Mary Grace Garis
August 28, 2015 7:00 am

You know how sometimes television shows and movies have really enviable relationship statuses, and other times…well, not so much? We’re introducing this new column by writer Mary Grace Garis that examines all the relationship advice, both good and bad, gleaned from pop culture. 

I regret two things in life. The first is that went nine teenage summers without having a sugar sweet season-long romance. The second is that John Cusack never narrated my adolescent struggles. It’s for this, and many other reasons that I’m completely head over heels about Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything…and why I (incorrectly) base all my notions of love on it.

I’m serious! It’s impossible to look at preciously earnest dream boyfriend Lloyd Dobler and the impeccably gorgeous valedictorian Diane Court and not thing #relationshipgoals. But while Say Anything weaves in the some how melodrama of teen feels (and the melodrama of your father being sent to jail for tax fraud), it also delivers more than a few questionable tips.

“Like what?” You may ask. Well, here’s everything Say Anything teaches you about relationships.

It’s not really a date if you don’t ask out your crush out first

Early on, Lloyd’s gal pals assure him that sitting across from someone at the food court does not a date make, and we were both floored upon hearing this. Floored! In the instant I suddenly had half as many boyfriends as I thought I did. But it makes sense, I guess. If you like someone, don’t wait until graduation to see if they like you too, just stop being murky and weird, pick up the phone and ask them out!

Turn your heartbreak into art…or 63 songs

It’s common to wish to be the crystallized perfection that is Diane Court, but I personally am 110% Lloyd’s anguished friend Corey. “I wrote sixty-three songs this year. They’re all about Joe, and I’m going to play every single one of them tonight,” she says at one point, keeping the mood light at Valhere’s graduation party. Most people may frown upon Corey’s Proto-Swiftian efforts, but I applaud her creativity. Catharsis is important, kids.

Love is NOT a game, but it’s nice to have a consolation prize for the losers anyway

Lloyd gave Diane his heart. Diane gave him a pen. Ok, it was at the urging of her father who was super salty about them dating, but it happened nonetheless. Verdict is still out if this is ultra-condescending or an effective cushion to soften the blow. It depends on how much you love free things. Thanks for playing!

The truest way to learn about someone is by pulling a Little Mermaid and being part of their world

I’m pretty sure none out of none of my ex-boyfriends will qualify family dinners and nursing homes as sexy date nights, but it’s something Lloyd throws himself into to know the real Diane Court. And in a world where we stalk out our crush’s interests with late night social media lurking (don’t deny it, we’re all creeps here) we don’t do enough immersive, active learning. Be open to others’ interests and you’ll learn about the person they are behind their beautiful facade.

Stalking your ex is generally frowned upon and doesn’t get the desired results you’re looking for

Lloyd playing “In Your Eyes” with a boom box over his head is iconically swoon-worthy in the scope of the movie…and that’s about it. Friends, I shouldn’t have to say this, but please, please, don’t stand outside someone’s window blasting the song you lost your virginity to. This is one of those things that only works in movies. And actually, in the movie, it didn’t even work.

It’s smart to be careful, but at the end of the day, be there for the one you love

Diane doesn’t return to Lloyd until her entire life is falling apart, and he isn’t blind to this. “You’re here because you need someone, or ’cause you need me?” He asks, before deciding he doesn’t care because it’s Diane Freaking Court. Frankly, I would’ve given this concept a bit more consideration, because that IS suspect timing. But true love, IDK.

[Image via 20th Century Fox]

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