Here is a quote from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind, 2005 film.

Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's looking for my own peace of mind.

She said "I am a concept" and I really don't know what she meant.

Concept means in web-dictionary " A concept is an idea or abstract principle."

I do not understand why she was using the word "concept"

It doesn't make any sense given that the all definition at English dictionary at all.

Could you please help me understand?

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  • I didn't watch that movie, so I a bit lack of context. However, I believe that she means those guys just think of her as something "not real". Perhaps, some of them might even think of her as something to shape, mold, or "develop" (as in "develop a concept"). In other words, those guys don't see "the real her". – Damkerng T. May 21 '14 at 14:35
  • I think the dictionary definition of concept is quite sufficient to grasp the intended sense here. Anything we can add to that is really just Off Topic Lit Crit. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica May 21 '14 at 15:47
  • I think my answer improves on the dictionary definition. But perhaps that's my vanity talking, and I'm really guilty of off-topic lit crit. :) – BobRodes May 22 '14 at 19:06

I think Damkerng has the sense of it. She's saying that she doesn't want a man to perceive her as an extension of himself rather than as a person equivalent to himself with whom he interacts. (If you should be interested in looking at technical psychological material on the idea, google "narcissistic cathection" or "narcissistically cathected object".)

Suppose a man has a fear of inadequacy, as we humans so often do. This might give rise to the fantasy that he needs more than himself to survive in this world, which gives rise to the fantasy that he isn't complete in himself, which gives rise to the fantasy that there is an "ideal" woman out there who by the simple fact of her presence in his life will take all of that away. This is the "concept" she's talking about.

So, a man like this meets a woman like her, she doesn't treat him like he's a creepshow reject, and because of this he overlooks everything about her that doesn't match his ideal woman, and imagines in her everything she lacks in his ideal woman. In other words, he creates yet another fantasy, wherein this woman is the ideal woman that he's been looking for. So, this ideal woman is the answer to the fantasy that he needs more than himself to survive in this world (she makes him alive), and also she is the "missing part" of himself that makes him complete.

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