It appears on many a basic dating app bio: "I'm searching for that Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly relationship." It pops up on countless couple photos: "The Jim to my Pam." Everywhere you turn, fans of The Office happily promote the show's most recognizable pair as their ultimate #RelationshipGoals. But what if we have it all wrong? What if Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) are the exact opposite of what we should be looking for? What if we're all too blinded by their ordinary, somewhat romantic love story to see the truth?
While plenty of fans of The Office have come to the conclusion that Jim is the worst, most have yet to realize that Pam is just as bad as her husband. Together, these two create an up-and-down relationship with plenty of annoying moments and not a lot of stability. Jim falls short when compared to other fictional husbands, and his relationship with Pam often includes a lot more toxicity than genuine happiness.
Jim and Pam commit to their relationship, make it through some tough times, and end the show happy and ready to move forward - that's true - but the simple fact that they stay together doesn't mean they're the archetype of a good relationship.
When Jim is approached by an old college friend about a sports marketing business in Philadelphia, he discusses the possibility of pursuing the new career with Pam. However, both he and Pam agree that it would be impractical to take part in such a risky endeavor. Jim decides that he won't pursue the business.
However, he later determines that he can't give up the opportunity. Knowing that Pam isn't fully on board, Jim decides to take the job and invest a large sum of his own money, all without telling his wife. He makes an agreement, then immediately backs out of it in order to pursue what he really wants.
If Jim is always going to make his own decisions, why bother asking Pam in the first place?
At the start of The Office, Jim and Pam are just friends. However, it's obvious to everyone who witnesses their relationship that Jim is hopelessly in love with his coworker. Unfortunately, Pam is also engaged to someone else - the disinterested warehouse worker Roy.
Despite her status as a soon-to-be-married woman, Pam spends all her time with Jim. She claims that Jim is her "best friend," but her coworkers often accuse her of flirting with the office prankster. The two consistently share longing stares with lots of unspoken feelings in them before one person grows uncomfortable and breaks away. In addition, Pam drunkenly kisses Jim on the mouth after receiving a Dundie Award that wasn't for "Longest Engagement."
Though she's engaged to Roy, Pam shares most of her daily ups and downs with Jim. She confides in Jim far more than her fiancé and then wonders why Roy doesn't pay her as much attention as Jim does. Instead of investing in her future marriage or ending that relationship, Pam starts her relationship with Jim by emotionally cheating on her fiancé with another man.
Before Jim and Pam officially start dating, Pam insists she's in love with Roy and that Jim is just a friend. However, when Jim starts dating Katy, Pam is clearly upset. She often acts uncomfortable when hearing about their relationship, and even seems happy when she finds out they may not last very long.
Even though Pam refuses to be with Jim, she doesn't want him to be with anyone else. Though she's getting married, she grows upset when Jim has the chance to find the same happiness. Instead of looking out for what might be best for her "best friend," Pam only thinks about what she wants, and acts accordingly.
Although Pam eventually decides to be with Jim, she starts their relationship by emotionally cheating on her fiancé Roy. Jim's fear of this pattern repeating itself comes up on more than one occasion, suggesting that their trust might not be as solid as it seems.
First, Jim expresses nerves over Pam's relationship with her friend from art school, Alex. Jim insists that Alex has a crush on her and explains that he was once "the friend," so he knows what he's talking about.
In the final season, Jim quits his job at Athlead because he realizes that Pam is finding emotional support in a member of the film crew, Brian. Jim believes his wife's emotional connection with Brian while she's married to him mimics her prior emotional connection with him while she was engaged to Roy, and decides to put all his dreams on hold for fear of losing her.
Jim's worries about the past and fears about what Pam might do if he's not 100% there for her every second influence his decision, making it yet another choice between professional advancement and his life with Pam.