The course of true love never did run smoothly, and in plenty of ways the couples on The O.C. were no exception. After all, they lived in Newport, the drama center of the TV universe. So there were some definite low points throughout every relationship on the show — because it would have been totally boring if these couples hadn't been so hot and cold. But there were far more swoon-worthy moments on The O.C. that gave us all totally unrealistic expectations about romance.
As teenagers, most of us were more committed to either Seth and Summer or Ryan and Marissa. If you were equally invested in both, my hat goes off to you because you had to survive an emotional roller coaster every single week. Re-watching the show all these years later, I can safely say that neither of these teen couples have gone out of style — and they never will. But I've also developed a new appreciation for the adult relationships on The O.C. , because Sandy and Kirsten equal the ultimate marriage goals.
Sadly, many of the grand gestures of romance we saw on The O.C. set us up for a lifetime of disappointment in the love department. How come no perfect guy risked public humiliation to tell me his true feelings? Why is it so hard to find couples who still find time for romantic gestures after twenty years of marriage? My devotion to The O.C. is unwavering, but here are eight times it gave me totally unrealistic expectations about love — whether it was high school romance or marriage:
1. When Ryan And Marissa Shared Their First Kiss On The Ferris Wheel
Anyone who is afraid of heights knows the fear is real. So when a guy is willing to get stuck fifty feet in the air with you just so he can tell you how he really feels, he's a keeper.
2. When Seth Told Summer "Acknowledge Me Now Or Lose Me Forever"
OK, it took Seth more than one try to actually lift himself onto the coffee cart, but the rest is history. How come no cute, emo-loving guy declared his love to me in front of the entire school sophomore year? Life is so unfair when you live in the real world.
3. When Ryan Arrived Just In Time To Kiss Marissa On New Year's Eve
Is Ryan running in slow motion a little cheesy and over-the-top? Absolutely. Does it make this scene any less perfect? Absolutely not.
4. When Sandy Serenaded Kirsten On Their Anniversary
Sandy rocks, by the way. Kirsten implores Alex to not tell him that, but please — the whole world already knows it, Kiki.
5. When Seth & Summer And Sandy & Kirsten Reconciled In The Rain
Summer goes back to Seth (sorry, Zach, you're a cutie but you could never compare) while Sandy takes a bus home to Kirsten and finally all is right in the world of Newport Beach. The only thing more romantic than kissing in the rain is when it involves a Spiderman costume, a cover of "Champagne Supernova," and these two endgame couples.
6. When Sandy And Kirsten Reminisced About How They First Met
Seth and Summer weren't the only couple on the show who couldn't fight fate. Thank goodness for the Mondale-Ferraro ticket in 1984 because it brought together one of the best couples in TV history.
7. When Sandy Spent Hours At The Arcade Until He Won A Ring For Kirsten
First of all, it was so much fun to see Caleb and Sandy bond for once as they spent hours playing a claw machine at the arcade. But it was even better when Sandy and Kirsten finally reconciled because nothing threw things off balance in Newport Beach quite as much as when these two were at odds.
8. When Seth Told Summer To Go Save The World
The right guy will always encourage you to follow your dreams, even if it means spending some time apart. And, sure, it helps if you both know you're each other's destiny.
So, where's my Seth Cohen? I'm beginning to think no guy is ever going to stand on a coffee cart and declare his love for me. The struggle is real.
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Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy