Relationship Goals I learned from ‘Daria’

It’s really hard to watch five seasons of Daria—AKA what I’m doing while my roommate’s away on a business trip—without admitting that Trent Lane is hot. Like, I get that his laziness is his downfall and I understand he’s flakey to a fault, and I can even see that whole, “he’s a cartoon” angle. But unlike Daria, I have not and will not get over my crush on the Mystik Spiral frontman…which probably explains why a decade and a half later all of my love interests are unemployed musicians. Actually, I’ll admit it: Daria fortified a LOT of my early #relationshipgoals.

“But Mary Grace,” you begin to protest. “Daria is the most anti-social character in television history. It’s a show about hatred of humanity, not love for it.” Oh, my sweet little chinchilla. No. In spite of her misanthropic nature, Daria (the show AND the character) is constantly negotiating with relationships, be it relationships with the community, her family, her best friend, and yes, even certain unambitious narcoleptic musicians.

Oh, and I guess Tom Sloane.

Whatever. Here’s what Daria taught me about musician crushes, mass dating, and a fiery hot love for pizza.

A best friend is supportive of you dating her brother

Jane tries to facilitate Daria-Trent quality time in the first three seasons, more for her amusement than anything else. That’s pretty cool that she would even be open to the idea, though, and you want to make friends with the chick who is down with your crush on her hot older brother. In real life whenever a friend says my brother is cute, my reaction is, “Why? No. Stop. Get out of my house.”

Sometimes you have to take a step back and really think about the endgame of a relationship.

Ultimately nothing real every happens between them because Daria, inherently, knows that it would end with her working double shifts at the gene splicing lab while Trent mulls over getting his tattoos removed. No wait, it’s not even that that quells The Crush, he flakes on a school project. “I guess it wasn’t such a great idea for us to get together… on this,” Trent says during their non-break-up. Yeah, dude, dreamy as you are it wouldn’t work. But at least we have fanfiction.

Keep your options open, your calendar full, and your eyes open for someone who will drive you to Cashman’s AND wait in the car while you shop.

If we’re talking about relationships then we have to at least mention the Queen of Datingherself, Quinn. In contrast to her sister, Quinn’s strong suit seemed to be booking dates to Chez Pierre tri-weekly. Do I think that mass dating of this nature is an awesome idea? Not necessarily. But you have to appreciate her unwillingness to settle. Or, as Quinn oh-so eloquently explains to Joey, Jeffy and the other one, “You can’t expect me to choose a boyfriend right away, that’s like eating the first pancake off the stove. You have to feed one to the dog.”

Don’t make out with your best friend’s boyfriend in his car

When Daria unloads her guilt (um, as much as Daria can emotionally unload) on Helen, she assess the situation accurately: “It’s a lousy situation, Daria. But you didn’t set out to hurt anyone.” True. Sometimes emotions get a hold of us and you get wrapped up in the moment. Sometimes two people are just more compatible than two other people, and sometimes someone’s relationship decline coincide with another relationships incline. All that applies here.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be residual hurt and major fall out if you make out with your friends boyfriend. So yeah, try NOT to do that (btw, sorry for sophomore year, Jennette).

All that said, a best friend can get over you dating her ex-boyfriend. Sometimes.

Ok, Jane is decidedly NOT cool about Daria and Tom’s burgeoning feels. The tail end of season four and Is It Fall Yet? is dedicated to that drama. But she works through it for the sake of their friendship, which brings us to a main theme of the series…

Not all life mates have to be romantic.

mentioned this back with Breakfast At Tiffany’s (I’m a big Holly/Cat shipper) but I mean it triple here. Of all the relationships Daria negotiates with, her relationship with Jane is the one that matters the most. And although it never blossoms romantically (in a canon way, again, there’s always fanfiction), it has all the qualities of a successful romantic relationship: love of pizza, and hatred of everything else. Freakin’ friends forever.

[Image via MTV]

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