4 Love Lessons From Our Favorite ‘90s TV Couples

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In our college lives, a crush, a hook-up, or even a relationship can sometimes last about as long as our interest in the most boring lecture ever. While you’re Facebook-stalking your latest obsession, another campus cutie walks by and suddenly it’s like, “Who’s Steve, again?” But, for those hopeless romantics out there who are dreaming of their epic college romances, finding the right guy can be a little difficult — to say the least. Between busy schedules, wandering eyes, and, you know, actually finding that special someone, it’s no surprise that we look back on our favorite ‘90s couples who seemed to have it all. Although they may have been lucky in love, they each conquered some serious obstacles that brought them to where they are today (or would be today if the series hadn’t ended, of course). So, since we’re feeling a little nostalgic, we’re taking a look back at those ultimate ‘90s TV couples and what we can learn from their relationships.

Donna Martin and David Silver from Beverly Hills, 90210

When we first meet Donna and David in, you know, 19-freaking-90, they’re the epitome of lost souls on the search for one another. David’s a total music geek and Donna lacks self-assurance (and, to put it lightly, intelligence). The duo is clearly in need of some romance, swag, and confidence. So lucky for them, Cupid throws the two together, creating a whirlwind relationship that lasts 10 seasons — any couple that makes it that long deserves a medal, or at least a spectacular televised wedding for us to envy over. But besides the longevity of their on-again off-again relationship, Donna and David stand out for one pure reason: Donna won’t sleep with David until they’re married; she’s a proud virgin. So what’s a guy to do when he’s desperate to get laid but also madly in love? He sticks it out, of course — I know, you totally weren’t expecting that to be the answer. Besides a few minor (ok, major — can you say cheating scandal?) bumps in the road, David stays by her side and waits until Donna’s ready to lose her virginity, something every guy should do.

Lesson learned: If he likes you, he’ll wait

In college, there’s a ton of pressure to have sex — we get that. But that doesn’t mean you have to give into it if you’re not ready. If you’re just looking for some fun, then go ahead and play — work it, girl. But, if that’s not you, then there’s no reason to change who are for some guy that will probably be gone before you can even think to make him scrambled eggs and bacon the next morning. If he’s doesn’t respect you, then he’s not going to care about your morals, values, or even what you want to do in that exact moment. If David can wait ten seasons, then he should be able to wait a few weeks, months, or years until you’re ready.

Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell

You’ve got to fight for what you want, and that’s exactly what Zack Morris did. As the epitome of cool at Bayside High School, it was only fitting that Zack chase after the beautiful cheerleader, Kelly. It was basically set in stone from the get-go that these two were made for each other. But, of course, what’s a television show without a little drama and suspense? Producers can’t give it all up come the first season’s finale. So, Kelly strung Zach along before finally settling down and agreeing to date the witty class clown. The two seemingly had it all: wits, popularity, beauty, and, of course, a rollercoaster of emotions. Kelly cheats on Zack. Kelly gets a new boy toy. Said boy toy cheats on her. Can you say vicious cycle? As much as we loved them, their picturesque romance wasn’t as perfect as it seemed.

Lesson learned: Not every relationship is as it seems

Got a friend who only talks about how amaaaazing her beautiful, smart, and talented boyfriend is? Right, besides being completely annoying, she may also be hiding something. No relationship is perfect, even during the first months where it seems like butterflies and rainbows. You can’t just put two people together and expect unicorns to pop up — it may appear to be magic, but it’s far from flawless. So next time your friend goes on and on about how her hot boyfriend is just fabulous, remember that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors: they could get into blowout fights over stupid things, maybe they sit in silence with nothing to talk about, or he could be cheating on her. Don’t go seeking the ultimate, perfect relationship. Instead, find someone to be weird and goofy with. Go find yourself a Screech.

Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence from Boy Meets World

Cory and Topanga are the epitome of a couple. Cory even refers to their romance as a masterpiece — seriously, his lines are cheesy, yet oh-so amazing. Anyway, Cory and Topanga prove that a great romance needs an even stronger foundation, aka friendship. Before they become an epic duo, they were friends. Cory and Topanga teased each other, witnessed each other’s worst hair moments, and casually hung out as awkward pre-teens before anything romantic happened. Together, they’ve dealt with cheating, family issues, and break-ups followed by make-ups. But what kept them strong was their underlying friendship — they knew each other better than anyone else and that’s what carried beyond just a high school romance.

Lesson learned: Friendships can turn into some of the best relationships

Ever wish a guy would just get you? Understand your quirks, your desires, and your weird mood swings? It can be hard opening up to a guy you just met, especially when you desperately want to come off s cool and collected — totally not psycho at all. But at the same time, are you truly comfortable with this new guy? I mean, he doesn’t know that you can eat an entire pie of pizza in under five minutes, not to mention that when you laugh, you tend to snort… loudly. But, your guy friends that you’ve totally friend-zoned for no specific reason know all of this (and unfortunately, more) about you. When you hang out with them, it’s like hanging with your girlfriends—you definitely need a bra or makeup. Take another look at these guys, and rethink a possible relationship with them. They’ve seen you literally at your worst, and obviously at your best, and they know inside and out. Like Cory and Topanga, these factors could make for that seriously great relationship that you’ve been looking for. I mean, Cory saw Topanga with crimped hair and they ended getting a spin-off of their long-lasting relationship — just think what could come out of yours…

Sabrina Spellman and Harvey Kinkel from Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Being a teenager can be rough, but throw in some magical powers, and it could get quite interesting. From the moment they lay eyes on each other, sparks fly between Harvey and Sabrina. Accidentally falling victim to a majority of her spells gone awry, the two conquer more than just your average couple: He’s been turned a frog and been temporarily pregnant, definitely not your typical romantic obstacles. All magic aside, they’re the real deal and totally in love. But, there’s a catch, obviously. Sabrina has to keep her secret to herself about being a witch, and so she’s constantly coming up with (white) lies to cover her tracks. And explaining to your boyfriend why a troll is following you around the school hallways can get a little a tricky. When Harvey does find out about her little secret, he breaks up wit her, and after being lied to for four seasons, it’s only fitting. Hello, was the relationship even real from the beginning? But, no need to fret, Sabrina and Harvey — being soul mates and all — end up together because when it comes down to it, Harvey’s the only guy she can completely trust with her ultimate secret.

Lesson learned: Be honest and be yourself

In college, in can be hard getting and keeping a guy’s attention. So, we lie about a few things — not the biggest deal ever if it’s about something small like watching sports or pretending to enjoy one of their stupid movies. But once you start exaggerating the truth, things can get a little difficult in the relationship. Before you know it, he’s buying you season tickets to lacrosse games for your birthday thinking that’s actually what you wanted because you told him so. Getting wrapped up in a lie essentially makes the relationship a lie. How’s a guy supposed to get to know you, if you’re not showing him who you really are? And at the same time, if you can’t trust the person you’re in a serious relationship with, then who can you be honest with? Harvey accepts Sabrina’s flaw (if you consider having awesome magical powers a flaw) and from there they start to rebuild their relationship by being open with each other, and it totally works. Try it out, you’d be surprised how much happier and relaxed you can be when you’re not spewing out lie after lie, covering up your tracks.

 

So collegiettes, here’s to hoping you find the David to your Donna, the Cory to your Topanga, the Harvey to your Sabrina… and you get the point. We’ve got our fingers crossed for your happily-ever-after, ‘90s style (minus the overalls and horrible hair styles).

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About The Author

Jamie is a recent graduate of the George Washington University where she majored in Political Communication and Journalism.  While in school, she interned at several magazines and online publications, wrote for Her Campus, and contributed to her university's newspaper, The Hatchet. Her work has been syndicated in The Huffington Post, USA Today College, and Reader's Digest. Jamie loves boy bands, anything with a little wit and sarcasm, and of course, diet coke. She is currently pursuing a career in magazine journalism in NYC. You can follow her on Twitter, @jamieblynn

 

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