This TV Show Taught Me Everything I Need To Know About Being Engaged

Photo: Courtesy of CBS.
On May 7, 2007, How I Met Your Mother's Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) tied the knot. To mark the occasion nine years later, I decided to look back at the ways the show inspired my own relationship and upcoming wedding.
Friends who didn't watch HIMYM don't understand the fan base when I mention the show to them. It seems like just another CBS sitcom with a laugh track, or another show about a group of white friends hanging out. Those things are technically true, but for fans, it was a lot more than that. Plenty of episodes in HIMYM's nine-season run dealt with relationship issues that other sitcoms haven't addressed, at least not as well.
Of course, the past decade has seen other great married couples on TV, too. Happy Endings' Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.) and Jane (Eliza Coupe) are a particularly noteworthy example. Still, even years after HIMYM went off the air, the TV relationships I think about most often are Lily and Marshall, and Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders).
It might be the innocence of Lily and Marshall's relationship that's more relatable to me than those of other TV couples. Like the HIMYM duo, my fiancé and I met during the first week of college and have limited (well, more like nonexistent) romantic experience outside of our relationship. Our wedding will also happen as he's finishing graduate school, just like Marshall's when he is finishing his law degree. (We're also going to live with a third-wheel college friend after the wedding, our own Ted Mosby — he's even studying architecture.) Sure, Lily and Marshall's struggles are simpler than those of most TV couples. But their relationship is so unapologetically earnest, which is a big part of the reason I feel so much nostalgia for this sitcom.
Other generations have Friends' "We were on a break." That's how I feel about things like "Now we're even," and the Robin Sparkles videos. And, as I plan my wedding and look back on my own relationship, I'm really happy for the relationship lessons How I Met Your Mother taught us.

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