The Urkel Principle, or “Why you dudes should do a better job of choosing”

After a productive weekend of covering the American Legion baseball state tournament, I spent much of Sunday chillin’ out and getting ready for my BlogTalkRadio show this evening (readily available in the links section of this blog). Part of that chill process was watching Family Matters, something I haven’t done since I left Delaware the first time back in 2007.

The episode in question was when Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) was accused of accidentally blowing up the science lab, which would’ve led to him being expelled and all of his dreams being dashed. Urkel’s defended in student court by Laura Winslow (Kellie Williams), who successfully gets the charges dropped, but before then, Steve’s then-girlfiend Myra Monkhouse (played by the late Michelle Thomas) makes an impassioned (and obviously false) statement of guilt to set Urkel free.

It got me to thinking about a conversation that I’ve been engaged in or privy to observing before and the bottom line never changes – Urkel was a FOOL to shun Myra for Laura – but why? Well, work with me here. I’m going to try my best to help you all (MYSELF included) understand why Steve Urkel had a beautiful, brilliant and buxom woman ready to wash his dirty drawers but instead pined for and chased after a woman that never really reciprocated that passion. It’s a common thing among men, but for the purpose of this post, we shall call it “The Urkel Principle.”

If you remember from the earliest episodes of Family Matters, Steve Urkel chased after his cute next door neighbor who viewed him just as everyone else did – a nerd only worth stepping around or stepping on. His relationship with Laura wasn’t that much different, yet he never failed to be there for her when she needed something (a memorable instance is when he took her to a cheerleading competition she overslept for and she tried to make him sleep in a tub in a hotel and he finally stood up to her).

Enter Myra Monkhouse, a cousin of Laura’s boyfriend at the time, the wavy Ted Curran (played by Patrick Dancy), who is the anti-beautiful chick, a nerdy woman with an African dictator’s middle name who shares the same interests as Urkel and stays in his corner to no end. Yet as Family Matters went out with a whimper in the late 90s, Urkel refused to advance with anything meaningful with Myra, conditionally dating her until Laura changed her mind about him.

The Urkel principle is set from the jump – Men tend to become so drawn to one woman and idolize and idealize that woman for an eternity (crassly called “Putting [insert slang term for a woman’s sexual organ here] on a pedestal”). They stay so fixated on one woman that they can’t see there are others out there, others that are willing to give them the time of day and their love. Maybe it’s the fear of something new or the fear of being rejection (both of which are as real as the day is long) that keeps them from detaching themselves from a woman who fits their ideal but doesn’t want them. Those same guys are the ones that often complain and are bitter about how women act or how they’ve been treated by said women when those women have made it clear from jump that they were not and never would be interested.

So is there a way to stop yourself from being victimized by the Urkel principle? Yes, and it’s simple enough but people fail to do it not just in dating, but in every part in life – keep an open mind. No one is saying you can’t have preferences or standards, but you should bend the rules if someone cares about you/you care about them/you make each other feel good. Another part of it is just letting go. That woman that DOES not want you, and that’s it. Let it go. She doesn’t want you – bottom line. Find someone who does and adjust. Steve Urkel was never able to do that and put himself through hell chasing, chasing, chasing. Only difference is some of these guys take it out on every woman around and that’s not the right thing to do – place the blame with yourself for falling into the Urkel principle, then get out of it.


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