Hopeless romantics often get a bad rep. They’re thought to cling onto any glimpse of attraction—any fleeting romance—for their dear lives. Ted Mosby of How I Met Your Mother functions under the romantic idealism, so much so that he often ignores any potential red flags in his relationships.
Ted Mosby likes the feeling of being in love, unlike his friend Barney Stinson, who devoted the majority of his adult years to “the chase” while mindlessly navigating short-term flings, or his best friend, Marshall Eriksen, who got extremely lucky in his first attempt at a relationship. Ted is the quirky friend, the one who does not know when to shut up, the one who messes up from time to time but always gets back on his feet.
The HIMYM audience often finds Ted Mosby to be a frustrating character, and this only worsens when we watch him continuously struggle to find love.
“I think I’m in love with you.” He said on his very first date with Robin. I vividly remember watching this scene and letting out a small gasp.
Ted believes in love more than anything, and he is fearless in his pursuit of romance. He became so set on finding “the one” in his 20s (while most of his male peers were still trying to play the field) that he was telling people about his idea of a dream wedding and what he wanted to name his kids.
Ted is the human equivalent of The Smiths’ hit song “How Soon Is Now?” which states, “I am human, and I need to be loved just like everybody else does.”
It did not matter to Ted that people were making fun of him, mocking his actions, and condescently calling him “desperate.” It was his own desires and the people who he loved and cherished that mattered.
I admire that about Ted.
Nowadays, people seems to be obsessed with determining a certain structure for love—how many days should you wait to text a person after you meet them? How long should you wait before you text a person back? There’s even a certain amount of effort put into composing a text with the right emojis to make you seem cooler or more laid-back. People are constantly trying to build authentic relationships based off of a fabricated version of themselves.
Such complications were excluded from Ted Mosby’s romance narrative, and I appreciated it. Ted called it as it was. He was not one to run away from his feelings. Even when he knew a relationship was a mistake, he still pursued it, because he needed to know it truly was a mistake before he could move on.
Ted Mosby may have been a serial monogamist, but he did not do it to toy with others’ emotions. He wanted to find love.