MANILA, Philippines – Let’s admit it: we love the idea of love. From novels to series and movies, romance always sells.
Through these, we start listing down the qualities we want to see in our future possible partner, so our ideal relationship takes shape. Of course, we should be wary and take these portrayals with a grain of salt, because as much as we long for the happy-ever-afters like the ones in the shows we watch, it’s not always the case in real life.
That’s why we asked our Rappler readers to name fictional relationships that give off major “green” and “red” flags. Here’s some of their answers:
“Green” Flag Relationships:
These refers to couples who exhibit healthy practices in their relationships AKA the ones we should aspire to be in:
Hong Du-sik and Yoon Hye-jin (Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha)
There are so many reasons why we love Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha and on top of that list is Chief Hong Du-sik himself.
When city girl Yoon Hye-jin came to the town of Gongjin, it was he who defended her from the residents even if they were just strangers. When Hye-jin was caught badmouthing the entire village, it was he who called her out for her snobbish actions and educated her on being a hypocrite without insulting her. When Hye-jin continued her stay in Gongjin, it was Chief Hong who showed her the charms of the village and its residents.
He was kind, patient, nice to others, knew how to apologize and be accountable for his actions, and most of all, honest. While he still had personal issues to resolve, he did not shy away from admitting his feelings for Hye-jin when she confessed to him.
Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
The two started as co-workers who often bickered and teased each other, and that healthy rivalry eventually led to a romantic relationship. While mixing work and relationships can get pretty messy, Jake and Amy were able to avoid that by communicating to each other, setting boundaries, and respecting each other’s work.
Maya dela Rosa and Richard Lim (Be Careful With My Heart)
Maya agreed to be a temporary nanny to Richard’s three children to fulfill her dream of becoming a stewardess. While she has a happy crush on Richard whom she calls as “Sir Chief,” she didn’t really act on it since she knows her boundaries.
While fulfilling her duties as a nanny, Maya was able to help the children grieve the loss of their mom and repair their strained relationship with Richard. It was then that Maya and Richard also started developing feelings for each other.
When they broke the news of their relationship to Richard’s children, Maya made sure to tell them that she was not replacing their mom, but instead, will just be an additional person to love and care for them.
Choi Ung and Kook Yeon-seo (Our Beloved Summer)
Who says love always needs to be loud? Ung and Yeon-seo’s low-key but healthy and happy relationship says otherwise.
When they met ten years after they broke up, they were mature enough to the possibility of being friends. As they tried to get to know each other again, romantic feelings also started to resurface.
What we love about them is that they show their love and care through subtle (but consistent!) acts.
“Red” Flag Relationships:
These refer to toxic relationships that almost always end up with those involved hurting each other, AKA these are the ones you should run away from:
Joe Goldberg and Love Quinn (YOU)
If there’s a poster couple for toxicity, it has to be Joe and Love.
Appearance-wise, both are attractive and seem harmless. But as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving. Individually, their obsessive and murderous tendencies are already dangerous, but to have them pair up? That’s scary.
Both tried to change especially with the arrival of their baby. But Joe then gets interested in Marianne and he reverts back to his obsessive, stalkerish, and manipulative tendencies. And of course, Love won’t just let anyone who shows interest in Joe remain unscathed.
Park Jae-on and Yoo Na-bi (Nevertheless)
Compared to Na-bi’s manipulative and cheating ex, Jae-on, at first glance, might be a breath of fresh air. Wrong!
There’s no denying that Na-bi’s ex is a trash – he doesn’t consult her opinion, criticizes her appearance, and even refuses to wear a condom to prove the sincerity of their relationship, whatever that means. Jae-on’s tendency to push and pull might not be as in-your-face as Na-bi’s ex but it can get pretty toxic, too, especially in the long run.
When Jae-on met Na-bi, he was honest about not wanting anything more than “fun” and not really looking for a girlfriend. Sure, casual dating is a thing, but he still continues stringing Na-bi along just because he can’t get enough of her.
He doesn’t own up to his actions when Na-bi catches him fooling around with other women, and instead he comes up with excuses or passes the blame onto others. He lied to her when she asked him if he was seeing someone else, and gaslighted her when she confronted him for lying. And most of all, he only asked her out because he was threatened that someone was finally taking an interest on Na-bi.
Ross Geller and Rachel Greene (Friends)
News flash: Ross isn’t exactly the eternal “nice guy” that he claims to be.
He had controlling and manipulative issues during his on-again, off-again relationship with Rachel. He insinuates that her male colleague is too friendly with her but insists that they “were on a break” when he was the one fooling around with another woman. And what? When Rachel had the chance to move to Paris, he suddenly confessed his love to stop her from leaving.
Plus, he even had a hard time accepting that his son likes playing with a Barbie doll!
Dao Ming-si and Dong Shan-cai (Meteor Garden)
It’s really confusing as to why Meteor Garden keeps getting several remakes and adaptations when it’s just mostly about spoiled and rich students bullying those who don’t belong to their elite circle.
Dao Ming-si thinks that he has everyone at his disposal just because his family is rich. And the rest of his friends, F4, just tolerate his whims.
So when Shan-cai came along and didn’t bow down to his will, he got intrigued. He couldn’t handle her rejection (a clear, tell-tale sign of a toxic man) and instead made her life at school a living hell so she had no other choice but to entertain him. And even when they became a couple, their relationship was far from healthy: he was possessive and jealous, and still had a mean streak. Shan-cai was also subjected to physical and verbal abuse from jealous girls while Dao Ming-si’s elitist mother tried to bribe her to stay away from her child.
Cardo and Alyana Arevalo-Dalisay (FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano)
In terms of his dedication to his work, there’s no doubting Cardo. He’s willing to risk his life to protect others and has saved thousands of people. But his performance in the romance department? That’s an entirely different story.
Cardo has a long list of love interests and most of them overlap, especially during the time when he was already married to Alyana. He tells Alyana that there’s really nothing going on with them, but he’s too much of a “gentleman” to say no to the other women’s advances to the point that these other women think that it’s okay. Some of them have even had a catfight with Alyana over him.
He also reeks of toxic masculinity – telling Alyana what to wear, and even at one point asking her to resign from her job just because he was threatened by her ex.
Ginny Gonzales and Marco Villanueva (Starting Over Again)
What started as a cute romance between the two took a drastic turn when Ginny left Marco, and essentially, their relationship in the pouring rain.
Her reason? That he was settling. Marco, who was once a college professor, now wanted to focus on his passion for cooking. However, Ginny doesn’t support that because she wants him to aim for more. Aside from belittling his dreams, Ginny also didn’t talk to Marco for a proper breakup.
Years later, they meet again and now both are successful in their respective chosen fields. And apparently, Ginny thinks that they can just pick up from where they left off. She was shocked that Marco has moved on (as he should!) and is now engaged. But instead of backing off, her egotistical self plotted ways to win him back.
She made desperate attempts to seduce Marco to the point of even forcing herself on him. And she even started a confrontation with his fiancée Patty, riling her up by comparing their relationships with Marco, and when Patty didn’t get threatened or angry, Ginny resorted to physically harming her. Whack.
Are there other fictional couples that you consider as healthy or toxic? Share with us in the comments section! – Rappler.com