martedì 16 febbraio 2016

7 Things "The Office" Taught Us About Love

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Find your soup snake.

Take things slow, and be yourself.

Take things slow, and be yourself.

Michael's problem is that he's desperate to be liked, and loved – both in platonic and romantic relationships. This means sweeping gestures (Sandals! All inclusive!), bravura behaviour (hiya "Date Mike"), and ill-placed trust (two words: Ryan Howard).

And if you give him an inch, he'll take a mile. Whether it's his disastrous affair with his realtor Carol (remember when he photoshopped his face on top of her ex-husband's for a Christmas card?), or the illicit fling with bartender Donna, Michael keeps being told that being himself isn't good enough. I mean, do we even have to talk about Jan?

Meanwhile, Michael dumps Pam's mum, Helene, because she's too old for him – in a twist, simply being honest about her age and experiences means that she's not good enough for *him*.

But at the heart of it, Michael wants to be loved for who *he* is – goofy, childish, and a romantic. It's only when he pushes down his over-eager inclinations, and builds a real relationship, based on friendship and trust, with Holly that he succeeds. Yeah, they could have hooked up when they first met – but do you trust Michael not to fuck it up? Once he felt truly comfortable with Holly, he could then ask her to run the gauntlet, and become his soup snake. When it comes to relationships, you're only going to be happy if you can be yourself – and find someone who loves you for that.

The Office / NBC

Because the wait is worth it.

Because the wait is worth it.

Yes, Jim and Pam could have got together much earlier than they did. But in a way, their timing was perfect.

If they had got together in Series 2, after the kiss at the Dundies, or in Series 3, after the casino night, Pam would never have been brave enough to firewalk on the company beach day. And Jim would never have pushed himself to take a new job in Stanford, or to manage liaisons between the two branches after the merger.

Because they've learned to negotiate challenges separately, they're super strong as a team. Can you imagine nervous, cautious Series 1 Pam reacting to Jim's nonsense in the Finer Things Club (Series 4)? Or can you imagine Series 1 slacker Jim sticking with a three-month long-distance relationship when Pam goes to the Pratt Institute? Can you imagine forlorn, codependent Pam in Series 2 quitting to join the Michael Scott Paper Company? Can you imagine boy-man Jim in Series 2 (we all saw his bedroom in "Email Surveillance") being excited about a surprise pregnancy?

Taking the time to grow separately as people (whether by choice or not), meant that when Jim and Pam finally got together, they were ready for whatever life was going to throw at them. And boy, did life throw some stuff at them.

The Office / NBC

Know what you want out of your relationships. And know what they're taking out of you.

Know what you want out of your relationships. And know what they're taking out of you.

When Oscar dated Angela's husband, Robert, he thought he had the upper hand. Robert was in a loveless relationship, Oscar justified. Angela was in love with Dwight, Oscar rationalised. Robert loved Oscar, Oscar believed. But though Oscar truly cared about Robert, Robert was using Oscar in the end – just as he was using Angela. Robert wanted to show his voters that he had Latino "friends", and he wanted Angela to play Jackie O on the campaign trail.

Oscar and Angela both realise their worth, and band together – with Angela moving in with Oscar after the divorce. Your relationship doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to be an equal trade-off.

The Office / NBC

Try and see in yourself what they see in you.

Try and see in yourself what they see in you.

There was never any doubt that Phyllis and Bob "Vance Refrigeration" Vance were made for each other. Bob worships Phyllis, but Phyllis has low self-esteem and finds it hard sometimes to see herself as he sees her.

Bob's love helps Phyllis stand up to Angela in "Launch Party" (Series 4) and physically, they're doing just fine (for example, their ~bathroom break~ in "Valentine's Day"). But Phyllis still worries deep down about what Bob sees in her.

In "Cafe Disco" (which, FYI, is my personal favourite episode), she confides in Dwight about her worries. Is Bob cheating on her with his secretary? As soon as she says it out loud, she laughs. She is so secure in Bob's love that she can start to have fun – even participating in a prank in "The List" (Series 8).

It's not easy to see yourself through the eyes of your partner, but the right one will prove to you how worthy you really are.

The Office / NBC


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