Dealing with a difficult summer relationship? To save you from having to go out and purchase yet another copy of He’s Just Not That Into You to solve your relationship woes, Her Campus has come up with the five lessons in love from our favorite summer TV shows. The small screen is the perfect place to get all of your relationship advice – why try to figure out the dos and don’ts of messy and complicated relationships when we have the likes of Carrie Bradshaw, Meredith Grey, and Blair Waldorf to do it for us? Study these tips so that when your McDreamy comes along, you’ll be mc-ready. We hope you’re taking notes.
Lesson #1 from Awkward: Don’t be shady
Forgive us for stating the obvious, but lies, scandal, and cheating are not the best ingredients for a successful relationship. Exhibit A: MTV’s Awkward, in which high school misfit-turned-semi-popular-girl Jenna Hamilton is dating Jake Rosati, a popular football player. Long story short, before Jenna started dating Jake, she was seeing his best friend, Matty McKibbin – unbeknownst to Jake. It’s obvious to everyone (except Jenna, ironically enough) that Jenna still has feelings for Matty. By not being honest with Jake about her past with Matty, she’s putting herself between a guy and his best friend, which is a place no collegiette should ever want to be. We can tell that this ménage à awkward is going to result in a huge bro-pocalypse between Matty and Jake. While this makes for good television, it doesn’t exactly make for a real life happy ending.
If there is one thing that Annie Robinson, a junior at North Toronto Collegiate Institute has learned from her relationship experience, it’s the importance of truthfulness. “Loyalty and trust are key to a good relationship,” says Annie. For Annie, “honesty is always the best policy.”
Kelsey Mulvey, a junior at Boston University, feels the same way. She says, “being secretive around your significant other makes him or her feel like they’re only involved in half of your life.” We agree with Kelsey completely – when was the last time your boyfriend was like “Hey, just so you know, I only want to be involved with half of you today”? He wants the full story.
The best relationships are like the desert (because the desert’s not shady – get it?) Don’t let a secret loom over your relationship, especially if it’s about a controversial ex. If you’re worried that telling your significant other will ruin your relationship, don’t be. Chances are, if he doesn’t accept the choices you’ve made in your past, and if he doesn’t appreciate your honesty, then he’s not the one for you. It’s better to find that out sooner rather than later. Tell him now so you can move on – you’ll feel so much better when you do.
Lesson #2 from Pretty Little Liars: Wallow well
While there are few things worse than a heartbreaking break-up, the relationship-savvy collegiette knows that there is a limit to post-break-up grievance practices. Apparently, Hanna Marin of ABC’s Pretty Little Liars missed that memo. After her break-up with the broody Caleb (which, let’s be honest, we all saw coming), Hanna skips school, lies to her mother, complains about doing charity work, declares she’s “too depressed to work a zipper,” and stops eating. Correct us if we’re wrong, but none of those things sound like they would make us feel remotely better.
Lindsay Johnson*, a senior collegiette from UNC-Chapel Hill, talks about her most recent break-up, admitting that she “had a really tough time getting over it.” She says, “I felt like there was this giant hole in my life that I didn’t know how to replace.”
After a break-up, it can seem like the end of the world, and we understand the urge to let yourself go. We also maintain that anything, including a good wallowing session, is fine in moderation. Spend a night in your PJ’s eating ice cream, watching The Notebook in the dark, and listening to Taylor Swift on repeat (“You’re not sorry… noooo”). But don’t overdo it. Lindsay says that after her break-up “it helped to spend time hanging out with friends who did a really great job of filling up the void I was feeling after the break-up.”
Ultimately, we get it: getting over the guy of your dreams takes more than one night. But if you try to feel better, or if you pretend like you’re over it, trust us, eventually you will be.