jessica tholmer
February 16, 2016 12:22 pm

Do you love Friday Night Lights? Of course you do. And do you love Tami and Eric Taylor, a.k.a. the best couple on television ever? Yeah, us too. Which is why this week, everything I need to know, I learned from Tami and Eric Taylor.

Support is everything

There has never been a more supportive fictional couple than Eric and Tami Taylor. COME AT ME. Honestly, I know a lot of functional couples (in real life and also on television) have nice, supportive relationships, but Tami and Eric just go through a L O T more in five seasons than a lot of other couples go through. They are both educators in school districts that have a ton of issues (I mean, public schools, duh) and they both put all of their heart and soul into their jobs, which basically requires them to wear themselves thin all of the time.

That being said, they effortlessly bounce ideas off of one another about each and every problem that arises in their careers and personal lives. Regardless of the issue, they always, always support one another, even if it is something the other person does not necessarily want to go through.

Have honest conversations with each other

Look, I WISH I was as open and honest and blunt as Tami Taylor but I am like a quarter of the woman she is. I don’t often BS anyone and I don’t suck up to people and even if you don’t ask me outright, you probably know what my opinion is. That being said, I have never had a long-term, fully functional relationship and maybe part of that is because it can be really hard and scary to stand up and say, “HEY PERSON I AM CRAZY ABOUT—I DISAGREE.” It’s hard to imagine the repercussions of an argument, or what if you disagree with something that is something your partner just cannot compromise on, or what if, what if, what if? That stuff scares me.

But it doesn’t scare Tami and Eric. These two have such a strong, functional relationship that is almost entirely driven by their ability to just talk. it. out. That’s real “goals,” kids.

Clear compliments are key

Kind of trickling down from that whole “open, honest convo” thing: compliment one another. Like clearly compliment one another. There is nothing greater than having the person you love say something like, “Hey, you know what? I really respect your opinions.” If someone said that to me, I would probably smile for days and write about it in my diary. (Haha jk — this column is my diary.)

OBVIOUSLY Tami and Eric do that. Constantly.

Compromising is a necessity

In the last few episodes of the series, there is a huge shift in the Taylor Family. Not only is Eric’s job up in the air as East and West Dillon High consider merging into one school / football program, but Tami is offered a true dream job as the Dean of Admissions at a school in Pittsburgh. Obviously Friday Night Lights is all “Texas Forever” so considering leaving the state (and his football team) is a little rough for Eric.

What I love about those episodes is that it is not a split decision for Tami and Eric. Tami asserts herself, letting Eric know that she has been a football coach’s wife for 18 years and Eric acts like a jerk for the first time maybe ever and doesn’t immediately say, “Yes, of course, it’s your turn and you are wonderful and this is a great opportunity.” It takes awhile. It’s hard. Everyone cries. I cry. And then they go. Eric chooses Tami and supports her dream and everyone is okay because everything always works out when you work together.

Try to stay crazy in love
Wow, can you imagine flirting with your husband or wife? I mean, I hope you can imagine that but once you are comfortable with a person, everything kind of shifts over into “oh hey babe” territory and not like “heart-eyes emoji” stuff.

Tami and Eric stay in love. They kiss like they are teenagers and they are openly affectionate and they are just purely fond of one another. And I love that.

Always say sorry
When you are wrong, when you overreact, when you punch your partner’s coworker, when you keep something from your partner, when you write a check and lie about it — apologize. Because there is no weakness in forgiveness.

You can call each other out
Tami, again the ever-direct queen of the world, has no problem just straight up saying, “Nope.” To her husband, her students, her children, or the guy at the meat counter in the grocery story.

Calling each other out—in a kind, respectful way, of course—is healthy, believe it or not.

Be a team when you raise your kids. 

To be perfectly clear, I think Julie is a super brat and it is really hard for me to get behind her sometimes. That being said, she is a great person. Little Gracie, we can assume, is also a great person. Tami and Eric are like the dream parents (part of the reason Julie drives me nuts) and their grace and wisdom extends far beyond their own two daughters. They take in the Riggins boys, they take in Tyra, they are there for Jason Street and Lyla, and Vince basically tells Coach that he saved his life.

Working together, Tami and Eric create such a strong, wonderful community for kids and adults (Buddy Garrity, anyone?) alike.

Be each other’s #1

And after all, like that really popular song that came out last year tells us, we all want a cheerleader. Tami rarely misses one of Eric’s games and she is always by his side. Eric is there for Tami through every little thing she goes through, whether it be Julie drama or a huge move across the country. 

I have dated quite a few people throughout my 20s and I’ll tell you what–I think I am a great cheerleader. I am a champion for my friends, my family, and absolutely for my partner as well. The difference, as I have learned as I creep up on 30, is that it makes a huge difference if you truly believe in what your partner is working for/towards/with. If your partner has a passion that you don’t quite understand, that’s fine! What you need to be able to see is why they love it and how happy it makes them and why it motivates them so much. If you love that person, you will love the thing that makes them that happy. Cheer on, cheerers.

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