Every episode of Jersey Shore contains at least four cautionary tales about how not to behave in romantic encounters (Snooki flashing her crotch to an entire nightclub and not understanding why her boyfriend was mad, Sitch treating girls like chattel, Ronnie and Sammi’s entire freaking relationship, etc). That’s why the pretty healthy, laid back relationship between JWoww and her boyfriend Roger has gone almost unnoticed.
During the first two seasons of Jersey Shore, JWoww/Jenni was still dating her boyfriend from back home, Tom. He made a few appearances on the show, but they were mostly long distance. However, the more we saw of Tom, the less we liked him: he was verbally abusive to Jenni, insulted her friends, and was super controlling. When they finally broke up, Tom locked her dogs in a hot house with no air conditioning and stole some of her possessions, including a computer hard drive that contained alleged nude photos. He also gave a bunch of interviews to tabloids, calling Jenni all kinds of names and accusing her of cheating.
Shortly after splitting with Tom, Jenni started dating Roger, a trainer who she had known casually for a few years. At first, Roger was awesome simply because he wasn’t Tom, but over the past three seasons we’ve gotten to see their relationship develop. Although they have disagreements, they both respect each other. In last week’s episode, Jenni got mad at Roger for blowing off something that they’d planned to do together, and even though she was hurt they managed to discuss the problem like grownups and Jenni eventually admitted that part of her paranoia was the result of issues from her last relationship, and she apologized for taking her emotions out on Roger. Contrast that with the fights that Snooki has with her boyfriend Jionni: no crying, no histrionics, no blackout drinking, no revenge-cheating. This probably explains why Roger’s trip to visit the cast in Italy got edited out of the show: he and Jenni were normal, and that equals “boring” in the land of reality TV. And unlike some of the people who hook up with cast members, Roger doesn’t seem super interested in Jenni’s fame. He hasn’t done any interviews, gets minimal time on the show, and the few photos of him on celebrity sites are of him supporting his girlfriend at an industry event or something related to her work (a party for her Maxim shoot, for example). The fact that they’d already known each other before JS indicates that Roger likes Jenni for Jenni, and what girl doesn’t want the same?
Once JS is finally put out of its misery and the cast falls into obscurity, what will happen? Of all the cast members, I predict Jenni will have one of the happiest post-fame lives. She has been responsible with her finances and is (as far as I know) the only cast member who owns her own home. I hope that she and Roger make some money, get married, settle down, have some Guido babies, and live out the rest of their lives in peace. And you know what? I think that’s what they want too.