With tabloid headlines continually plastered with news of the latest reality TV break-ups and make-ups, it’s easy to feel like we know more about the dating lives of stars like Kim Kardashian than those of our closest friends. Our first impulse might be to tune out the latest celebrity gossip — do we really need to know what Kim and Kanye ate for lunch today? I’m going with no — but if you dig beneath the surface, there’s actually plenty to learn from the successes and failures of celebrity relationships. Here are six love lessons from reality TV’s best and worst couples.
While they may not be as flashy as their RHoBH counterparts, you can’t help but notice the deep friendship and love Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky share for each other and their family. Despite being the objects of envy, these two know how to keep it real.
The Love Lesson: Modesty goes a long way. Even if your life is awesome, don’t rub it in other people’s faces. Do as Kyle and Mauricio do: Spread the love, by supporting the people you care about.
2. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood
Here’s a couple that caused a stir when they got together while both still married to other people. Go figure: it looks like what they have is the real deal. Although we suspect one of the reasons Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott are still together involves juicy TV contracts. Why else would Dean be endlessly patient with Tori’s wacky plans that always sound a little bit like, “Let’s open an antique store/bed and breakfast/crafting show/wedding cake business that’s also a pet salon!”?
The Love Lesson: Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette. Although we don’t condone adultery, this couple is proof that sometimes you have to shake up your life a bit in order to find your soulmate. Once you do find that person? Love, patience and working towards common goals will help keep you together.
Next to every fiery, outspoken, stress-ridden woman, there should be a calm, collected and understanding man. Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy balance out each other, in the best way possible.
The Love Lesson: When opposites attract, they create sparks together! Still, no relationship is perfect. Like any other couple, Bethenny and Jason have their issues, but they work through them together.
This couple, I just don’t get: Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick. Not only is there something decidedly creepy and Patrick Bateman-like about Scott, he comes across arrogant and destructive. Yet, despite his antics and questionable past, Kourtney sticks around. Why, we’re not sure.
The Love Lesson: If it walks like a jerk and talks like a jerk, most likely you’re dealing with a jerk. People tell you who they are through their actions. If those actions include drunken tirades, anger management-issues and immature party-animal behaviour? You might want to reconsider your relationship.
5. Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, The Hills (pictured via Just Jared)
“Speidi” is a classic case of crazy-eyed boy meets wide-eyed girl, and then systematically alienates her from all of her friends and family (on national TV!). Although Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are technically no longer reality TV stars, these two still go down as one of the craziest celebrity couples — period.
The Love Lesson: Sometimes your friends really do know what’s best for you. If you notice your relationship is causing a huge rift between your friends (and, worse, your family), you might want to actually listen to them before it’s too late.
6. Sammi Giancola and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Jersey Shore (pictured via Hollywire)
Are they together? Are they broken up? Does anyone care?! Oh, Sammi Giancola and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, what are we to do with you? Co-dependent, possessive, and drama-ridden; throw in a few glasses of signature “Ron Ron Juice” and you have the makings of one of the worst couples to ever grace the small screen.
The Love Lesson: If the relationship is no longer fun for you or anyone around you, call it quits. Or, you could just wait until you discover your boyfriend has gone on one of his Incredible Hulk–inspired rampages and thrown your bed out the window. Basically, whichever happens first.
What couples in reality TV do you love, hate, love to hate and hate to love? Better/worse: What can we learn from them about love?
Simone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.