I’m not a gambler, but I bet you've heard a woman swoon over Ryan Gosling’s character in The Notebook.
Did you see the way he kissed her—in the rain? Can you believe he wrote her a letter every day for the year he was gone?
I know you’re rolling your eyes.
Sometimes TV and movies make you feel like life will never live up to their fairy tale love stories. But sometimes these pop-culture creations offer tangible tactics for you to employ with real people, not made-up characters.
Enter Jim from The Office.
Jim is funny, snarky, and sarcastic. With women, he is flirty and always thoughtful—his humor is sometimes just a mask for his romance, a means of hiding just how tender he actually is. (In fact his humor makes his romance that much more sweet and memorable.) He's patient. And he's creative: one of his early dates with Pam (who he’s now married to) took place on the roof of the office building where they work.
I’ll admit that I’m a latecomer to the Jim Fan Club. I just saw my first episode of The Office two months ago, when a guy I was dating had me watch. I got hooked fast.
In the first episode I watched, Pam is nine months pregnant, about to burst. Jim, who sits just ten feet from her, is training the new young girl in the office. As many women—pregnant or not—might ask of their husbands, Pam queries Jim if he finds the new employee hot.
“Of course not,” Jim responds.
Cut to his confessional, where he tells the viewer what’s really on his mind.
“What do you think, I’m an idiot? You think I would tell my huge, nine-months-pregnant wife that I think the new girl in the office is hot?”
This guys, is lesson numero uno in how to love like Jim—knowing when it is okay to lie to your woman.
It is not often—if ever—that such behavior is allowed, much less encouraged. So please only do so when a) you are lying to protect her feelings, AND b) the thing you are lying about is harmless. I understand that judging the emotional weight of an issue is subjective, but I think we can all agree that whether Jim thinks the new girl in the office is hot or not is a moot point.
It’s almost like answering the age-old "Do I look fat?" question. Save any extenuating circumstances, she of course never does.
Lesson number two came at the end of Jim and Pam’s wedding episode, where he confesses:
“I knew we needed a backup plan. The boat was actually Plan C. The church was Plan B. And Plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago… pretty much the day I met her.”
I know—that Jim guy is the Mayor of Swoon City. But more importantly, he understands the value of a plan, and not just in the long-reaching context of marriage.
Women love a man with a plan, starting with where you want to take her on the first date. The most amateur move you can make is to say, “I don’t know, it doesn’t matter to me," or, "Whatever you want.”
Bigger picture, you need a plan for how you’re going to show her how you feel and how lucky you are to have her. Jim is notorious for never going very long without finding another way to show Pam how much he adores her.
That guys, is the key to it all: show, don’t tell.
Which brings me to our third and final lesson in “Jim”-ing your woman: You've got to win her everyday. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s the little things you do for her—like bringing over dinner or hammering out the logistics of a road trip—that will literally help your relationship go the distance.
Through eight seasons, Pam still seems overwhelmed by Jim’s love for her because he never puts his feelings in cruise control. His willingness and dedication to showing her how he feels are what, some would argue, keeps them so uniquely strong.
When Jim met Pam she was engaged. He became her friend, then her confidante, and after she broke it off with her fiancé, he took her on a date and began wooing her the old school way.
He knew what he wanted and he went for it, never giving up hope.
So, “Jim” your woman. And if you’re single, follow his honest lead to find a Pam of your own.
Who knows, maybe it’s the girl sitting right next to you in the office.
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