With that line, Ryan Hallet single-handedly summarized the core of Shane and Oliver's conflict in From The Heart. Each carrying relational bumps and bruises, Shane and Oliver struggled to push past them and connect with each other, almost jeopardizing the relationship they worked so hard to build.
Previous Bumps, Bruises & Scrapes
It would be a mistake to see what happened between Oliver and Shane as an incident isolated to From The Heart. In reality, every relational bump and bruise experienced prior weighed heavily on the situation that occurred.
In For Christmas we learned that one of Oliver's life goals is "to find someone to share [life] with" [Is it me or did Oliver end that sentence with a preposition?]. Oliver admits it's a desire which he hasn't been successful in achieving yet. Add on top of that a failed marriage and a history of women who have abandoned him, and it isn't hard to see how fragile Oliver's heart would be as he stepped out to pursue Shane. In many ways he's a "shy, broken-hearted boy" trying to overcome the wounds of his past in this area.
Leading with his heart was, however, the route Oliver took this time around, from the construction paper heart, handmade Valentine, and the invitation to dance at the nicest restaurant in town, to his eagerness to see Shane home to her mail. Despite failing to hand it to her directly, which is pointed out to Oliver several times, he doesn't hesitate to tell Norman that he desired his invitation "be special." It's clear Oliver also wanted to show Shane a new side of himself, declaring his hope to "return the favor" of surprising her one day.
It's should be no surprise, then, that when it appeared Shane might be rejecting him that Oliver immediately sought out a reason to be wrong. I don't think Oliver was so quick to believe that Shane would forsake him like that. Unfortunately Hazel, and subsequently Norman, were no help in this area, planting the seed of rejection in Oliver instead. Just think---maybe if Norman had been more careful to detail Shane's responses to his inquiries (and left out "what he saw in a movie once") it might have left an opening for Oliver to correct the situation right then and there! The result, however, found Oliver retreating, allowing his head to rule the day once again.
Many have made comments on the previous Shane and Oliver post and on Facebook that Shane has done nothing to warrant any distrust from Oliver, but I would argue that it has very little to do with Shane and everything to do with the wounds he's suffered in the past. I believe Oliver thinks he has overcome many of those past hurts, but in particular moments the waves of hurt and rejection return and he freezes. I am not sure he's made the conscious connection yet, but hope he does moving forward to avoid these kinds of situations in the future.
Previous Bumps, Bruises & Scrapes
Most of Shane's insecurities stem from her desire to have a defined role in the lives of the people around her, particularly the men in her life. It was her lack of ability to define her relationship with Steve that prompted her transfer to Denver in the first place, and it was her failed attempt to define her role with Oliver that caused the strain in their relationship early on.
While Shane has moved past overt attempts to establish defined roles, she hasn't quite given up on the practice, providing an emergency Yoo Hoo supply about which Oliver remained uninformed until absolutely necessary. Instead of forcing the relationship, she found covert ways to earn it. Even so, supplying emergency Yoo Hoo does not a romance make!
Shane's ire towards the holiday is further reinforced by her mention of Valentine's Day as a way to "pressure men into taking [you out]...and telling you they can't live without you," which wreaked of harbored bitterness. Perhaps she approached a previous Valentine's Day with these hopes, only to end up "crying in the ladies room?" Might Steve have been the culprit? Hypothetical or not, it certainly reveals more of Shane's potential hurt stemming from a previous relationship where her role was undefined.
Shane's condition was only exacerbated by the introduction of the mysterious police officer on whom Oliver had a crush 15 years ago, whom we later find out is Dale. Not coincidentally, Dale's auburn hair bears striking resemblance to Holly---another source of Shane's insecurity throughout her relationship with Oliver, the specter lingering in the background for much of that time. Much like her instincts in From Paris With Love, Shane's reflex was to turn and run when she happened upon Oliver and Dale emerging from choir practice---a clear sign she still bears some wounds related to Holly.
To think all of this could have been avoided by Oliver asking Shane to dinner directly is almost mind-blowing considering all the insecurities revealed for both parties as a result of him choosing to do otherwise. Rather than directly confronting each other early on, they told half truths about how they spent their holiday, perpetuating further the chaos and anarchy set in motion by those around them.
In the end, I think it's clear that both Shane and Oliver's actions can be defined by the truth that "matters of the heart can hurt more than a punch in the shoulder." As each struggled with insecurities incurred at the hands of previous matters involving their hearts, their clumsy attempts to protect them in the present only served to make matters worse. Hopefully their mutual apology at dinner doubles as a promise to engage each other more directly moving forward, with previous bumps and bruises in mind. It truly is the only way these two are going to get things right.
Grabbing Protective Gear,