How I Met Your Mother & what it teaches us about men and relationships

(May contain minor spoilers)

I’m a big fan of HIMYM. OK, I’m a bigger fan of FRIENDS but after I read this list that made me feel really old, I decided to be more current and stick to updating myself with the sitcoms of this decade (yes, FRIENDS belongs to the last decade people!!).

A friend of mine came up with this theory that the male characters of How I Met Your Mother reflect the three common type of men available in the meat market.

Marshall. The guy who looks for a serious relationship and wants to settle. He’s your typical one-woman only guy.

Ted. The hopeless romantic who finds himself in all kinds of hopelessly romantic situations; unrequited love, crazy acts of love like stealing a blue French horn for someone he is “in love” with and falling in love with women who are not emotionally available for him.

Barney. The guy who sleeps around with countless women and has an inexplicably high self esteem.

Another (guy) friend of mine says that all guys want to be Marshall in the end, and I think that’s true. I haven’t met a guy who doesn’t want to settle down, no matter how much sailor fun they want to enjoy at the beginning of their adult lives. In reality, I think I know more girls who don’t want to settle down than men. I remember an ex-colleague of mine saying that men can’t be alone, and it’s almost always true. I have girlfriends who fume when, after they’ve broken up with their boyfriends, their boyfriends find someone new less than a month later.

Back to our three main male leads in HIMYM though. Maybe I’ve been mixing in the boring circles, but I don’t have any good friends who are like Barney. If they are, they’re hiding it really well. I think the men I know are settlers. They date one woman at a time and they just want to find someone they love, have a lasting relationship and work things out and marry. Sure, I know a few Teds, but Teds eventually become Marshalls after they realise that they have to be practical and living with rose-tinted glasses of how love is supposed to be versus what love is like in reality just doesn’t work in the long run to find a partner.

Also, I can’t imagine a woman who would want to be with Barney unless she is the female reincarnate of Barney or if she thinks she is the one who will be able to change him and get him to settle. Do you believe that men are problem solvers? I think women believe that they are excellent at problem solving but it doesn’t always work out. Look at George Clooney. He’s never, ever going to want to marry someone again or have kids. He’s the exception to the HIMYM rule, and yet we still see woman after woman wanting to have George’s baby or to be the one to change his mind about getting married. No. Just no. These women get dumped in the end after their proclamations of how they want to get married and have kids.

If there’s something I’ve learned about men, it’s that no matter what you do, you can’t change someone’s mind once it’s made up.

There was a part in HIMYM about long distance relationships and how Ted kind of cheated on his then-girlfriend Victoria which caused Victoria to break up with him. I still am a believer of long distance relationships, although I’m saying this with a more wary tone as I’ve just gotten to know that two of my close friends broke up with their other halves in the first half of this year after being together for 2-3 years long distance. I know LDRs are not easy. Nobody has said that they are. However, same-city relationships are equally difficult depending on how much you’re willing to work on the relationship and compromise. Familiarity breeds contempt. I’ve been through a LDR myself with The Boyfriend when we were apart for 18 weeks last year, and for a good part of the next few years we will be travelling a lot and not seeing each other as often due to our demanding jobs; in less than two weeks we will start ending up in completely different cities but for now we do want to work it out. This means a ridiculous amount of travelling on both our ends but we both think each other is worth it. I’ve also seen a lot of happy instances where both parties in a relationship choose to stick out till the end until there is a permanent resolution where one of them flies over to the other city and stays there permanently. More about LDRs in a later post.

With all that said, who do you think you/your other half resembles the most? Ted, Marshall or Barney? And how has that worked out for you? šŸ™‚


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