Getting your hands on a healthy on-screen relationship is always a difficult thing to do, especially with all the toxic ones being glorified all over the internet with the rise of fandoms, but nonetheless, they exist and they continue to move and inspire us all. Here are five healthy relationships from both the small and silver screen, which we should learn from and possibly aspire to.
- Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. (2013-Present)
“I kinda wish something could happen, between us, romantic styles.”
A ‘Die Hard’ enthusiast and a binder-making fanatic falling in love, this story of two New York City detectives falling in love proves how polar opposites do attract. Jake (Andy Samberg), a “genius” detective whose life is always a seemingly shambling mess, finds himself in love with the hard-working and organized Amy (Melissa Fumero). We watch them grow from competitive and teasing colleagues to a legit couple who never fail to challenge each other, as seen in every Halloween Heist. We also see the change and development in Jake as he grows as a person with Amy’s help; he even makes a binder himself before meeting her dad and actually starts reading the Harry Potter books just because Amy loves them. As well as building shared interests, both never fail to support each other at all times, I mean, who can forget how Jake supports and respects Amy’s ambition and reassured her before her sergeant’s exam? Or how Amy’s always proud of Jake whenever he breaks a new record or solves a huge case? Many might argue but, to me, they’re honestly the best couple on-screen at the moment, I’m sure Charles would agree.
- Gomez and Morticia Addams, The Addams Family (1964-1966), The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993)
“I would die for her. I would kill for her. Either way, what bliss.”
Alluring, passionate and mysterious, these are the only words fit to describe this strange pair. Perhaps not the most predictable entry on this list, but the Addams share a love that is unrivaled by any other, a love that’s as intense, captivating and unique as their own personalities. They don’t fit nor conform to the normal standards of American society, and that goes from their bizarre way of flirting and extends to the nontraditional ways they raise their children, Wednesday and Pugsley. Both Gomez and Morticia prove that life after having children isn’t necessarily a dull, loveless or repetitive one, but rather a continuation of the romance and the honeymoon phase that usually ends a short while after one’s marriage. A few hours without dancing together (or throwing knives at each other) are torture for our couple, let alone being apart from one another. Since they dance so marvelously and seemingly effortless, I always find myself wondering how Morticia manages to do so in that fish-tailed black dress of hers…
The Addams certainly have the best marriage on-screen; everyone agrees that they’re a match made in heaven, or should we say hell?
- Carl and Ellie Fredricksen, Up. (2009)
“You know, you don’t talk very much… I like you!”
Our first and only animated feature on this list goes to this heartwarming story about two beautiful kids who simply shared the same love of adventure and exploration and continued to do so until the end. Their love story isn’t exotic like that of the Addams’s, it’s the exact opposite. This is one of innocence, childhood love and a small grape soda badge. Carl and Ellie, however, are quite similar to Jake and Amy. Both are examples of the far extremes being bewitched by the other; nine-year old Carl, who’s shy and timid, meets the (almost) intimidating Ellie, who’s far bold and confident than himself, and a friendship is born when Ellie shows him her adventure book and reveals her desire to move their “clubhouse” to Paradise Falls. She makes him promise to take her that one day and, from that day, they become inseparable. Life goes on; they grow up, fall in love and get married. Their happiness was cut short when she suffers a miscarriage and falls into depression and only the thought of the adventure to paradise to look forward to. Afterwards, they kept saving up to go on their journey but something more urgent always interfered. Countless years pass them by and they grow old, yet when they’d finally had enough to go, Ellie leaves him her book and passes away. I daresay there’s nothing more precious than their story, I remember myself bawling during those ten minutes the first time I watched. The way they loved, supported and encouraged each other, it’s exactly how every relationship should be.
- Phil and Claire Dunphy, Modern Family. (2009-Present)
“Phil, do we have to go through this again? I told you that I would do everything possible to make sure that your skeleton ends up in a science class at a women’s college.”
Another married couple on our list, a couple that’s been married for a good 16 years when the show first premiered. It may seem like a long time, and it is, but somehow Phil and Claire make it seem like it was only yesterday. Claire was quite wild growing up and one could never know why she settled for Phil, who was anything but wild. After getting pregnant with their youngest Haley, they get married and things are pretty much normal. Claire is your typical bossy mom and is often meddling into her kids’ lives while Phil is the “trying so hard to be cool for my kids” kind of dad; both their attitudes always tend to backfire though despite their clear god intentions. Between taming Haley, struggling to understand Alex and running after Luke, Phil and Claire always make time for the other and they regularly try to spice up their relationship. Although they do have their fair share of ups and downs, the strength of their love and that for their family is as bright as the sun. Even though parenting can never become easier, it certainly becomes harder and being heads of a modern family is no piece of cake. But together, they can undoubtedly make it through anything that comes their way.
- Monica Geller and Chandler Bing, Friends. (1994-2004)
“You are one of my favorite people, and the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known in real life”
Last, but definitely not least, everyone’s favourite couple from Friends! This pairing takes some aspects of the previous entries in this list and combines them all together. They’re friends turned lovers, polar opposites, married with two kids after several failed trials to conceive naturally; they’re really quite the package. Through seasons 4-10, we watch the transformations of both Monica and Chandler; Monica become much more patient and Chandler finally open up about his feelings and relationships. With Monica’s help, he lets go of his defense mechanisms, like his sardonic attitude, which he admits uses when he’s uncomfortable, and becomes a much more loving and positive person. She also helps him get rid of his weird commitment phobia (or anything related to kids and marriage phobia). Her patience managed to make him become much more rational, supporting of her and their relationship, and encourages him to pursue a more creative choice of career after several years working as Statistical analysis and data reconfiguration manager which was only supposed to be a temporary job. Eventually, Chandler warms up to the idea of marriage and proposes to Monica (although she beats him to it). Not to mention, he was the first to say to say I love you.
Like Chandler, we learn how a healthy relationship ought to be from Monica. It’s one where you accept each other’s silly quirks and obnoxious habits and still strive to rid them of anything that’ll sabotage them in the long run. It’s one where you’re never afraid or scared of letting your true colours show, where being goofy together and teasing each other is normal. It’s the one where you’re best friends as well as lovers, where you like each other as much as you love each other.