How I Met Your Mother portrayed the perfect love story. But it wasn’t between Ted and Robin.
I want a relationship where being a strong, independent career woman is admired, not frowned upon. I want a supportive relationship, an encouraging relationship, a relationship that gives me space to breathe.
I want my boyfriend to look at me like my own person instead of reducing me to his other half. I want my boyfriend to be my biggest ally. I want my boyfriend to cheer on my career. Just like Barney has always done for Robin.
Screw Ted. Screw men who claim to be nice guys, guys who believe they are the only one worthy of getting the girl.
In episode six of season six, Ted complains about how frustrating it was that Robin never ‘needed him’ back when they were dating. This makes her self-conscious, so she stops by Barney’s apartment and they have this exchange:
Robin: Hey. Um, when we were dating, did I make you feel needed?
Barney: No, I didn’t feel like you needed me at all.
Robin: That’s what I thought. Uh, I’m sorry.
Barney: Wait, that’s a compliment! You’re the least needy woman I’ve ever met. That’s awesome! No guy’s gonna say, ‘Who’s your daddy?’ to Robin Scherbatsky; you’re your own daddy. And mommy. And weird survivalist uncle who lives in a cabin with a shotgun blaming stuff on the government. And that is what makes you the most amazing, strong, independent woman I’ve ever banged.
Even though Ted liked to play the role of the perfect boyfriend, he was never right for Robin. Ted made her get rid of her dogs. Barney bought her puppies. Ted bugged her about children. Barney admitted their relationship took priority over kids.
Ted always saw Robin as a perfect human being — but she was never perfect. She was only human. Barney knew that since day one. He saw her flaws. He saw her commitment issues and abandonment issues and he fell for her anyway. He loved her for exactly who she was, not for an imaginary woman he pictured inside his head.
Ted was always looking for the love of his life and he shoved Robin into the puzzle the same way he did with a dozen other women. Meanwhile, Barney never wanted a relationship. He was completely against the idea of dating but Robin had such a strong pull on him that he could not bear being single anymore.
I would rather be in a relationship like Barney and Robin, a relationship that arises naturally out of friendship instead of one that is forced. No, their relationship was never perfect. They each had issues to work on. They each had baggage to overcome. But they loved each other. They put aside their fear of commitment for each other. They took a leap for each other.
I would rather have a messy relationship, a raw relationship, than a relationship that only looks good on paper. I would rather have a relationship like Barney and Robin.
Because of How I Met Your Mother, I’m not going to settle for anything less than someone who supports my career goals, someone who looks past my flaws, someone who loves me for me — and someone who is good in the bedroom to boot.