When it comes to romantic woes, How I Met Your Mother was unequivocally one of the most relatable television series to turn to when it came to navigating your way through the highs and lows of modern dating. While Future Ted's (i.e., Bob Saget) drawn-out narrative of how he met his wife may have left his kids exasperated, Ted's verbosity gave way to nine years of lessons in the area of love. Obviously, HIMYM was much more than a collection of meet cutes and serendipity. The show deftly used its ensemble to center on the myriad of missteps and confusion that face those of us attempting to navigate our way through dating in our 20s and 30s.
Throughout the seasons, fans watched characters fly headfirst into whirlwind romances, cringe over bad dates, make mistakes, and grow. Despite familiar sitcom tropes like running gags and a laugh track accenting each episode, underlining the landscape of HIMYM was an authenticity that is truly difficult to replicate. Fans laughed and cried along with the characters, due to the fact that so many story arcs and anecdotes were things that they had all experienced at one point or another.
Being that my current relationship status can best be described as binge re-watching episodes of HIMYM and pizza, I have noticed that the series is ripe with quotes that apply to pretty much every romantic woe you could encounter. Let's take a look, shall we?
1. "Whenever I'm sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead." — Barney
This How I Met Your Mother quote can be a blanket statement for pretty much any romantic woe. Why dwell on lost love when you have so many opportunities to be awesome?! While it's not always easy to just turn off being sad (not to totally therapize him but Barney was concealing a lot of internalized sadness throughout the series), there's nothing wrong with being more awesome, right?
2. "Because sometimes even if you know how something's going to end, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the ride." — Ted
When you find yourself regretting a past relationship, turn to this quote. Each romantic endeavor — even those that end in hurt and disappointment — is an opportunity for growth and learning, which can get you one step closer to the right person. As many inspirational posters in college dorm rooms say, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey."
3. "The three-day rule is a childish, manipulative mind game. But yeah, you wait three days." — Lily
To text or not to text? To call or not to call? To play head games or not to play head games? The toggle between being straightforward or holding back during the early stages of courtship can be exhausting, but HIMYM was always on point in sharing our angst.
4. "I finally found the one, Marshall. Her name is Bacon." — Ted
If single life is getting you down, remember that bacon will always be there for you. Considering Ted's entire story arc on the show revolves around him finding "the one," I'd say this realization is a pretty big accomplishment for the hopeless romantic.
5. "The future is scary, but you can't just keep running back to the past because it's familiar." — Robin
Keep this How I Met Your Mother quote in mind whenever the urge to get back with an ex comes creeping across your psyche. It's not only a quote that makes you mutter under your breath a very determined, "Yeah," but it also is a great reminder that while we may not know what is ahead of us, hiding in the past only holds us back for great things to come.
6. "Revenge fantasies never work out the way you want." — Marshall
They really don't. Remember this the next time you contemplate ways to embarrass your ex during his or her next corporate meeting and how very rarely you will be the one feeling victorious after it.
7. "The best I can give you is a fake smile and dead eyes." — Robin
This quote plays in my head on a continuous loop every time I am approached lasciviously at a bar.
8. "I realized that I'm searching, searching for what I really want in life. And you know what? I have absolutely no idea what that is." — Barney
Sometimes the scariest part of romance can be the unknown. It's OK to not know what you're looking for or how things are going to pan out. Somehow, things find a way of (eventually) falling into place. Plus, it's nice to the softer side of Barney, right?
9. "Whether a gesture's charming or alarming depends on how it's received." — Ted
I, personally, balk at grand romantic gestures. Perhaps this is why the HIMYM character I always related to the most was Robin. If you have attempted acts of romantic grandeur that lead to a face-palm, take solace in the fact that the right person will respond with nothing but sighs and squees.
10. "Definitions are important." — Lily
Most of us — at some point — have faced the agony of wondering whether or not a relationship is exclusive and/or whether it's time to have "the talk." Like Lily, stick to your guns when it comes time to telling your ambiguous bae what you're looking for.
11. "I used to be in such a hurry all the time. Everything was so urgent. Now I figure, if it's going to happen, it'll happen when it happens. I'm not going anywhere; she's not going anywhere. What's the rush, right?" — Ted
Preach! Throughout How I Met Your Mother, Ted was zealous in his search for love. He looked for signs from the universe, threw caution to the wind in each and every relationship (regardless of any red flags), and wasn't always the most patient when it came to finding the future mother of his children. By Season 9, Ted had finally come to terms with the fact that sometimes romance has to happen organically. Lo and behold, Tracy McConnell — otherwise known as The Mother — entered Ted's life in the most beautifully serendipitous way possible.
Yes, Tracy's fate during the series finale may have soured some fans' views on love, but that's what alternate endings are for, right? Moreover, if you stick with the original ending, it still proves that patience is truly a virtue when it comes to love.