Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea were great pioneers, but there's a new group in town. A group of powerful pioneers that have saved us all a lot of strife. I'm talking about those incredibly brave (mostly) women in TV and film who endured horrible, detrimental and destructive relationships so that we don't have to. They dated jerks, duds, and weirdos, taking us along on their emotional journeys, so that we can save ourselves from the trauma. Sometimes we learned that the guy was a dud and sometimes we learned valuable lessons about incompatibility. You could try to convince me that it is just a show/movie, but then I'm going to show you the pictures I took of myself after *that* episode of Grey's Anatomy with tears and makeup streaming down my face as I was HEAVING and you'll decide to keep quiet.
Let's review what we've learned, shall we?
Rory Gilmore of Gilmore Girls:
Dean: Dean is nice. He's just a nice guy and there are not valid reasons for Rory to NOT date him. He's the first guy to show her any interest and he's nice and tall and pretty handsome, so she dates him. But guess what people? Nice isn't a good enough reason to date someone. I have a big urge to say "NICE DON'T PAY THE BILLS", but like.....that doesn't work here. We aren't paying bills. Nice doesn't give you butterflies. Nice isn't that za za zoo (Grey's reference). Thank you Rory for dating wet blanket Dean for us.
Jess: Oh Jess. We all need to date a Jess. It was actually Jess who inspired this whole post. I am rewatching Gilmore Girls and one night I wrote a 3 page document about how everyone needs to date a Jess. Jess is a bad boy. Women have an instinct to be the one to tame him. Jess is brooding and mysterious and he's fun and exciting. Jess is also kind of a wiener. He knows that Rory is entranced by him and he takes advantage of it by being rude and distant. Not that there is anything wrong with being very physical in a relationship BUT when the physical part masks the emotional parts of a relationship, there is a problem. Jess and Rory fight because JEss is being a wiener and then they just make out. Rory and Jess have the relationship where everyone else is like come on RORY!!!! Are you BLIND!? Rory tries to act like they jut don't get it but when LITERALLY everyone thinks you're being nutso, there is probably a problem. Thank you Rory for dating exciting, physical, sexy, brooding, asshole Jess for us.
Logan: Ah Logan. Logan seems like the perfect man at first--too good to be true. He is handsome, brilliant, interesting, and the family fortune does not hurt his cause. He is incredibly charming. He is totally born for wooing women. He is like the Harry Styles of Yale. (Sorry. My wifi was out so I watched the entire One Direction DVD including special features). Here is the thing about the Logans: they know they are charming and are wooing the pants off of every person they meet. That is a lot of ego and a lot of charisma for us to deal with. It also puts the Logans in a lot of power in the relationship. Not healthy. We all will always struggle with the world's Logans. Thank you Rory for dating charismatic, too perfect, pretty boy Logan for us.
Brooke Davis of One Tree Hill:
Bartender Owen: If you forgot Owen, I understand. He was the bartender that Brooke dated for a second. He also helped her when they found Rachel overdosed in her LA apartment. That is when we learned of Owen's dark past. Hey. Everyone has a past. We all have baggage. Here is the thing, you owe it to yourself to not have to hold all the responsibility to fix someone. You want someone who is going to support you as you support them. Someone who is going to lift you when you need it and someone who leans on your support when he/she/they need it. When it is 100% them needing you forever, that just isn't fair to you. Also, Brooke's dream was to have a baby her entire life. When the opportunity fell in her lap, Owen bolted. I GET it. It wasn't his dream but come on dude. There are better ways to deal with it. Thank you Brooke for dating heavy Owen for us.
Meredith and George: Sigh. Any Grey's fan cringes remembering when Meredith hooked up with George. George, sweet, wet noodle George had the biggest school girl crush on our darling Mere. Mere was in a vulnerable place and SCREWED UP and hooked up with George. She also cried during the sex. We all CRINGE. It was so awkward and sad. George was obviously mortified and damaged by the trauma. We all, however, learned a valuable lesson. (hopefully) (I'm not so sure because I see this a lot). Just because you can't think of a big reason NOT to date (or whatever) someone, doesn't mean you should be with them. The opposite of love is indifference. You can't date someone because you feel bad for them or because they like you and they are nice. Listen. Nice ain't the za za zoo. Nice causes you to cry during a hook up because you're thinking of Derek. (Derek, in this case, is literally what Mere was thinking but metaphorically Derek represents the chemistry we all seek. The excitement we all deserve). Thank you Mere for dating the guy you pitied so we don't have to.
Stephanie and Jackson: Has there ever been an on screen romance with less chemistry ever in the history of television? No. The answer is no. This is a CLASSIC example of the over correction. Jackson with with April and it was complicated. SHOOOO we, was it complicated. (but it was RIGHT) (sorry, besides the point). When he and April broke up, he got with *ugh* Stephanie. They had no chemistry, but she was obsessed with him so things really weren't complicated. She just did whatever he wanted. This doesn't work people. Just because your last partner was an asshole, doesn't mean you go to the overly nice person (who is boring). Just because your last partner was really smart doesn't mean you go to a dummy. Sigh. No. Thank you Jackson for dating the over correction so we don't have to.
