How To Fall In Love According To A Shonda Rhimes Show

Is there anyone cooler than Shonda Rhimes? No, really, I’m asking. She’s come a long way from writing the Britney Spears road trip movie Crossroads (which you loved, admit it) and is now basically The Queen of Thursday TV, if not TV period. From hot doctors navigating love and medicine on Grey’s Anatomy to Kerry Washington’s badass female fixer on Scandal to the college murder mystery How To Get Away With Murder, Shonda’s shows are, in a word, amazing. They’re full of strong women who know they don’t need a man to be happy but want one anyway. Here are 10 ways to fall in love like you’re one of those awesome women on a Shonda Rhimes show.

Do it your way.

While we have a moment of silence for McDreamy (R.I.P.), let’s take another moment to appreciate the fact that Meredith and Derek never got married on Grey’s. Wait, let me rephrase that. They never got married in an official ceremony. But they got married on a post-it note, which was totally awesome. Let Meredith be your role model when your aunt’s bugging you yet again about why you and your boyfriend haven’t tied the knot yet. Marriage is your choice and you can commit to someone any way that you want.

Don’t lie to yourself.

We all groaned one big collective sigh when smart girl Michaela tried to ignore the fact that her fiancé is gay on HTGAWM. But she eventually realized that she had the break off the engagement. You know you just can’t ignore signs that there is trouble in paradise or you’ll only be sorry later.

We all have that one on-again/off-again romance.

Is anything more tragic and romantic than Fitz and Olivia’s crazy romance on Scandal? And who can’t relate? Okay, so you might not be in love with the President. But you still drunk text your ex sometimes (okay, every Friday night) and daydream about what it would be like to date him again. There’s usually a reason we keep coming back to people, so maybe your wondering is a sign of true love. Stranger things have happened.

Affairs are the worst.

It’s pretty clear that Murder’s Annalise had a rocky marriage, and that’s the understatement of the century. She cheated on her husband, he cheated on her (but way worse – with a college student). Murder aside, if your relationship isn’t working out, do everyone a favor and get out before hooking up with someone else.

But affairs don’t make you a bad person.

We all basically bow down to the complex character that Viola Davis has created in Annalise. She’s tough yet vulnerable in the most beautiful way, and she also gives a face to the overall idea of cheating on your spouse. So does Arizona who unfortunately cheated on Callie (sob) on Grey’s — yet we still adore her because she’s so charming and adorable, and we totally understand why she did so. You shouldn’t cheat, of course. But you’re not a monster if you’re going through a rough time and end up doing so. You’re just human.

You will have many great loves.

It’s hard to think of a more heartbreaking TV moment than when Burke left Cristina at the altar in the third season finale of Grey’s. It was a huge deal for her to open up and accept love, and then boom, it was all over. But she found love again with Owen, even if that didn’t work out so well either. So if you’re still mourning your ex and wondering if you’ll ever meet someone as awesome as him again, just think of Cristina. If she could, you will too.

You can always choose you.

In the end, Cristina got her dream job instead of her dream man, which was definitely a deliberate and super inspiring choice of Shonda’s. If you put yourself, your career and your happiness first, it doesn’t mean you never want to fall in love or to end up with someone. It just means this is what’s best for you right now.

You can’t help who you fall for.

Or sleep with, in the case of Annalise’s assistant Bonnie and her law student Asher. No one would approve of their hook-up and yet they did it anyway.

Sometimes love hurts.

Was there anything more disturbing than watching Cristina deal with Owen’s PTSD? She realized that in certain relationships, it’s impossible to separate love from pain, and that there are often forces greater than the two of you. It’s an annoying lesson to learn but unfortunately we’ve all had those relationships that were born to fail for various painful reasons.

You should never feel guilty about being who you are.

What’s so awesome about Shondaland (besides the juicy plotlines and non-stop drama, of course) is that she allows her characters to be exactly who they are. These women never apologize. They basically own their every feeling, thought, and action. They’re reaching for the sky and the stars and beyond in their lives and careers, and they’ll never let those dreams go in order to please a man. We can definitely relate.

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