Have you ever wondered why seemingly perfect couples choose to, as Goop would put it, consciously uncouple sometimes? In a world where everyone seems to be on a quest to find their other halves, their soulmates, their (dare we say toxic?) twin flames, this may seem rather baffling behavior.
But hear us out…not every great relationship needs a happily ever after that culminates in marriage.
Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy) and Ted Mullens (Dustin Milligan) on the ubiquitously loved TV show Schitt’s Creek are a prime example of how two people, who are good to and for each other, can still choose to part ways. It may confound most of us but here’s the truth: love does not need to be forever in order to mean something. Sometimes the love that we needed comes into our lives, does its magic and then deserves to be set free to go thrive somewhere else it was meant to be.
Somewhere in the whole spectrum of meeting the right one at the wrong time and rendezvousing with the wrong ones constantly, we can meet exactly who we need to meet, exactly when we need to meet them before parting ways exactly when we are meant to do it. And our hearts, souls, and minds heal along the way.
Pop culture has reiterated the same story of love to us for far too long.
Love is supposedly all about sacrificing everything in order to be with the one you love and there can only be that one, true, great love of our lives. This may very well be true for some but what happens when two people want two very different things out of their lives and they want what is the best for themselves as well as each other? A love of a different kind is born.
We carry such people in our hearts forever. Alexis meets Ted and starts dating him at a juncture in her life when she is still far from completing her character arc. In fact she has not even started on that journey yet. As the Universe conspires to put them in each other’s paths once again, Alexis sees a side of Ted he had not allowed to surface till he experienced heartbreak and rejection himself.
For all practical purposes, such will-they-won’t-they couples in fiction tend to fall into rather toxic patterns. But Alexis and Ted manage to not only avoid that but end up elevating what such relationships could mean because that’s how perceptive the writing is on Schitt’s Creek.
Schitt’s Creek is a show that not only roots for love but healthy relationships.
There is this whiff of anti-tragedy in all the relationships on the show, be it David and Patrick’s dreamy fairytale romance or Jocelyn and Roland’s longterm marriage. There is playfulness, maturity and then there is amazing grace in dealing with painful moments.
Just like love doesn’t need to last a lifetime to be considered worthy, breakups also do not have to be this brutal thing that love songs promised them to be. Alexis and Ted’s paths collide serendipitously, but their ability to let each other go was the perfect conclusion to their individual arcs on the show. It is a testament to how they both allowed each other to grow in their relationship where they could eventually have the strength and courage to follow their bliss, just separately. For Ted it meant going to the Galapagos Islands to pursue his research. For Alexis it meant going to New York and finally taking a shot at etching out her own identity in life; no longer chasing the men in her life around the world as she was prone to do before.
Perhaps this is what they mean when they say that true love does not bind us. It gives us the clairvoyance to see if being together at that particular juncture of time would lead to happiness or misery.
To sum things up with a neat little bow on top, let me leave you with the wise words of Diane Nguyen from the funny yet poignantly powerful BoJack Horseman: “I think there are people that help you become the person that you end up being, and you can be grateful for them, even if they were never meant to be in your life forever.”