing them, you’re attracting them.
Instead of focusing on the other person and trying to get the outcome you want, focus on being yourself. Communicate openly and honestly. Act in line with your feelings. Express boundaries without fear of rejection. That’s the path to a real connection.