With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s natural to take a closer look at the love stories told within our fandoms. Many people love comparing their relationships to the ones they see in books, movies, and TV. But, while we can all enjoy the drama and conflicts that unfold on a screen, some relationships should never be emulated in real life. Here are five love stories that need to be removed from the romance pedestal and five that are actually worthy of the hashtag #couplegoals. 

Your Love is So Toxic

The Joker and Harley Quinn

There is no denying that Harley Quinn is devoted to the Joker, giving up her career as a psychiatrist to join in his villainous escapades. But the Joker cannot and does not reciprocate any affection. He uses Harley to meet his ends and keeps her around to puff up his ego.

The Joker is manipulative and abusive in his treatment of Harley, making sure that he has the most power in their relationship. Harley should go find a “Puddin’” who will respect and love her for who she is. Poison Ivy, we’re ready for you to steal this girl’s heart away from the crazy clown.

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Edward and Bella

Edward from Twilight standing in Bella's room watching her sleep

Coming into someone’s bedroom and watching them sleep, without their knowledge or consent, is a crime. “But, he’s just being protective. It’s cute.” No. They were not in a relationship at the time Edward began watching Bella in the Twilight series. He was stalking her. I guess it’s a good thing that Edward has enough self-control to not eat the prey he stalks. And when they are in a relationship, Edward becomes so overprotective of Bella that it is stifling and oppressive. Oh, and don’t get us started on the way Bella romanticizes the love stories of Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights. Bella wants a relationship like the ones found in her favorite classical literature, and she gets it. Red flags, bloodshed, trauma, and all.

Anakin and Padme

When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them. And when someone spouts a passionate monologue to you about how they slaughtered an entire village, women and children included, you do not react by getting into a relationship with them! What the Tuskan Raiders did to Anakin’s mom in Star Wars was unforgivable, but to massacre innocent children in retaliation? Padme, sweetie, this man needed intensive therapy, not a forbidden love affair. You can care for someone and hurt for their hurts, without getting into a relationship that will lead to your death. While the Jedi Council’s rules and Palpatine’s influence got in the way, there were some major issues long before that.

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Severus Snape and Lily Potter

severus snape holds a dead lily potter and cries. A baby, Harry Potter, cries in the background

We know that this was never a romantic relationship in the Harry Potter series, but with the amount of “Always” car decals and merchandise, it seemed like a good reminder. If Lily had chosen Severus, the relationship would have been very toxic and would not have lasted. And if Lily had survived and lived happily with James and Harry, Snape would have emotionally self-destructed at best. At worst, he would have completely turned to the Dark Arts and gone on a rampage. Yes, it ultimately worked in Harry’s favor that Snape was forever obsessed with his mom. But that is the thing to remember: it was not pure and healthy love, it was obsession. In real life, this is the stereotypical nice guy who gets upset that he’s friend-zoned by the girl. He spends his time learning the dark arts of dating taught by incels on the internet. And you want to hear him say that he has always loved, and will always love you? Yikes.

The Phantom and Christine

Out of the two options for a husband, Christine has to choose between her childhood friend and the man pretending to be the ghost of her father. Who would you choose? Especially when you find out that the one man is willing to murder countless people who might get in the way of his romantic plans. It’s a tough choice, huh? Erik (The Phantom) may be disfigured physically, but it’s his dark and twisted soul that keeps Christine from fully embracing a relationship with him. Plus, that whole belief that he is either the ghost of her father or an angel her father sent to help her, makes us think that Christine should focus on her own mental health and well-being before making relationship decisions. Thank goodness Raoul was there to save her in The Phantom of the Opera because, without him, Christine would have been trapped in the darkness of the music of the night forever.

Love, True Love

Morticia and Gomez Addams

They might be creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky, but the love between Morticia and Gomez in The Addams Family is legendary. Unlike other sitcoms and media representations of married couples, the Addams support and respect each other, while never losing their passion. They embarrass their children with their public displays of affection, but it serves as a fantastic example of what a romantic relationship should be. They communicate effectively with each other, making their partner feel heard and seen. Morticia and Gomez know that no matter what comes their way, they will be able to take it on together as equals. And, it’s good to flirt and express your desires with your partner, even outside of intimate moments.

Westley and Buttercup

wesley and buttercup hold hands in a beautiful countryside

“Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.” Westley and Buttercup’s love in The Princess Bride was passionate and pure. They were willing to fight for their love and overcome any obstacle presented to them. They even learned that death could not break their love. Buttercup may have been about to marry Prince Humperdink, but she remained steadfast and loyal to Westley, vowing to never love again after news of his death. Their fidelity and loyalty to one another transcends the bonds of time, life, and death. Westley was even willing to make a home in the Fire Swamp if that was the only way that they could remain together. Thankfully, they didn’t need to stay there and instead just needed to fight the prince’s army and the prince himself. But Westley kept his promise that he would always come for Buttercup.

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Keiko and Miles O’Brien

keiko holds a baby and looks at miles

There are a few Star Trek couples that could be viewed as examples of healthy relationships, but one that we get to see throughout the years is Keiko and Miles O’Brien in Deep Space Nine. It is a realistic representation of marriage and family with two working adults. Did they have arguments? Of course. Were some conflicts bigger than something to be solved within one episode? Yes! Because that is life. And when you love someone, you work together and make compromises to fit each other into this new life you created. Sometimes it’s messy, but just showing up for each other is what makes this relationship the longest-lasting in Star Trek history. And, whether it was meshing two cultures together or trying to both find fulfillment, Keiko and Miles kept trying.

Rapunzel and Eugene Fitzherbert

Admittedly, this relationship in Tangled could have been a disaster. Flynn Rider was arrogant, vain, and money-grubbing. With Rapunzel’s naivete, she could have easily been taken advantage of. Yet, Rapunzel’s pure heart was able to see the true Eugene underneath the facade. As Eugene learns to be open and honest, he and Rapunzel find the light in each other. Continuing in Tangled: The Series, Eugene and Rapunzel lift each other up. They save each other in multiple ways, some dramatic and adventurous, some subtle and compassionate. They are each a pillar of support and strength to the other. If that’s not true love, then what is?

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Ruby and Sapphire (Garnet)

sapphire and ruby hold hands in steven universe

When talking about eternal love and the ultimate example of what a relationship should be, people often say “Two become one.” An incredibly literal representation of this is Garnet from Steven Universe. Ruby and Sapphire were two gems that were so unified in thoughts and feelings that they were able to fuse into one being. The power of their love is so strong that they can fight and take on monsters that other single gems cannot. Their love amplifies their powers, making Garnet physically strong and able to see the future. Ruby and Sapphire learn how to be completely in tune with each other because it is essential to fusion. And even after going off to find themselves separately, they come back together, now seeing how they make each other better.

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So, what is your favorite fictional love story? Do the characters express healthy love for each other, or is it a hot mess of toxicity? Do you still want to be like the characters from your favorite love story? Let us know in the comments!

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