April and Matthew: Another Grey's relationship that made me think *wow if this actually works out this show is worse at chemistry than I thought and I quit love*. April and Matthew sounded great on paper. She was a Doctor and he an EMT. They both loved Jesus and were "saving themselves for marriage". They were both from small towns with small town values. They both were really sweet and innocent. Okay but where is the chemistry. April and Matthew are a classic example of sounds good on paper. I think even a match maker would have paired them up on a tv show, but they'd meet and be so bored. I see this a lot. Like the classic sorority girl dates a classic fraternity man. Great. Omg our moms are both teachers, we should date. No it doesn't work like that. Humans are complicated. Thank you April for dating the "sounds good on paper" guy so we don't have to.
How I Met Your Mother:
Robin and Ted/Barney: I could talk on and on about how the only good couple on HIMYM was Lily and Marshall. No, not even Robin and Barney and for sure not Robin and Ted. Maybe in another life, they would have worked, but not in their current lives. They were friends for so long, which is fine and sometimes blossoms into a great relationship, but the problem was that their mutual friends put SO much pressure on their romantic relationship that it ruined it. The were like hmm we are friends and everyone thinks we should be together so sure wanna date. Likeeeeeeeee no. It just didn't work. We all knew it when we looked at them as individuals. Ugh. Thank you Robin for forcing yourself to love a friend so we don't have to endure the awkwardness.
Allie and Lon: You just read that and thought wait.....The Notebook is one of the most popular romance movies of this generation. Yes true. But I'm not talking about Allie and Noah (who had their own issues), I'm talking about Allie and that other guy--Lon. Allie and Lon had a cute story. As a military nurse, she nursed him back to health from the time he was in a full body cast. He joked that he was going to take her out when he was better and she said something to the effect of "Ha K." Several years later, Allie was walking out of Sarah Lawrence, her college and a handsome (!!!!) man was leaning against a nice car staring at her. Boom. Lon the bandaged soldier. Cute. Fine. He is smoking hot, rich, charismatic, and worships the ground on which Allie walks. Sounds great. It is a storybook story. But Lon was not the one for her!!! Lon is a perfect example of the guy that sounds good but just isn't. Just because it sounds like a plot for a Nicholas Sparks movie, doesn't mean it is what is going to work. (Hulllooooo Allie needed to be with Noah!!!) Thank you Allie for dating the storybook lover so we could learn what real love is.
Big Bang Theory
Leonard and Penny: For the record, I think that Big Band Theory is the absolute worst show on TV. I can't stand any part of it. However, my parents think it is "just a a HOOT!", so I know about many of the people on the show. Leonard is the epitome of the nerd archetype. Not attractive, very smart, socially awkward. Penny is the epitome of the dumb blonde archetype. Beautiful, dumb, all physical no mental. They couple up and we're like okay, maybe opposites attract. No. Because Penny is walking around like he's too smart for me and Leonard is like oh she's too pretty for me. It is a weird worship relationship. I can agree that to some extent, one should think they lucked out in their relationship and that the other person is just amazing. They should think "wow how did I get so lucky?". But there is a line. Worship is on the other side of the line. Worship to the point that you think you need them is on the other side of the line as well. Thank you Leonard for dating your exact opposite so we don't have to worship someone.
Sex in the City:
Big and Carrie: He's TORTUOUS. Satan. Big makes Carrie worship him with everything he does by charming the pants off of her (literally). However and this is a BIG however (see what I did there?), he is rude!!!! He toys with her like she is his yoyo. When he goes too far or when she or when starts to think wait maybe he sucks (like when he STANDS HER UP AT THE ALTAR), he does another grand gesture likes buys her an apartment or new shoes or takes her to Paris or something. It is MANIPULATIVE. I'm not having it. Even though they end up together (sigh), thank you Carrie for dating charms your pants off but is manipulative Big so we don't have to be TORTURED.
Danny and Sandy: Oy vey. This movie is built on the premise of if you changed yourself you will get the man/woman. It is silly. We all know it is but don't act like you don't see it all the time! Let me paint a picture. A brainy, quiet girl who doesn't really drink gets dragged to a welcome weekend fraternity house party and meets the ultimate frat star---I'm talking a button down oxford, Patagonia vest, and Bean Boots. He is wasted but really cute and shows her attention she hasn't gotten in the past. A year later you see her on Facebook posting pictures of her at Risky Business Fraternity themed parties wearing a mens button down and boxers with high socks with blurred, red eyes captioned "blurry nights with this guy <3". Great. Don't do that. Sandy/Danny, thank you for changing who you are 100% to please someone you are courting so they fall in love with a fake you.
50 Shades of Grey:
Anastasia and Christian: elle oh elle. Not taking this one.
Here is the bottom line.
We're all weird. We're all messed up. But at least these ladies and gentlemen helped me realize what weird we are and are not compatible with. Does it really matter, though? Or will we still just have to try the Dean/Jess/Logan/Owen/George/Stephanie/Matthew/Robin/Lon/Penny/Big/Sandys for ourselves? Spoiler alert: We will. We will match with boys on tinder who have the confederate flag in the background. We will Facebook message guys who say they have no real hobbies or passions in life because nothing makes them excited in life at all. We will be attracted to that guy that *everyone* is attracted to and you just hate yourself for doing it too. We will talk to the *safe* guy that all of our friends say we should give a chance. et al.
This is because, well, kids......love is a battlefield. Okay yeah, but love is also a new territory purchased by America from France that you have to discover with your pal and a native american woman. Or you could just stay home watching Amanda Knox Documentaries while drinking straight from a bottle of Pinot Grigio. You could also just do that.