Spoiler alert: Romeo and Juliet aren’t on this list. They weren’t even considered. Seriously. No matter how epic that story is meant to be, it’s actually pretty damn depressing. This is about 10 couples who’ll inspire you in a less bloody way.
Angleina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Maybe she was a homewrecker. And maybe he was a cheater. So what. The couple is totally sexy together and their family photos remind me of United Colors of Benneton ads.
Why they should inspire you:In July 2005 they did a 60 page spread for W magazine depicting a 60s family. Some called it insensitive since after all at the time he was still with one of America’s best “Friends” but bold moves like that have set the tone for a relationship that plays out in public yet still has an impenetrable intimacy.
Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky
Technically they’re not a couple but they did play one in her video for “National Anthem”.
Why they should inspire you: Did you see the video? Even if you have, go watch it again now, it’s that good. In it she played both versions of Jackie O. and Marilyn and there’s something awesome about a relationship where a woman can relish in showcasing both aspects of the Madonna/whore dichotomy and not feel pressured into being either.
Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley
J.K. Rowling became a billionaire because the “Harry Potter” series was about so much more than just Harry Potter, the supporting characters were also stellar and his two best friends were no exception.
Why they should inspire you: They were honestly friends first. And they got to know each other flaws and all before falling in love. Oh and there was the fact that they were totally badass when it came to fighting a wizarding war (we’ll ignore the part where Ron ran away and instead focus on the fact that he came back and ended up fighting with Hermione side by side at one point).
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Despite the fact that his name was at one point synonymous with summer blockbuster and the fact that she does the lead vocals for a metal band (Wicked Wisdom — seriously) these two aren’t your typical Hollywood couple.
Why they should inspire you: Because they aren’t your typical Hollywood couple. Are they totally cute on the red carpet? Yes. Do they have the requisite well dressed and creative offspring? Yup. But when was the last time you saw them splashed across the cover of a tabloid with accusations of drug addictions, alien abductions or leaked sex tapes? The answer is never because while they’re celebrities they seem decidedly normal.
Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler
These two are arguably the oddest couple on “The Big Bang Theory” despite seeming to be almost perfectly matched in that they’re both intellectual powerhouses.
Why they should inspire you: Have you ever seen “The Big Bang Theory” ? Sheldon is without a doubt the most asexual person on television ever. He doesn’t crave physical contact at all. In fact he shudders at the thought. And Amy Farrah Fowler for her part has this unconcealed girl crush on Penny while still pining for Sheldon genuinely. There’s a lesson to be learned here and the best part is you don’t need Mayim Bialik’s PHD to understand it: It’s possible to be with someone (relationship contract and all) when you’re both willing to make it work.
David Norris and Elise Sellas
He was a politician, she was a ballerina and this totally had potential one night stand written all over it but the main characters of “The Adjustment bureau” had other plans.
Why they should inspire you: They defied fate to be together. Literally. Think about the gravity of that for a second: the forces of the universe were intent on keeping them a part and they fought against it to be together. Think about that they next time you’re ready to throw in the towel over some b.s.
O and Sir Stephen
Long before the mom porn movement, “The story of O” came to light and I have the distinct feeling that there are oodles of “50 shades of gray” readers that would blush at the book content which if my intel is correct is even baser than the movie.
Why they should inspire you: BDSM relationships, the ones where parties live the Dom/sub lifestyle require an immense amount of trust. It’s not just about a meeting of the minds in terms of a common kink but rather about finding a true kinship. And if you can find that (with or without the whips and chains) it’s something to be cherished.
Odysseus and Penelope
For those of you who didn’t have to read “The Odyssey” in high school or college I can tell you that without a doubt it’s as a much a love story as anything else.
Why they should inspire you: This couple was separated for two decades and at no point where they willingly unfaithful to each other. Those of you who’ve read the book may be crying foul since Odysseus did at one point sleep with Calypso, but in his defense he was enchanted at the time. Penelope for her part had over 100 guys try to hook up with her and she turned them all down. She even turned down Odysseus when he first got home until he could prove he was her husband by telling her a secret they shared. Consider that the next time you’re in a relationship and someone with a great smile or nice ass tries to get in your pants.
Jessica Stein and Helen Cooper
If you haven’t seen “Kissing Jessica Stein” go and watch it now. (It’s on Netflix, I’ll wait.) This was one of the first lesbian relationships I’d ever seen at the focal point of a film and it was really well done. I realize you can Google plot points but I refuse to give anything too crucial away.
Why they should inspire you: This was a transformative relationship for both parties and every so that’s exactly what we need, even when, okay especially when, we aren’t looking for it.
You probably don’t know them but I wouldn’t be surprised if you did, they have a way of drawing people to them and were always the cool parents. (I didn’t have a curfew.)
Why they should inspire you: This September 30th they’re celebrating 25 years of being married and in that time they’ve faced everything from heart attacks to cancer to very opinionated children and they’re still together and still really in love.
I bet you didn’t even miss the fact that I didn’t mention Shakespeare’s most famous couple…and if you did that’s too darn bad.