With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it seems love is on everyone’s mind. Whether deep in it, struggling to get over it or anxiously awaiting the day it arrives, there’s no denying that the game of love is a risky endeavor.
A relationship can turn sour faster than milk under a heat lamp. Take Justin and Britney. Who would have guessed those pop-star lovebirds would end up battling out their breakup through malicious lyrics and wicked choreography?
In this day and age, when the average relationship barely outlasts the lifespan of a fruit fly, it’s hard to know where to turn for good advice.
In TV land, as in real life, love isn’t easy. But with the help of a talented and dedicated writing staff, many of television’s couples have excelled at romance and become timeless examples of how to make a relationship work.
Before the pressure of Valentine’s Day romance overwhelms, take some love advice from a few of television’s most adored couples.
Kevin & Winnie (“The Wonder Years”) — Puppy love
Young love is so sweet. Full of innocence and dreams, children have not yet learned to be cynical and paranoid. Experience, and predictable sitcom writing, hasn’t begun to teach them the age-old truth that the girl next door will always choose the hunky bad boy over the nice guy. Follow in the steps of these naíve, yet devoted, souls: Never give up on the dreams of youth.
Zack & Kelly (“Saved by the Bell”) — Playing hard to get
Girls, the trick to making him swoon is pretending that you couldn’t care less. Kelly kept this high school hunk drooling on his short leash by perfecting the “I don’t care if you even exist” routine.
Guys, here’s a little piece of advice from Zack Morris himself: Once you have her, never encourage your girlfriend to get a job that requires her to wear a miniskirt and a midriff-bearing top, especially if her manager is a soap-opera cutie.
Lois & Clark (“Superman”) — Wooing her
Women these days are much like Lois Lane. They are career-driven, independent and strong-willed. But in spite of this much-cherished independence, almost every girl longs to get swept off her feet by a knight in shining armor — or a hunk in a cape. Take it from Superman: Women don’t need to be rescued. They can certainly take care of themselves, but every once in a while a lady likes to be pampered.
Ross & Rachel (“Friends”) — Falling for your friend
Making it work with a best bud is rocky terrain, but it’s not an impossible journey. TV’s favorite on-again, off-again couple managed to fall in love, break up and recreate their friendship, all the while carrying a must-see sitcom. Assuming that these two eventually will make it work, it seems that sometimes a solid friendship is the best foundation for romance.
Paul & Jamie Buchman (“Mad About You”) — Starting a life together
Paul once asked Jamie, after one of their more serious fights, “How could you ever doubt my love for you?” Loving the same person every day is hard work. Even on television, marriage takes patience, honesty and compromise. The Buchmans’ rule for building a life with the one you love: Never let them doubt.
Cliff & Clair Huxtable (“The Cosby Show”) — Raising the little ones
When dealing with the dramatic problems of young ones who have no life perspective, according to the Huxtables, the key is to never take anything too seriously. Whatever the issue of the day is — from Theo’s ear-piercing to Denise’s spontaneous marriage — one can learn from this family that keeping a cool head and making a good joke will smooth over any problem.
Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne (“The Osbournes”) — Overcoming trials
When all the details of everyday life are stripped away, what sustains a relationship is the endurance of love, patience and respect. Trust in the love that transcends common sense. Rely on patience that looks beyond the present-day trials. And respect your partner in spite of his or her obvious and inherent faults (including drug addictions and tendencies toward live-animal dismemberment).