"Notting Hill"

with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant

Viewed October 7, 2000

The topic for October videos is relationships, and romance was certainly in the air tonight at our discussion (though not in the normal sense). We tackled the big questions about romance, falling in love, marriage, and divorce, and got some new insights along the way.

Regarding Question 1, several of us felt uncomfortable with the pressure we've received from friends and relatives implying that we were somehow inadequate if/when we aren't involved in a romance and/or married. We realized that "falling in love" can blind us from really seeing our lover, and therefore damage our relationship when we demand that he or she live up to our illusions about them. And yet everyone agreed that falling in love is fun, and we found ourselves hoping that it doesn't NEED to be harmful if we are able to hold our illusions in check and really are willing to admit to ourselves what our lover is actually like.

We also agreed that it can be scary to admit to ourselves that someone really loves us (Question 6), because then we have to become vulnerable by admitting that we either have strong feelings for them as well, or else that we don't share their feelings (and therefore run the risk of breaking their heart).

So the discussion was all about being willing to face our illusions, look at the reality that is there right in front of us, and own up to our own feelings, whatever they might be. So even though we had only about an hour for the discussion tonight, several people commented that it was a highlight for them that we touched on topics that were as emotionally-charged as they were, and got to know ourselves and each other better than we would have at work or at a Sunday School class.

Here are the questions:


  1. What do I believe about the idea that "the meaning of my life is romance"?
  2. How has my life changed/not changed in the time since an extraordinary event?
  3. What are the things that prevent me from recognizing the opportunities that come into my life? From doing something about them?
  4. How much am I willing to give myself permission to fall in love?
  5. What is it about vulnerability that tugs at my heart?
  6. In what ways am I reluctant to believe that someone loves me when they say they do?
  7. To what extent am I willing to tell people what they want to hear? To act like people want me to act?