I once saw a post on Tumblr say that Christian Grey from 50 Shades Of Grey is a bad example of what a relationship goal should be like, and I think most people know that to be true. But then someone reblogged the post and added that Ted Mosby (from How I Met Your Mother) and Ross Geller (from FRIENDS) are too, and I had to think about that. I had seen FRIENDS years ago and I just recently watched HIMYM, and I can’t get that one internet rando’s comment out of my head. I mean, obviously the makers of said shows didn’t aim to make characters that display slightly obsessive attributes because at first glance they all seem perfectly normal, but when you look at things from another perspective, things are different.
I always liked Ross. He was the most logical and smart and kind and had dorky tendencies that I dug, even just for a laugh. I did kind of side with him on the whole ‘on a break’ thing. He was a normal guy just trying to be happy with a girl he’s been in love with for years.
And the same went for Ted. Average guy, smart, nice. He had his heart set on a soulmate and did his best to find her, even though the world seemed against him.
Both guys fell hard for a girl (Ross for Rachel and Ted for Robin) and for the majority of the shows’ run, those relationships had a huge focus. Ross and Rachel are such an iconic couple. Their drama and friendship was relatable and real, and you knew they just had to be endgame. Their famous ‘on a break’ fight was genius because there was no correct answer so viewers weren’t totally against one person. As for Ted and Robin, they were interesting because they worked together so well though they were very different. Though it was clear from the pilot that Robin was not the girl Ted was really looking for, it was nice to see their friendship and relationship develop. For both shows, the males were the real forces behind the relationship, the ones who really fell head-over-heels first and the ones who didn’t give up, and that’s why it’s somewhat understandable how some people see it being creepy.
But not me.
You see, for Ross and Rachel, their problem was that they’re both stubborn, so they fought a lot when they were in a relationship, and when they weren’t, they just never seemed to be in love at the same time, which made for drama and awkward other dates that everyone knew would never last. But it was clear that they always cared for each other and just needed to get their acts together. Ross did struggle to express himself and often failed to understand Rachel or even females in general, but that made him human and kind of relatable. He was a flawed character, and that’s what we needed to see.
As for Ted and Robin, their relationship was a bit more complex. They got along well and lasted a while, to the point where they had a clean break up. Had Ted had better luck in other relationships, then all would have been fine, but when he failed to find his dream girl, he was forced to always hold on to the idea that perhaps Robin was as good as he’ll get. The problem was that Robin had the same ideas. Every time Ted went to some great length to admit his feelings, it was at times when Robin was having doubts (before she married Barney) or newly single (after her break up with Kevin), so she’d awkwardly reciprocate for a while until she’d straighten up and realize that she didn’t want what Ted wanted. Because Ted was an admitted romantic, he did some pretty extravagant gestures to woo Robin, which is why people consider it ‘creepy’. But like Ross, and even Rachel to some degree, feelings so strong can’t just go away, and unfortunately, Ted’s big flaw was that he relied too much on hope and love.
And it’s not like the females in question ever said “no” and then had these guys constantly pine after them. It was always mutual feelings, though of different degrees. It isn’t ever about entitlement.
Maybe I’m just a romantic too, so I don’t consider Ross and Ted creepy. I mean, both guys only wanted happiness and a realistic life with someone they loved, so to have them compared with Christian Grey is just wrong. I understand what they want.
I do see how people could perhaps not like Ross and Ted as characters. Ted’s decision-making skills were super weak, and Ross often didn’t understand that people have different interests and feelings, but that doesn’t mean they’re awful. They’re flawed like any other character. They should not be criticised and bashed for being ‘nice’. I mean, the world is full of guys who aren’t nice, so I always enjoy seeing fictional characters (yes, remember folks, they are not real…another rant for another day) who are #goals.
What do you guys think? If you’ve seen FRIENDS or How I Met Your Mother, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment, even if you do think that Ross and Ted are creepy or disagree with any of my points. I want to learn and discuss!
P.S. Did y’all hear about the FRIENDS reunion thing that was announced yesterday? I’m so excited!
P.P.S. That series finale of HIMYM was so bad, I’m so angry. People said it was bad, so I knew in advance, but I was still really disappointed.