Written by One Love staff member Gabriel Naccarato
At One Love, we’re taking a moment to celebrate the boys! With so much talk about healthy relationships, relationships between men can sometimes take a backseat. And we’re looking to change that by taking a look at some of our favorite relationships in our favorite shows.
Some are romantic, some are platonic, but all have some healthy aspects we’d like to focus on. That doesn’t mean these relationships are perfect. No relationship is perfect, and everyone is capable of some unhealthy behaviors. But we want to highlight some of the ways that some of our favorite male relationships are great.
Otis and Eric from Sex Education
Fun is the name of the game with Otis and Eric. Being best friends since they were nine, they always find new ways to tackle challenges head-on with a smile and a laugh. Eric’s quest to get Otis out of his shell provides a space for both of them to grow. This personifies the respect they have for each other. The relationship is built on trust that neither will betray the other and always look out for the other’s best interests. Even at their lowest moments, they can solve their conflicts in a healthy way.
Magnus and Alec from Shadowhunters
Life isn’t easy for Shadowhunters and Warlocks, especially when queer love can have them excommunicated from the only world they’ve ever known. Navigating through those hurdles is what makes Magnus and Alec an amazing couple. They have the respect to rely on each other’s powers and are amazed by what they can do. They are honest about the potential hardship in their relationship and are open about what they want from each other. And they have the comfortable pace to take things slow, move through their baggage, and advance the relationship when they are both ready.
Ted and Coach Beard from Ted Lasso
Moving to England to coach soccer could make any friendship tense and stretched thin, but Ted and Coach Beard show how even the most intense life changes can be the foundation for an even stronger friendship. Equality and respect are at the forefront of their relationship. When Ted is invited to coach AFC Richmond, he immediately brings his best friend to become the assistant coach. And when meeting the team for the first time and navigating the challenges of being Americans coaching soccer in the UK, they play off each other’s strengths to prove themselves to their new players and team’s owner.
For a more in-depth look at some of the other relationships in Ted Lasso, check out our other blog post here!
Will and Mike from Stranger Things
Probably the most complicated relationship on the list, Mike and Will from Stranger Things experienced more ups and downs than other pairings on the list. Growing up in the eighties while extradimensional abominations try to destroy your lives could break any weaker relationship, but Will and Mike started from a strong base of respect when Mike stopped at nothing to find Will after he went missing.
Once Will came back, things started to change. Their relationship became more complicated. But through that, they’ve had to learn how to take responsibility for their wrongdoing. And learning to apologize can be a tough lesson to learn. They’ve had to center kindness in their relationship. To break down those miscommunications and listen to each other. Mike and Will are a work in progress. But it’s important to show that even the closest friendships can have their tough moments.
None of these relationships are perfect. But their basis in the 10 signs of a healthy relationship means that even through the toughest time or their unhealthiest, they are willing to learn and grow. And having more healthy male relationships on TV allow men and boys to see themselves. They can learn from what they see and take that into their own relationships. Men and boys deserve healthy relationships that learn and grow along with them.