Why is it so hard to stay in love on television?
Will they/won't they couples dominate most shows and leave 'shippers pulling their hair out, and then conversely rejoicing, on a regular basis.
The problem in a will they/won't they romance is usually that once a couple decides that they "will," the TV-Powers-That-Be do their best to create unnecessary drama, which forces fans' favorite couples to part, sometimes for an extended period of time and other times permanently. (Looking at you Grey's Anatomy and Vampire Diaries.)
Yet somehow in a sea of breakups, cheating scandals, lies, and death there are stable relationships; ones that give viewers fuzzy feelings and hopeful hearts that maybe someday, we can all find our soul mates.
Let's take a look at some of televisions most smooth sailing 'ships!
Eric and Tami, Friday Night Lights
Coach and Mrs. Coach were the picture of a successful marriage on television, always growing and evolving together rather than allowing those evolutions to ruin them. We should all be so lucky to have a partner who will take a backseat and allow us to stand in the spotlight, as Eric and Tami took turns doing.
Mitchell and Cameron, Modern Family
Mitch and Cam are complete opposites, but it doesn't matter one bit. They complement one another and find new ways to surprise each other. They each accept the other for who they are and make love touching and incredibly funny.
Marshall and Lily, How I Met Your Mother
Marshall and Lily supported one another and both encouraged the other to pursue their dreams, a key element in a succcessful romance. They were quirky, sweet, and never failed to leave us saying, "Aw."
Adam and Kristina, Parenthood
Adam and Kristina always knew how to make it work and put their family first. Through many ups and downs, their marriage remained unwavering and they never for a second made us doubt that they'd be together forever.
Penny and Leonard, The Big Bang Theory
Things have really worked out for this nerd who found love with his neighbor. Though the two briefly separated, they have been sailing smoothly ever since, even recently getting married. Penny taught Leonard how to come out of his shell, and Leonard showed Penny that she has a big place in the world. This is an opposites-attract love story with excellent results.
Brad and Jane, Happy Endings
Brad and Jane were crazy attracted to each other and were never embarssed to show it. They're perfectly comfortable to be themselves around each other and leave us laughing at their crazy endeavors in love. We wish every marriage on television was this fun!
Glenn and Maggie, The Walking Dead
If Glenn and Maggie can find a way to make it work while zombies are taking over the world and killling all of their friends, then every other obstacle they can possibly face is obsolete, except maybe death. We've got our fingers crossed that they stay alive and well.
Leslie and Ben, Parks and Recreation
"I love you and I like you," are not words you hear a couple say to each other on television very often, yet for Leslie and Ben it always came easily. After a brief (and literal) trial to be together, Leslie and Ben took the happiness express through the rest of their lives, and never looked back.
Niles and Daphne, Frasier
Niles and Daphne has a long road to romance, and lucky for viewers, after she got into that winnebago it was only the beginning for these two. It really is possible for a couple to only get better after they get together!
Mike and Carol, The Brady Bunch
Mike and Carol Brady never failed to teach us valuable lessons about family and friendship. They also taught us that a marriage can function just fine when the only drama involved is whether or not someone forgot to get milk at the grocery store.
Chandler and Monica, Friends
These two were unlucky in love until they both realized that their soulmate lived right across the hall. Unlike that other couple from Friends, these two fell in love and stayed in love.
Michael and Fiona, Burn Notice
After a will they/won't they romance, these spy exes rekindled their love, faked their deaths and ended up raising Michael's nephew together, living happily ever after. These two were a textbook example of how every spy drama should handle romance.
Zoe and Wash, Firefly
Though Firefly was a short series, the intesity was enough to span several seasons of television. Zoe and Wash were a staple of that intensity. Their marriage was based on friendship and mutual respect. They fit together perfectly, complementing each other's strengths and weaknesses, and they couldn't get enough of each other in the bedroom.
Cory and Topanga, Boy Meets World/Girl Meets World
A love that has spanned decades and two hit shows, Cory and Topanga were childhood sweethearts who grew up and somehow made it work (and got a spin-off in the process!). No one can deny that theirs is a classic modern television love story.
George and Louise, The Jeffersons
George and Louise Jefferson are a great rags to riches love story. The riches only made their love greater, whereas on most shows today, money drives a couple apart. "Weezie" didn't just tolerate George...she loved him unconditionally in their deluxe apartment in the sky.
Jim and Melinda, The Ghost Whisperer
Jim and Melinda proved that even death can't get in the way of an amazing love story. After falling and love, and having an amazing marriage, Jim passed away. His spirit entered the body of recently deceased man named Sam, and then had an entire second love story with his wife, who happened to have the ability to talk to ghosts. Can death always be this romantic?
Snow and Charming, Once Upon a Time
Snow and Charming's love story is pulled right out of a fairy tale, and yet they still find ways to keep their love fresh. While everything crumbles around them in Storybrooke, Snow and Charming never waver in their love for each other, and set the bar for true love quite high.
Chuck and Sarah, Chuck
Chuck and Sarah's romance started out as a cover story, and grew into a beautiful romance. Surviving, well, literally everything, they showed that a strong love bond is tougher than anything that an enemy can throw at you.
Tony and Angela, Who's the Boss
Falling in love for a second time isn't simple. Falling in love with your boss is never simple. On Who's the Boss, Tony and Angela made both look seamless as they took their professional relationship to a romantic one.
Jim and Pam, The Office
Jim and Pam showed us that a will-they/won't they couple can get together and not lose that "spark," in the process. Two kids later, a big move, and a new career venture later, we have no doubt that the Halperts are still loving happily ever after.
Sandy and Kirsten, The O.C.
Sandy and Kirsten always made sure that their son Seth knew that they were in love and never afraid to show affection (much to Seth's chagrin). They stayed together through alcoholism and career changes, and in the end they even had another baby. The crazy kids of The O.C. learned a lot about love from the twosome.
Michaela and Sully, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
They fed the fire, and it grew. It seemed impossible for a female doctor and a mountain man to find love with each other, but these two were completely connected from their very first meeting. Enduring ups and downs, these two never lost sight of their love for one another, and that love guided the entire series.
Phil and Claire, Modern Family
Phil and Claire are proof that marriage can still be fun after 20 years. Whether it's about supporting your husband as he tight rope walks in the front yard, or using fake names at the local hotel, these two keep things interesting, to say the least, and their love story never gets stale.
Andy and April, Parks and Recreation
After a whirlwind courtship, it seemed unlikely that a couple of kids would make it work, especially when they're both incredibly immature. April knew in her gut that she needed to be with Andy, and he "awesomesauced" her too, so they got married after just a few weeks of dating. April and Andy taught us that you don't have to grow up just because you're a grown up, and that marrying someone who makes you laugh is always the right decision. No drama here...just a nice couple of kids who are madly in love.
Jonathan and Jennifer, Hart to Hart
No drama here, other than whatever drama this filthy-rich couple was investigating! They didn't spend their time arguing or getting caught up in break-ups and make-ups and every adventure ended with something romantic. They had a hobby of solving crimes, and they did it perfectly.
Turk and Carla, Scrubs
The dynamic between Turk and his longtime lady Carla is the perfect balance of silly and sweet. They faced many struggles that any married couple goes through and handled each struggle with that beautiful balance that other shows still try to replicate.
Lucy and Ricky, I Love Lucy
As the original power couple, we shouldn't have to 'splain why these two were a marriage to model others from. They supported each other's shenanigans, always kissed and made up after a fight, and made being in love in show business look incredibly simple.