Guest Post: Relationship Lessons from How I Met Your Mother

How I met your motherLife’s little lessons don’t always come in a pretty package, just waiting for you to unwrap them and learn something valuable. Sometimes, they come in the form of a failure, or sometimes (hopefully more often than failure), they come in a funny one disguised as a situation comedy.

“How I Met Your Mother” is entering its ninth and final season. That’s the bad news. The good news is companies like Direct Start TV are offering a free HD DVR upgrade in epic preparation of the finale.

The entire show is based around a father telling his teenage children how he came to meet their mother. Each episode, in essence, is a lesson he learned along the way. Remember your 20-something years and catch up on some of the relationship pearls of wisdom offered in the love trials of HIMYM’s five characters as you wait for it’s final episodes.

“How I Met Your Mother” image by shdowchsr via Flickr.

Resist your Hermit Couple Tendencies

This is what happens when a couple enters that settling down stage. It comes after the “I can’t stop ripping your clothes off” stage, but before the “I am so sick of looking at you” stage. This era might be more appropriately named the “Let’s just stay in and cuddle” period. In season two of HIMYM, Ted and Robin get to this place right around episode 10.

Self-appointed best friend Barney starts to lose it when he notices all his couple friends want to do is snuggle and watch movies while wearing sad-looking PJs. Finding out his “I got a party in my pants” brother is in a serious relationship too just sends Barney over the edge.

Lesson: Don’t get so lost in the cuddle phase that your single friends mistake you for bedridden senior citizens. Everyone needs to “Suit up!” occasionally just to maintain their friendships and sanity.

Lose the Love Tidbits

You know all those little gifts and mementos you shove in a drawer during the big break up scene? Stop it. In episode 16 of season two, the little mementos that mean absolutely nothing to Ted get discovered by now steady girlfriend Robin. Ted is a good sport about it, though. He does what he should have done in the first place — he gives everything away.

Seems like the perfect solution until he finds out Robin has all her past love life tidbits too. Payback is a… you get the idea.

Lesson: This one is twofold:

  • If you are going to be a hoarder, stay single or get a padlock.
  • Check your panty drawer before you begin to torment your boyfriend about his mementos from previous relationships.

Just because Jesus Waited Three Days…

In season four, episode 21, fans learned an important, if not slightly fallible, lesson from Barney. Ted gets the phone number of a hot girl at a bar. His first instinct is to call her right away to make a love connection. Barney intercedes with his infamous rule: One must wait three days before contacting a potential love interest. After all, Jesus waited.

Ted, not one to give in to fake authority, tries to get around the rule by texting (smart move because it didn’t actually violate the bro code). The problem is he ends up texting his boys accidentally instead of the hot girl, making a total fool of himself.

Lesson: Three day rule is meaningless. Ted didn’t wait three days when he met Robin, so what does that tell you? If you like someone, life is just too short to wait around.


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