Study Proves 'HIMYM' Made Us Cynical About Love & These 5 Other Shows Did the Same
If How I Met Your Mother taught us anything about love, it's that you'll instantly fall in love with someone from across the bar, have an on-and-off relationship with them, that person will eventually pair off with one your best friends while you're still heartsick, you'll eventually marry someone else, they'll die, and you'll wind up back with the person at the bar. Who says romance is dead? Oh, right, HIMYM. As New York Magazine reports, a recent study conducted by University of Michigan researchers that appears in an upcoming issue of Psychology of Popular Media Culture found that viewers of sitcoms with big romantic subplots, like those on HIMYM , are "less likely to believe in the mushier, gushier aspects of love and romance."
While participants in the study who watched unabashedly romantic-themed shows like The Bachelor were more likely to believe in the idea of romance, participants who watched sitcoms had a "weaker," more cynical view on romantic love. Turns out, all of Ted's belly aching about not finding the one and having his heart stepped on time and time again by Robin not only was irritating, but it had an actual effect on us, too. As the article states, "Even if we aren’t aware of it, the researchers argue, we internalize the messages we hear on TV or in films." Dammit, Schmosby.
It's easy to peg Ted Mosby as the main culprit here (this guy was a hopeless romantic who had a pretty crappy love life when all was said and done), but there's a few other characters from TV comedies that we could just as easily point the finger at for making us feel like romance is dead.
Ross Geller on Friends
Think about it: with no dweeby Ross Geller there would be no Ted Mosby. He was whiny and he self-sabotaged his relationships. Ross proved nothing more than if you harbor a lifelong crush on your high school crush all you have to do is endure an on-and-off relationship with them for years and go through a couple of divorces, and eventually you'll wind up together.
Elaine Benes on Seinfeld
You can be one of the guys, date one of the guys, and still find yourself with a parade of losers. Elaine, unlike most of the characters on this list, wasn't actively looking for romantic love, but she made us fear for a future that involved on-and-off relationships with our own Jerrys and Puddys.
Nick Miller on New Girl
The most frustrating/tragic thing about Nick is that he wants to love, but he's been burned too badly before and he's still too emotionally immature to handle something (with Jess, ahem) that could go the distance. Nick is a terrible reminder to both men and women alike, that even someone who is good at their core could be very bad for you.
Danny Castellano on The Mindy Project
Danny actually hits a lot of the same marks as Nick Miller (good-looking, good-natured, but waffles too much when it comes to something serious because of previous heartbreak) but he's an even worse example because he's even more desirable. He's a doctor, he can dance, and he can kiss, but he still teases the woman he likes like a middle school crush and can seriously make some terrible romantic decisions. Danny is the embodiment of so close, yet so far away.
Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City
Yes, technically, Miranda was the "cynical" one of the bunch, but no one made us wearier of true love than Carrie. Carrie spent her personal life and her career obsessing over whether true love was a real thing, only to fall for an emotionally stunted man, split from him, meet an emotionally open man and break his heart twice, and wind up back with the emotionally stunted man. We couldn't help but wonder if this was the least sexy portrayal of modern love ever.