9 Underrated Life Lessons We Learned From ‘How I Met Your Mother’

How I Met Your Mother was one of those shows that had a cult-like following from the start. More so, since streaming has become available, it’s only grown in popularity. And now that it has a reboot titled How I Met Your Father in the works with Hilary Duff on board, there’s no doubt that the show is going to be just as good as the original. The original show’s popularity wasn’t only due to the incredible cast but also because of all the life lessons it taught us. 

I went my whole life wishing I was Lily, who had that storybook romance. But no, I was more of a Robin because of our countless similarities: We’re both Canadian, determined journalists, hockey lovers with a short temper, and we both have dated a long list of losers that have damaged us. And I was okay with that; I actually kind of liked her. But the more I rewatch the show, I’m slowly learning that I’m not a Robin, I’m a Ted — and you probably are too. 

But fear not, fellow Teds! He actually taught us the most valuable lessons throughout the series that helps us through young adulthood.

Here are the best lessons we learned from How I Met Your Mother:

1. Nothing good happens after 2 AM.

Ted’s mother always preached this to him, and he never listened. So, he learned the hard way. You might be having the night of your life, but you still need to know your limits. Learning when to call it quits is so essential for your health, wallet, relationships, and dignity. (And if you’re still not convinced, remind yourself what happened that night with the tattoo or how he blew it with Victoria and Robin in the same night). Don’t let that be you. 

2. Go for that blue French horn.

What seemed to be a small gesture in the show turned out to be one of the most significant metaphors. Initially, Ted wanted to steal a blue French horn to impress Robin on their first date. Then, by the end of the series, he went back to steal it again. It actually meant this: Follow your heart and go for it no matter how scary or embarrassing it seems. 

3. Don’t send the text.

We all know those nights: You’re lonely, heartbroken, angry, horny, seeking closure, or you simply want to check in because you miss that person. For the love of Ted Mosby, do not send that text no matter how badly you want to! You will regret it and feel like an idiot. Remember what Ted says: “The worst thing about texting is that once you send it, you can’t get it back.”

4. Heartbreak doesn’t last forever.

As you ride the waves of emotions, breakups can be brutal. But no matter what you go through, heartbreak doesn’t last forever. In fact, you will experience it multiple times. One day you will be able to move on without hesitation, and you will find your one true love. 

5. Mistakes are a part of life.

The show was filled with proof that mistakes are an integral part of life — every character made plenty of them. You’re going to mess up, so don’t beat yourself up over that. Instead, take what you’ve learned and move forward. Life is about what you do after you fall, not how you avoid a potential failure. Look at Marshall and Lily: They may seem picture-perfect, but they had some fumbles along the way, and they recovered just fine.

6. You can have more than one love of your life.

Ted had a few women who truly captured his heart: Stella, Victoria, and of course, Robin. Even Barney had a couple of loved ones (remember Quin?). The point is, some love stories don’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t real and full of passion. Ted puts it best: “Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it, or else we’re lost, and love is dead, and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do.”

7. Think twice about that tattoo.

Remember when Ted got drunk and got a butterfly tramp stamp while out with a girl to show he’s cool and carefree? Well, this is a lesson we all need to remember, whether it’s getting a tattoo on a whim or all of a sudden drastically changing your look. You may regret it, and if it’s costly to fix, you’ll regret it even more. Moral of the story: Take your time to make expensive decisions. 

8. Be mindful of what events you bring a plus one to.

I know the excitement of starting to date someone new and wanting to introduce them to your friends. But the timing and occasion mean everything. Lily was right: There is nothing worse than having a random fling awkwardly sitting in every photo, ruining the memories of that day. Save the introductions for something casual, not a birthday party or wedding. 

9. Love your friends fiercely.

No matter what happened in their lives, Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Robin were there for each other. Adulthood comes with a lot of change, but it’s important to have a group of friends who support you no matter what. Love and cherish them deeply because they’ll be the ones who will always be around even if your partner doesn’t.

I’m really looking forward to what life advice Hilary Duff will continue to bring to our lives when the new show airs next year (as if she already hasn’t been doing that for the better part of almost two decades). But for now, I’ll keep reliving the original because it is so damn relatable to what I’m going through right now… And I hate it. 

Featured Image via CBS & @himym_official on Instagram


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