Remember when Jessica Biel talked to In Style last month and revealed that her fiance, Justin Timberlake, styles her? She also dropped a lot of Hallmark card wisdom about relationships and maintaining her individuality. It was a somewhat revealing look into how she justifies getting engaged to a guy who cheated on her multiple times (allegedly). In a new interview with Hello! Magazine, Jessica does the same thing. It’s really easy to read into her quotes, and I just came away from it feeling sorry for her. She kind of admits that Justin dumped her, and explains why she still feels ok with her decision to get back with him. Granted I’m reading behind the lines, but tell me that’s not what she’s saying here. (Note that these quotes are similar to what she told In Style and The Chicago Sun Times about her long engagement, but they’re somewhat different and Hello presents them like she told them this in person. She’s probably just repeating her talking points. I’ve been fooled by Hello’s format before, which is why I’m mentioning it.)
On being engaged for a long time
“I enjoy being engaged. It’s kind of an amazing time in anyone’s life, I think. People I know who are already married have told me, ‘Don’t rush this period, because you’ll never have it again.’ And I’ve been trying to listen to that advice.
“When we start actually planning the wedding, I’ll really get focused on it and make the decisions and think about the seating charts and the menus and all those things. But for right now, there’s no stress.
“There’s something very romantic and magical about where we are at the moment. I absolutely believe in a long engagement because I want to enjoy this time for as long as possible.”
On her breakup with Justin last year and getting back with him
“Apparently, I needed to be alone for a while. I think that when you take the time to stand by yourself as an independent person, and you find out that you actually are capable of moving forward alone and being fine on your own, then that is a very empowering feeling to have.
“It gives you a lot of strength and a lot of confidence, too, because it means you know that from that point on, any decision you make is an educated one, not just an emotional one. So you can make your own choice about whether to step back into a relationship or whether to go in a different direction. You feel good about who you are – which can only help.”
On the qualities she looks for in a man
“I don’t know that I am attracted to a particular type of man as such. But I like to be with someone who has a sense of humour and a very playful quality and at the same time is very intense about the things he cares about. I like that dichotomy. Also, someone energetic because I’m very energetic myself and I think I would have a hard time living with a couch potato.
“But it’s really about being with someone who can be a partner to me, whom I feel I can trust and who can be non-judgmental about my choices and support me through the rough times when they come along – as I will him.
“And that’s exciting when you find the person, to think about going through all the ups and downs of life and doing it together.”
On her relationship: “nothing is perfect”
“I think that when you’re a little girl, you have the idea of a knight in shining armour scooping you onto a horse and you ride off into the sunset and everything is perfect.
“Now that I’m more mature, I think I have a better understand that life doesn’t work out like that – that nothing is perfect and everything is going to be hard in some way or another. It’s more a case of pick the person that you an ride the waves with, jump into the boat and go for it.”
On her wedding plans, which are vague
“I haven’t even started to think about that yet.
“I do know that it’s not going to be a great big to-do. This will be a very private moment for us, so we’re going to keep it small and intimate. The people I’d most like us to be like are Emily Blunt and John Krasinski – it seemed like one day they were engaged and the next they were married and nobody had known anything about it. And I did at the time think, ‘Aha! That’s the way to do it.’
“I did hear of one couple who did a really great thing. They invited everybody to a Halloween party at which they were dressed up as a bride and groom. And, of course, everyone turned up in gory costumes with blood everywhere. Then in the middle of the party, suddenly the couple said, ‘Surprise! We’re really getting married!’ And they did, with all their friends wearing Halloween costumes. I thought that was a really great idea. So maybe we’ll steal it.”
[From Hello! Magazine, print edition, August 20, 2012]
Notice that she doesn’t say “We” haven’t thought about our wedding plans, she says “I” haven’t thought about it, which is telling. She also never mentions talking about it with Justin. So she felt strong and confident after Justin broke up with her, and she felt like she made an educated decision to get back with him? That’s her business, and it seems like that’s how she explains it to herself, but she’s not coming across like someone who is deeply in love and committed to getting married. She sounds like someone who is trying to figure out what’s going on with her relationship, who realizes she’s settling on some level, and who is taking time to decide if she should get married or not – which is good news, really. Maybe she’ll realize that she needs to pull the plug before she makes it official. What is it that hack Dr. Phil always says, “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior“? (I googled it, I shouldn’t have put a question mark there.) It’s not like Justin is suddenly going to be faithful once they get married – IF they get married.