There's something about the winter months that just make me grab for my DVD box sets of The O.C even harder than at other times of the year (Good news: It's now streaming on CW Seed, so you don't even need to scramble around looking for all those lost DVD discs like I do every year, without fail). It's just so perpetually sunny in Orange County! And though Seth Cohen might complain about the complete lack of seasons in O.C., he's never had to get out of bed at 6 a.m., in pitch black darkness, and leave the house in weather conditions straight out of a disaster movie.
It's also way too cold to attempt to do anything else constructive during these winter months, but you know what'll warm you up when your three layers of sweaters and trusty old blanket fail you? Love. And whether you're currently crushing hard on an old friend, in deep with your longterm bae, or simply flirting with killer cheekbones on Tinder, The O.C has so much to offer which can put real-life affairs of the heart in perfect perspective.
So, find the Sandy to your Kirsten, the Marissa to your Ryan, the Seth to your Summer and the Princess Sparkle to your Captain Oats and lets get real; The O.C is totally like real life, right?
Achieve The Unachievable
In The O.C: Nobody thought that stealth-babe and super-nerd (FYI: dream combo) Seth Cohen would ever stand a chance of being a romantic interest for high school Queen Summer Roberts, but he pursued her, he romanced her, and he won her heart.
In Real Life: I'm not even kidding, this is achievable for all of us. Aim big, people! Be nice, be smooth and be yourself. You can Cohen the hell out of just about anyone.
Have A Killer Opening Line
In The O.C: Ryan Atwood was so smooth in the pilot episode that it's shocking that Marissa Cooper didn't just melt into a big, swooning puddle a la Alex Mack right where she stood.
In Real Life: Give yourself a pat on the back if you manage to say "hello," and your name without the whole sentence derailing into you saying "I think you're magical..." whilst you glare dreamily into their eyes (their soul) and allow your mouth to gape open in dreamy, incandescent awe.
Make Your Love Public
In The O.C: High school misfit Seth Cohen gets up on a table and declares his undying love for Summer Roberts right in front of his cringing peers and gets rewarded with a smooch (well, it is on a kissing booth).
In Real Life: As a grown up, then chances are that any public declarations of love which involve you climbing up on a table and shouting about it to the surrounding masses will probably result in you getting detained by Starbucks security and barred for the foreseeable future. Still, totally worth it.
Up Your Seduction Game
In The O.C: Whilst fellow Cohen crush Anna Stern gives him a homemade comic book for Chrismukkah, Summer Roberts ups her game and delivers him Wonder Woman in order to secure all of his affections.
In Real Life: This is actually totally solid advice, except don't wear something just to pander to what your other half finds sexy. Instead, wear the thing that makes you feel sexy, instead. If it's a perfect match, then they'll still be freaking out Cohen style when you make the big reveal.
Save Their Life
In The O.C: When Marissa discovers Ryan losing a fight against his dastardly brother Trey, she thinks on her feet, picks up a gun and shoots the guy in order to save Ryan's life. Oh, and Imogen Heap perfectly soundtracks the entire thing.
In Real Life: Wow. Go to the cops, like, straight away, silly! And especially before things get to the point where you need to shoot your boyfriend's brother. If you need dramatics then take along your iPod and ask that they kindly play "Hide and Seek" whilst you give your statement.
In The O.C: For Ryan Atwood, there was no mountain too tall, no valley too low, no overdose too messy, and no car wreck too explosive to keep him away from giving Marissa a chivalrous helping hand back home (even after her death).
In Real Life: Even if you broke both of your legs, whenever a man offers to carry you to safety a la Ryan, you jump straight from a that's very kind phase straight to an I can take care of myself phase. Either that, or you instantly burst into tears whilst providing a cohesive back story on exactly why carrying women to safety has been so sincerely sad since 2006 (three words: Ryan and Marissa).
The "Make Up" Kiss
In The O.C: Just happen to be wearing a Spiderman mask whilst falling upside down off a roof in the middle of a rainstorm and your ex-sweetheart just so happens to be walking past at the exact same moment? Hey! Why not? Let's do it how they do in the movies, sugar. Time to reconcile our differences.
In Real Life: You realize that kissing with one person upside down basically incurs a lot of excessive slobber and a bizarre backwards tongue motion which, quite frankly, feels demonic. Goodnight, romance. You're done.
Say I Love You
In The O.C: Love is never just love. Love is essentially a gateway to being super human. It's a grand gesture designed to be declared on tables, in airports, in the pouring rain and at gravesides. Make your sentiment grand! Give it weight!
In Real Life: You leave them the final slice of pizza, surprise them when they finish work, buy them that cereal that they love that you secretly hate, and put up with watching their terrible TV shows. But you will never ever stand in front of a waiting greyhound bus and tell someone that they're your destiny. Because, like, you have to share the next few hours with those people. And that is hella awkward.
I mean, I guess in a lot of ways it's good that real life isn't like The O.C. It would be exhausting, for one thing, to be as eternally beautiful as any one of the inhabitants of that mystical place. And for another, all those shameless declarations of love would be super hard to maintain. But if there's one thing we've learnt from The O.C., it's that true love is always worth at least half of that effort, if not more. So you might as well give it a go.
Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (7)