Fictional couples that seem to be perfect for each other until you really think about it. Boy meets girl, boy and girl face some sort of drama together, boy gets girl. That’s the basic storyline of almost every romance film ever made, yet we swoon every single time. Stale plotlines be damned! The love stories that play out in books, on our TVs and on the big screen inform our real-life hopes and dreams: aren’t we all just searching for the Noah to our Allie, the Big to our Carrie, the Simba to our Nala?We took a look some of cinema’s most iconic couples and realized, in retrospect, that we’ve been romanticizing some straight-up unhealthy fictional relationships. Read on: you won’t see these unhealthy movie and TV relationships the same way ever again.
Why We Swooned: Tortured, damaged Christian falls for innocent Ana and persuades her to become part of his BDSM lifestyle. Their story is sordid and sexy and kind of a turn on.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Christian totally takes advantage of Ana, who is young and inexperienced. He low-key stalks her until she’s hooked, then proceeds to tell Ana what she can eat, how to dress and even how to groom her pubic hair. As if that isn’t enough, Christian buys the publishing firm that Ana works for because he needs to control every aspect of her life. He’s more than just a control-freak; he’s abusive.
#54 on The Best Modern Chick Lit
Why We Swooned: Piper and Alex found love in a hopeless place—Litchfield Prison. Their chemistry is admittedly insane.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Piper and Alex can’t stop screwing each other over. Alex throws Piper under the bus to get out of jail; Piper is the reason that Alex lands back in jail. They both put themselves first with no regard for how their actions will affect the other.
#18 on The Best Current Sitcoms
Why We Swooned: Who doesn’t get off on the idea of a forbidden romance? Ezra is Aria’s high school English teacher…but they actually do seem perfect together.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Except…Ezra is Aria’s high school English teacher. No matter how cute or perfect it is, this relationship is 100% illegal and falls under the umbrella of statutory rape. Plus, Ezra basically lied to Aria throughout their whole relationship—and two wrongs do not make a right.
Why We Swooned: Carrie and Big’s story is a modern classic. They kept us on the edge of our seats in “will they or won’t they?” anticipation for years until they finally got married and settled down—but not until the second Sex and the City movie.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Big is Carrie’s perfect man in every way: he’s funny, rich and good in bed. One problem: he’s completely emotionally unavailable. Carrie chases him for years until he finally proposes, only to leave her at the altar! Theirs is not a relationship to idolize; in real life, if a man is that distant, you need to run.