Love, Sex and Romance...?
Five pop culture relationships you should *never* idealize
Love is blind, but you shouldn’t be—to red flags
Couple 1: Monse and Ceser from On My Block
This couple was shaky, literally from the first episode. After spending the summer at camp, away from her best friends, Monse (the only girl in a group of three boys) finds out one of the boys, Cesar, has claimed that Monse slept with him before she left for camp. When she questions why he spread the rumour, he ends up degrading her in front of his brother and friends to get street cred—shock count: one.
Then, the episode closes with them actually confessing that they did in fact sleep together—shock count: two!
Over the course of the show, the couple has a very on-again-off-again relationship, mostly because of Monse jumping to conclusions and Cesar’s gang affiliation that puts his and his friend’s lives at constant risk. Not to mention Cesar’s poor communication skills and inability to make decisions without the fear of his brother, as well as Monse’s controlling nature and self-centeredness, which irritates and hurts both her friends and Cesar. The two are barely 16-years-old throughout the majority of their relationship so this hot-and-cold relationship is understandable. I mean, we all know a couple or two who break up and make up only to repeat the cycle again the next week.
Couple 2: Cheryl and Toni from Riverdale
For those who quit Riverdale after Season one, one of the major couples to emerge from Season two was “ Choni,” and their relationship was just as questionable as their ship name. Toni was such a cool, badass character who was left to walk in Cheryl’s shadow once the two got together. Cheryl and Toni were from two parts of town—Southside and Northside—and grew up in different socio-economic classes where Cheryl lived a pretty sheltered life to Toni, who did not enjoy the same privileges.
This can explain why Cheryl has trouble with understanding or feeling remorseful over decisions she makes that eventually negatively affect Toni, like stealing from the rich and leaving evidence that jeopardizes the safety but also breaks the code of their gang. Cheryl is unwilling at times to listen to what Toni wants and tries to do things that she believes will make situations better, but the two have trouble letting each other have space to do their one thing (mainly Cheryl) and this eventually leads to their breakup.
The couple definitely had a lot of chemistry and great moments together where they were supportive and protective of one another. As teenagers, however, they just had a lot of their own issues to deal with which hindered their communication as a couple. It also didn’t help that the writers usually focused more on whatever Cheryl wanted or needed to do. Here’s to hoping that the new season reunites the two, as two mature adults and not solely lovesick and horny teenagers.
Couple 3: Geum Jandi and Gu Jun Pyo from Boys over Flowers
Boys over Flowers is the Korean adaptation of the Japanese manga series “Hana yori Dango” which has spurred many live-action films and series in Japanese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Korean and Thai. All the adaptations feature a rich boy and a poor girl who both attend an elite school where the boy and his rich friends send out a “red card”, also known as a way to declare “war”, to the new girl, prompting everyone at school to bully her. But somehow, they eventually fall in love. This drama premiered in 2009 and became a hit in South Korea.
But if we’re being honest, you should not under any circumstances start dating someone after they made you the target of a school-wide harassment and bullying campaign. These two were always violent with one another, quick to break up over small misunderstandings, and she liked his best friend for a good portion of the drama.
All in all, these characters were immature teenagers who didn’t understand that material gifts and not being violent with each other for a bit can’t magically fix the damage done from bullying and manipulation.
Couple 4: Dev and Maya from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
For our Bollywood romantics, we have so many examples of ideal romantic relationships and what love should feel like. However, in this star-studded romantic melodrama with a banger soundtrack, we received some of the most weird and toxic couple dynamics.
Dev (played by Shah Rukh Khan) and Maya (played by Rani Mukerji) not only began an affair, but they were also horrible to their respective partners before and during their time together. Maya married her husband out of obligation as she felt indebted to his family and failed to reciprocate any affection. Meanwhile, Dev was a pessimistic grump, bitter over losing his soccer career because of an injury, which led him to develop an inferiority complex against his very successful magazine editor wife.
Dev and Maya spend time together trying to “help” each other in their relationships but that eventually leads to both emotional and physical cheating as well as even more problems when they go home to their spouses. There are so many better movies with these same two actors that you should probably just forget this couple.
Couple 5: Kevin and Sophie from “This Is Us”
“This is Us” was an excellent show which showcased some of the most heartful and deep relationships ever shown on television—except Kevin’s. The man was very messy and while he did have some good traits, viewers can only forgive so many of his blunders.
One of the worst ones is choosing his childhood sweetheart and ex-wife, Sophie. While it’s sweet how long Kevin and Sophie have loved each other, there are too many red flags in his behavior. From cheating on Sophie to having twins with his triplet sister’s best friend, it was an emotional rollercoaster through and through. The man needed serious therapy before getting into any relationship, much less before giving his ex-wife another shot—who knows when he might decide to push her away again (for a third time).