Commitment. Why is it so hard to actually fulfill and why do some run away from it? Every day, hundreds of commitments are either evaded or made of empty words that will never actually be done. Many commitments end up broken and are simply compensated by excuses or even more empty-worded promises to make up for what one has failed to initially fulfill. Of course, there are emergency situations that call for a break in commitments but that doesn’t apply for all. Plus, it’s not to say that we live in a world where commitments are only broken on repeat. There are still those who are willing to make commitments and do their best to satisfy those that they have already made.
But going back to the general question: why is it difficult to fulfill a commitment? Or more so, why is it so hard to commit to something or someone at all?
In the 2016 rom-com entitled Always Be My Maybe, it tackles with exactly that inquiry. Going into the idea that it is a previous negative experience that makes it so difficult to fulfill and actually make a commitment to, in this case, someone at all.
The movie starts with Jake (played by Gerard Anderson) and Tintin (played by Arci Muñoz) who are dumped by their respective partners. Jake, who was about to finally propose his girlfriend (played by Maika Rivera) after years of dating, is dumped out of his snail-like process towards the ultimate commitment of engagement while Tintin is dumped because the guy (played by Victor Silayan) she was “dating” was just not that into their relationship after all. Months later, the two dumpees meet at the resort owned by Jake’s family and shortly thereafter, they become good friends.
Through their friendship, the two come to learn more on what a guy or girl looks for in a relationship. They also discover more about themselves like how Jake’s talent for photography is not just some plain old hobby but something he is actually passionate about while Tintin re-discovers how to loosen up after her breakup. Inevitably, their great friendship chemistry with one another begins to evolve into something more. After doing makeup for a wedding, Tintin is overcome with great loneliness and calls Jake to ask him to take her out for Valentine’s Day much to the latter’s happy surprise. The night ends with the two finally sleeping together yet the morning-after is seen to be awkward as the two begin to contemplate on what this means for their “friendship”.
Nevertheless, the two begin a relationship, albeit one that was never outright labelled as one, and things seem to go well until Jake’s ex comes back into the picture who kisses him after asking to be taken back. He relays what happened to Tintin who, still traumatized by the high-expectations she set in her previous relationship, ends up becoming paranoid at the idea that Jake might just be like her ex—just not that into her. When Jake witnesses Tintin’s ex kiss her one night, he, too, becomes paranoid over the thought that she is falling for another guy—much like his ex—and the two, over lunch, end up arguing about what they both saw. Tearfully, Jake spills his heart out to Tintin by telling her how he has never once lied to her and that he honestly likes Tintin (so much that he is finally willing to genuinely commit to a relationship with her) but that won’t matter if she won’t come to learn how to trust him. Seeing how Tintin is still reluctant to commit with him, he leaves.
With some time and advice from friends, Tintin realizes her mistake and goes after Jake who has now started a photography business. She first posts a YouTube video where she tells her viewers (and, in a sense, herself) not to hesitate to tell someone you love them because why risk losing that one person who is also willing to love you back? She then goes to find Jake and apologizes to him who, quickly enough, accepts it and the two then outrightly say their I-love-yous and call themselves boyfriend and girlfriend as the movie ends.
Commitment to someone can be a hard thing to give and fulfill because of one’s experiences over being at the receiving end of a broken promise or because one cannot seem to give up one’s current lifestyle. Just like how Tintin’s initial hopes of being a married woman was shattered into pieces when the guy she was dating dropped her like a hot potato or just like how Jake took his sweet time to propose only to be shoved with news that his girlfriend already moved on to someone else, these are experiences that can harden one’s heart into truly committing again to someone and planting a seed of paranoia that there is no such thing as true love. But what the movie was also able to show is that, whether if you believe in soulmates or not, there is bound to be someone out there who will learn how to love us in all our beauties and imperfections. It’s just that are we willing to take a chance with them?
We can learn to love and commit to someone again but only if we realize that life is but a big leap of faith and we will end up nowhere if we always stop ourselves from taking chances just because of hardships. It all boils down to: how will we ever know if we do not try? Life’s too short to stay hesitant in everything and we must learn how to take risks and to stand up after falling down because it is our determination in doing so that makes us stronger and help heal us faster so as to eventually move on. With Jake willing to take another try at love and commitment with Tintin and with Tintin learning how to accept this instead of running off proves exactly how it all ultimately ends with us—in our choice in wanting to heal and move on. As cheesy as it may sound, we all deserve a chance to spend and share our life with someone we can call our better half even if it takes a couple of tries to find the right one.
Ironically enough, Always Be My Maybe shows how we can move past being the maybe-victim of it’s complicated to finally and officially together simply through the act of trying again with commitment.