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7 Important Relationship Truths I Learned From John Hughes Movies

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Everyone knows that writer/director/generational guru John Hughes nailed the idiosyncrasies and psyche of the 1980s through spot-on screenplays and casting. But his genius was more than just knowing what songs to put on a soundtrack and how to strategically place a neckbrace. Even better, the man knew everything there was to know about LOVE. He knew men and women, young and old, flings and marriages, wooing and fighting. He was both a sappy sentimentalist and a harsh realist, and just watching his films made you want to pair off with the first “sporto, motorhead, geek, slut, blood, waistoid, dweeb, or dickhead” you could find. Simply put, John Hughes was a “righteous dude,” and he taught many of us everything we ever needed to know about relationships.

Plus: 10 Things I Learned About Dating from Seinfeld (That Were Completely Wrong)

1

Open The Yearbook

What’s one of the best ways to get to know someone? REALLY, TRULY know someone? Find out what their high school experience was like. For some, this can be wistful (it’ll never get better than high school!), for others painful (it’ll never get worse than high school!). But a person’s ninth through twelfth grade years are typically pretty defining. It’s often when they make a big social breakthrough or had a big personal breakdown. (Personally, I know that after discussing my retainer and benchwarmer years, I’m usually ready for marriage, if not babies.)

2

Be Impractical With The Ladies

The best sort of romance is completely irrational. Forgo the flowers and the Hallmark cards and the boxes of chocolates, and just go on and eat that birthday cake while sitting ON the table. Or completely ruin a pair of diamond stud earrings by giving one to the punk in combat boots you’ll never speak to again. Or take a day off from school to tour Chicago in its entireity and join a parade and eat a 5-star lunch and steal a Ferrari. Dream big, lovers.

3

Opposites Are For Flings, Compliments Are Forever

It’s always fun when the rich guy/poor girl and nerd/cheerleader hook up, but if Hughes’s movies have taught us anything, it’s that the one who loves you for who you are is the one you should be with. Famous Hughes flings: Keith and Amanda, Claire and Bender, Farmer Ted and Caroline, and Andie and Blaine. Famous Hughes pairs that were meant to be: Keith and Watts, Samantha and Jake, Ferris and Sloane, Andie and Duckie.

4

Don’t Give Up Until You Are Clearly Rejected

Who cares about humiliation? Some day, you’ll be old and gray and you don’t want to be sitting in some nursing home wondering about the one that got away. Hughes taught us that you should do everything short of a restraining order to get your crush to look your way. Even if this means calling someone’s grandmother at midnight and saying: “Oh, eat me.”

5

There’s Someone For Everyone

Five Words: Long Duk Dong and Marlene.

6

If You Love Someone, Set Them Free

Duckie, Ted, Watts — they all watched as their beloved went after someone else, truly demonstrating pure devotion and selflessness. And in the end? Well, Duckie didn’t really get Andie, but I think years later, she probably regretted her choice. And Ted didn’t get Samantha, but he WAS named king of the dorks. And Watts? Well, she did get Keith, and a pair of diamond earring, so in that instance, this theory is holding. But really, my point is, Hughes taught us you can’t force love any more than you can get everyone to appreciate the Psychedelic Furs.

7

Know How To Do One Thing Really Well

Nothing in love is certain except this: if you can mix a martini with the sort of blasé confidence Anthony Michael Hall exudes in Jake’s kitchen, you deserve a make out session in a Rolls Royce.
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