Romance and love form the cornerstone of many television shows. Over the years, romantic relationships between characters in sitcoms, dramas, and fantasy series have become iconic because of their breathtaking dynamic. Most importantly, the charismatic and magnetic love interests in these shows caught the attention of viewers and made them invest in these romances.
However, not every one of these beloved television love interests has been healthy for their partners. Characters like Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl and Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries were thrilling to watch but not the nicest of people. Similarly, others like Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project and Jessica Day from New Girl grew and nurtured themselves and their partners, too.
Chuck Bass Approached Love in Problematic Ways
Gossip Girl was famed for the scandals of the Upper East Side, but the relationships took center stage. Chuck and Blair were one of the most shipped TV couples, but they could be toxic, mainly because of Chuck. He treated Blair like his property, which meant he slut-shamed her, traded her in for hotels, and publicly humiliated her by sleeping with her nemeses.
Chuck’s love for Blair was portrayed as a passionate and stormy one, but it was very unhealthy at all times. He couldn’t do the bare minimum for Blair but expected the most from her. His redemption in the show also seemed hollow and a little delayed.
Ted Mosby Was a “Nice Guy”
How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother followed Ted Mosby’s pursuit of love as he went through a rota of girlfriends to get to the woman whom he eventually married. However, fans realized after a while that Ted went out of his way to make himself look like a nice guy while being quite monstrous to the women he dated.
Ted dated Robin for a while, and then when Barney wanted to date her, he objectified Robin and gave Barney “lessons” on how to woo her. This included giving away personal information that she had trusted Ted with. Ted also treated Stella, Victoria, and Maggie unfairly, going so far as to call women derogatory names like “Slutty Pumpkin.”
Damon Salvatore Never Respected Elena’s Free Will
The Vampire Diaries
Along with being the most charismatic character, Damon Salvatore was also the most controversial in The Vampire Diaries. He was roguishly charming, but the way he behaved with women was appalling. Damon had a habit of compelling women and using them like blood bags and servants, and he did this with Caroline and Andie.
Elena was the catalyst for his big redemption arc, but Damon still had a toxic dynamic with her. He often forced Elena to do things she didn’t want, like force-feeding her blood so that she wouldn’t die and even snapped her brother’s neck in front of her. They had conflicting values, which was why Damon was not a great match for Elena.
Lady Mary Crawley Was Hot and Cold
Through the financial difficulties of the Crawleys, Downton Abbey emerged as one of the most romantic shows on Prime Video. Matthew and Mary’s relationship was a slow-burn romance that emerged after issues of inheritance, a military tenure, and another engagement. However, Mary’s love for Matthew could be quite conditional.
Even though Matthew brought out the best in her, she lost him at first because she weighed him with money. When it seemed as if Matthew would not be the heir of the Estate, she was ready to drop him. It was only later that she understood his worth, and her generosity then brought them together. She was hot and cold with a man who loved her dearly.
Mr. Darcy Was a Conflicted Hero
Pride & Prejudice
Few other romantic heroes have come close to the upper echelons of fame that Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy achieved in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice. Fitzwilliam Darcy was churlish and mean at first glance, repulsive to the free-thinking Lizzie Bennett. His attempts at separating Jane and Bingley also left a sour taste in her mouth.
However, seeing Mr. Darcy in love was a heartwarming event. When he did realize his mistakes, he rushed to amend them in every way possible. His thoughts turned into actions in the show, which made him even more appealing. His ardor for Elizabeth was swoon-worthy, but his emotional distance made him less desirable.
Pam Beasly Was Sweet but Confused
There was no question that Pam and Jim had sizzling chemistry, but fans forgot that Pam was already engaged to Roy when her flirtationship with Jim began. She had been treated poorly by Roy but didn’t have the self-awareness to realize that her friendship with Jim was more than platonic.
Pam tried her best to be fair but ended up hurting herself and Jim. Still, Pam was a loyal and committed partner to him when they did manage to get together. She had hiccups with Brian the boom guy and Jim’s frequent travels for work, but Pam worked everything out with some compromise and communication.
Anthony Bridgerton Grew Into a Better Man
The second installment of Bridgerton focused on the eldest scion of the eponymous family, Anthony, and his journey to finding true love. Burdened by the responsibility of his family as a teenager, Anthony had some questionable notions about whom he should marry and what his duties were. In his misery, he found company in the worst kind of people and situations.
However, meeting Kate Sharma changed his life. He began to believe in true love and straightened out his act to be worthy of her. Anthony kept evolving and growing, which made him one of the best television love interests in the romantic Netflix show.
Chandler Bing Was the Ultimate Supportive Partner
Chandler and Monica’s ship continues to be one of the most celebrated ones in television history. Chandler’s love for Monica was endless in Friends and based on a solid foundation of friendship. He was committed to her fully, adapting and growing with her to start a family and live happily ever after.
Chandler accepted all of her quirks and her past with Richard and supported her unconditionally. He had gone through immense trauma as a child, but Chandler worked on himself to become a great partner and build a lasting future with Monica.
Mindy Lahiri Was an Understanding Person
The Mindy Project
Mindy Lahiri longed for a fairytale love since the beginning, and it was refreshing to see how realistic she was about her desire for it. She received the perfect enemies-to-lovers romantic arc with Danny, but Mindy was always the more stable, flexible, and giving partner in the relationship.
Mindy bent over backward to accommodate Danny’s rigid beliefs, even facing his demands that she become a stay-at-home mother when she got pregnant. Mindy had a lot of patience, and she was her best self for Danny, even if he didn’t do the same.
Jake Peralta Was Empathetic and Loving
Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago formed one of the healthiest and most non-toxic TV couples. Brooklyn Nine-Nine had the best of comedy and romance because of Jake Peralta, who started as a professional nemesis to Amy. However, there was always an underlying tone of respect and affection between the two, and this came through in every interaction.
When they were together, Jake became Amy’s biggest cheerleader. He pushed her to take the Sergeant’s exam even if it meant that she would be his boss and gave her a safe space to speak of her traumas. Their dynamic was loving, secure, and comfortable, and Jake was the ultimate feminist partner to have.
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