How I Met Your… Aunt?

1 Apr

by Stacie Smack

WARNING: Massive spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched the HIMYM Finale yet.

I’ve written about this before. I tend to be fairly vocal and open when it comes to my views on marriage, monogamy, and the fairy tale of “forever”. Well, here I am, at it again.

I (like a billion other people) was watching the HIMYM finale last night, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the (perhaps unintentional but most likely not) commentary on marriage.

Throughout the entire show, and boy was there a LOT of show, Robin and Ted’s relationship bounces around more than my weight in the last two years. They obviously love each other, have great chemistry, and enjoy each other’s company. BUT. And it’s a big but. They want different things. He wants kids, and a family. She hates kids, and wants nothing holding her back, while she travels the world. After 9 seasons, we get it guys. You want different things.

And so they each go about their lives, trying to accomplish what they want. Ted finally meets The Mother. They have kids. They live in the suburbs. They are in love. Robin finally becomes a world travelling anchor.

I just want to talk in circles about two things:

1) Robin and Barney get a divorce.

They had been fighting. They were both unhappy. And so she offers him an option. She offers him a clean freeway exit on Year Three.

This is a nod to my (and others’) theory of Marital contracts rather than eternal vows. I’m not saying they had a clean break. But after three years, they revisited their priorities, and these had changed. They should be able to get out if it doesn’t make sense to be together anymore. Why do three good years need to feel like a failure just because it wasn’t forever? Many things have expiration dates. Maybe relationships do too.

2) Robin and Ted end up together.

People seem to be OUTRAGED by this. They feel cheated. They wanted the fairy tale love that Tracy was supposed to bring to Ted.

I think people are too quick to draw conclusions. And yes this is a fictional show. But how many relationships follow a similar pattern? In particular, the one of finding love much later than what is expected. Doesn’t it make perfect sense that they should be together now?

He has his family and the suburbs and he had the fairy tale love which was sadly taken from him. She was able to spend over a decade flying all over the world without responsibilities for others. His kids are older and need less attention. If he could have stayed with his wife forever he would have, but that was not the case. He is alone again. She is slowing down. All of a sudden, they no longer want different things because they already experienced and lived through the things they wanted that kept them apart. Now, they just want each other.

I guess what I’m trying to get to is that we don’t give enough credit to our selfishness, our ever-changing desires, and our independence. Especially US. The generation that grew up being told that we can do whatever, whenever, however we want to because the world is our oyster and everything is accessible to us. How are we expected to know what we want in EVERY aspect of our lives by the time we are 28 which is apparently the universal “start freaking out about finding a partner” age.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to get married young. I’m not saying you shouldn’t want to find love. But I do wish we could take a step back and realize that we all have different priorities, and sometimes these conflict with settling down and having to start sharing a life – or sometimes your partner’s desires conflict with you wanting to settle down and share a life. Sometimes we love someone but the timing isn’t right. That doesn’t mean that it will never be right. And I’m not claiming these are soul mates either and that you should sit around and wait for the time to be right. If so, it never will be. But we need to slow our rolls and be less married to our expectations, because that’s not how life is. You do you, fight for what you want, and embrace that sometimes the ending you expected is not the ending that you’ll actually get.

So to all the HIMYM finale haters, think about it. Doesn’t it fit like the perfect puzzle piece?

 

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