Retroactive Jealousy OCD And The Most Overused Name In Hollywood

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by Jeff Billings in Retroactive Jealousy Blog
July 16, 2016
retroactive jealousy ocd

Retroactive jealousy OCD and Hollywood? What’s the connection? Well, in my case quite a lot.

Jack has to be the single most overused name in film and TV. Ever. It’s almost guaranteed that during almost any show or movie you turn on, at some point a character will pop up named Jack.

You’d think all these film and TV execs would realize this and say, “Hang on, isn’t Jack a bit of an overused name? Maybe we should try Mike. Or Caleb or something?” But no, the never ending tide of Jacks continue to flood the screen.

Jack is the quintessential name chosen by Hollywood for any guy who’s a little bit dangerous. The good guy, but possibly with an unorthodox methodology. Jack Traven (Speed), Jack Dawson (Titanic), Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) are all perfect examples of this character.

The name seemingly signifies danger, excitement and confidence. The guy who’s a little bit off the rails, but someone you’d love to have a beer with.

This applies not only to maverick cops, stowaways and pirates, but to anyone who happens to be charming and maybe a little overly cocky. Thomas Hayden Church’s character in Sideways fits the bill perfectly and so gets called Jack. How Bradley Cooper ended up being named Phil in The Hangover is a mystery.

In Hollywood’s alternate reality, Jack is also Hollywood’s name of choice for the kind of sensitive, outdoorsy hunk you’d supposedly delight in your daughter marrying. The rugged boatsman/bar owner in the TV show Revenge is a perfect example of this type of character. Yes, the one with the annoying semi-beard and permanent “Aren’t I gorgeous?” smoky expression on his face.

But the name Jack isn’t merely restricted to sensitive hunks and maverick loose canons. It seems it can be applied to practically any kind of character nowadays. Anyone from Jim Carey’s aged boss in Bruce Almighty, to Julie Delpy’s Woody Allen-esque boyfriend in 2 Days in Paris, to Detective Linden’s mopey kid in The Killing.

Often, if there’s not a character in a movie or TV show called Jack, there’s probably one called Jake. Or its original derivative, John.

Retroactive Jealousy OCD And The Movies

You may be asking yourself why I should care about any of this. And what’s it got to do with retroactive jealousy ocd?

Well, the only reason why I noticed how fixated Hollywood is with the name Jack was because it was the name of my girlfriend’s sex-buddy right before she met me. Trapped in a prison of retrospective jealousy, whenever I heard the name Jack, I’d inwardly wince and immediately be dragged down into a wormhole of over-thinking about my girlfriend’s past.

In your case the name might be Jude, Keira, or Benedict. Whatever the name, whenever you hear it, does it send you down into a spiral of over-thinking and anxiety about your boy or girlfriend’s past relationship with this person?

Fortunately there is a way to stop retroactive jealousy ocd in its tracks: 1) change your thoughts, and 2) change your actions, and I detail exactly how to do these two things in my course Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy 101.


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