What Parks and Rec Taught Me About Love

The Office is my favorite show of all time… and I don’t really see that changing. But it is not a show I will always look at as the prime example for many of life’s valuable lessons. With every re-watch, the more I dislike Jim and Pam’s relationship and question why I aspired to something of their caliber. The show with advice that ages better than fine wine is Parks and Recreation.

I picked up parks and rec when it was almost wrapping up its second to last season. Being an office fan, I loved the dry humor and crazy cast, but what stood out the most was the relationships. While all be it silly, I caught myself being moved by the romances (coming from someone who can feel pretty cynical about relationships). There are a couple quotes from the show that have stuck with me for years and have changed the way I view love and relationships:

“This is the woman I have chosen to love” - Ben Wyatt

Ben Wyatt. My dream man. I love this line of his for so many reasons. Ben makes this comment when Leslie sends him on a crazy intricate scavenger hunt that produces mostly stress for Ben. But he doesn’t care. He knows his love for Leslie and he knows that this love is a choice, a choice he is happy to make over and over again. Throughout the series Ben and Leslie both make decisions and sacrifices because they have chosen each other. They do what needs to be done to make their relationship work and they know it’s not going to be perfect and life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies.

I love you and I like you.

I love you and I like you.

There are plenty of soul mates out there” - Leslie Knope

Leslie, the queen of all that she survays. When Chris gets dumped by Jerry’s daughter he believes she was the best he would ever have. That she was his soul mate and now they are not together. Leslie’s response is perfect- there isn’t one particular soulmate out there for all of us. This is my opinion but I think the belief in soulmates has caused so many of us to stop living the life to our best. The idea of soulmates is so dangerous, it can prevent us from moving forward from something that was not meant to last forever. I am so glad I don’t believe in soulmates anymore and I am thankful that Leslie reminds to keep searching for the good that is waiting for us.

“Do not mistake drama for happiness” - Ron Swanson

There is a whole podcast just about this quote but I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it (Mel if you’re reading put it in the comments haha.) This may be the best Parks and Rec lesson on love. I am guilty of this- thinking relationship drama is a good thing, an exciting thing. More than not I have fallen for the types that “I could fix”, and it’s left me hurt and drained. Consistency and loyalty isn’t boring. Sitting on the couch watching tv with your partner for hours and going to bed by 8pm is not mundane. I would even add that being on your own is that much more okay. There have been so many moments in my single life where I wished I could have someone to think about, to “have drama with”. Why would I wish for that when my best life is right here in front of me?

As always thanks for reading. I love you and I like you.