As we grow up, we form our ideas of love from several different sources throughout our lives. Our parents, family, friends, neighbors… but we also learn a lot about life and love from the stories that that define our childhoods. For us Gen Y-ers, those stories came from our favorite television shows. Being a kid in the 1990s meant that we were privileged to watch some pretty excellent television. Who couldn’t help being jealous of D.J. Tanner when Uncle Jesse drove her around San Fran with all that glorious hair blowing in the wind? Or that Sabrina, the young, lovely teenage witch, got to talk about all of her teenage angst with her witty cat, Salem?
Needless to say, these television shows shaped our lives and subsequently, our opinions of love and relationships. One of the biggest lessons I learned came straight into my heart from Mr. Teenage Love himself, Cory Matthews.
Boy Meets World was a staple for us Gen Y-ers. We grew up with Cory and Shawn, like they were our neighbors who we played Capture the Flag with every weekend. However, the real love lesson came from the multiple-season development of the young love between Cory and Topanga.
We loved them, we rooted for them, and we even wanted to be in their bridal party. Naturally, it broke my heart into pieces whenever they broke up. No matter their issues, they always came back stronger than ever. It was by seeing this natural progression that I learned my first lessons in love:
1. Sometimes, stepping away to look at the big picture is the best decision you could ever make for your relationship.
Look at Cory and Topanga. They were absolutely perfect for each other and it even took them a few breakups to realize it. Being able to take a step back from your relationship is the true test for any couple.
2. It is important to know how to love yourself before you can love someone else.
Cory and Topanga had known each other their whole lives. It was more natural for them to identify themselves as a couple than as individuals. Their breakup enabled them to realize what each of them wanted separately, which in turn, made their relationship that much stronger. By learning to love themselves as individuals, Cory and Topanga learned to love each other as a unit.
3. Relationships are a living thing and need just as much nurturing as the people within it.
A relationship is something that needs work every single day. Cory and Topanga realized this. Some days were hard for them and equally hard for us as viewers. I still cringe whenever I see an episode of them dating other people. In the end, they got through it and we got to see all of that 90s wedding splendor a few years down the road. They worked hard for what they wanted, and in the end, they got their happily-ever-after.
I personally think that current television shows do nothing for our perceptions of love. Reality television is anything but real and we can’t seem to find a couple that stands the test of time. So if you are in need of a healthy love fix, take a little blast from the past and check out your favorite 90s shows. You’ll be surprised by what you might learn.
Photo Credit http://ifyouwereborninthe90s.tumblr.com/post/15145007799