Mary Grace Garis
Updated September 03, 2015

Because I am poor, and because I intend to own a John Hughes themed bakery one day (spoiler: it’ll be called Samantha Baker) I recently attended a free park screening of Pretty in Pink. There’s something about the flick that I find really relatable. Is it the inordinate amount of time spent in a record store? The super fun high school memory of getting ditched at prom? No, it’s really in the uncomfortably familiar dynamics between new wave princess Andie Walsh, and, well, every guy she comes into contact with.

And I’m sure your eager readers are wondering: am I team Blane or team Duckie? Which pairing gives me hardcore #relationshipgoals? As someone who dates the Steffs of the world, I’m not qualified to choose. But after carefully dissecting this classic love triangle, I’ve laid out all the lessons Pretty in Pink teaches us about love, dating, and horrible fashion design mishaps.

Don’t let social differences sway your heart

When Andy first meets Blane she’s a bit resistant, because, you know… he’s a “richie” and has probably NEVER listened to Echo & the Bunnymen. The latter is enough of a reason not to date him, at least for me, but you know what? Blane is very cute, he at least tries to crack into Andie’s world in the beginning, and clearly she’s into him. Maybe if she relaxed and stopped worrying about standing out every 3 minutes, she would’ve enjoyed their date…but probably not.

The best way to woo your best friend is not by insulting her, her date, and all her life choices

There are only three or four points in the film where I feel really bad for Duckie, and that’s mainly because he is practically the trope codifier of a “Nice Guy.” We all have unrequited crushes, but for him to lust after Andie for all these years and then lash out at her for going on ONE date? And THEN for him to thrust his tongue down her boss’s throat? What kind of strange behavior is that? Duckie has no chill.

When you date someone, remember: you’re not dating their friends

Andy’s father actually sums it up really nicely: “You like him, he likes you. What his friends think shouldn’t make a difference.” He delivers the realest real talk in the entire film. I know in reality it’s not that easy to block out all that noise, but if you’re seriously causing drama between different friends group by dating someone, good tip to remember. But also: this too shall pass.

There is no heartache that can’t be at least SOMEWHAT pacified by The Smiths

One of three points where I feel bad for Duckie is when he’s listening to “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” in his room. This was a moment so real that my roommate was like, “Hey, I know that song!” Yes, that’s what I play at 7 am every day.

Bailing on your new girlfriend on the highly public event of the season is WAY romantic.

Bonus points if you don’t give any legitimate reason for bailing! Yeah, all of Blane’s good qualities melt away and never solidify back once he tells Andie he can’t take her to the prom. Why? Because Steff didn’t deem her socially acceptable? You guys are graduating in three minutes, none of this is going to matter! Yeah, unless you have a reason that involves actual jail, parental sickness, or murder, don’t bail on your prom date, it’s not a classy move.

Also, maybe don’t get too invested in a nascent week-long relationship…?

I’m not saying I’m not guilty of this several times over. I’m just saying that Blane and Andie went on two dates, one of which was awful.

In the battle between the best friend versus the ex-boyfriend, the right choice is…yourself.

I lied. When it comes to Team Blane versus Team Duckie, I’m Team Andie all the way. It was VERY courageous for her to staple two dresses and show the school that they didn’t break her. A strong person like that doesn’t NEED to choose a guy…and neither do you. You don’t have to pick between Handsome-But-Boring and Eager-But-Nerdy if neither of them treat you like a human being. Just put on some New Order, hang out with your cool 33-year-old friend, and choose you until and unless someone worthy comes along.

[Image via Paramount Pictures]