With the recent news of Jennifer Lawrence's engagement, I've found myself walking down memory lane of her on-screen romance with Josh Hutchinson, also known as Peeta Mellark. Together, characters Peeta and Katniss have all the elements of being the best of friends and being one of those lasting couples. Their story reminds me that even in a generation of ghosting, cheating, and emotional immaturity, you can find your person.
The right people will be worth fighting for. They will usually come when you least expect it, and make you forget what you ever did without them.
1. Through everything, Peeta and Katniss protect each other and care deeply
Everything from steering away arena competitors to giving victory speeches showed Katniss that Peeta truly cared as no one had before. Katniss was slower to admit it and outwardly show it, but when she did, it was crystal clear.
"Peeta and the other tributes — Johanna Mason and Annie Cresta will be rescued at the earliest opportunity. If and when Peeta is liberated, he will receive a full and unconditional pardon. No punishment will be inflicted. The victors will be granted immunity and you will announce that in front of the entire population of 13. You will hold yourself and your government responsible or you will find another Mockingjay."
2. Peter's unwavering kindness changed Katniss for the better
Little pieces of this change were evident in caring for Peeta's safety in training and the burial of Rue. Katniss began to see life through the view of love, hope, and trust.
3. Their friendship wasn't exactly natural, but was still perfectly imperfect and unexpected
Unlike many other Hollywood couples, Katniss and Peeta started off in complete disdain for each other. But, in the end, they loved each other for the person they really were. They were both strong, caring, loyal, and they put their whole heart in all they did.
4. Through everything, Peeta and Katniss still stuck together
Since they managed to survive the Games together, they knew they could persevere through anything that happened. The Games were a never-ending nightmare, but Peeta was able to bond with Katniss in a way that Gale couldn't regardless of having grown up with her. "Look at me. Stay with me," Katniss pleads. "Always," Peeta replies.
5. Many tried to tear them apart, but none were able to succeed
The moment they almost took the Nightlock berries together started a war to keep them apart. The Capital, Games, Snow, and even Gale tried to sever their romance, but it was no match for this enduring friendship and love they shared. At both of their weakest moments, they stood by one another and would not let go.
6. They were willing to die for each other without hesitation
Several times during the series, Katniss tells Haymitch Abernathy to "do whatever it takes to make sure Peeta comes out alive." At one point, Haymitch also tells Katniss that Peeta had asked Haymitch to keep her safe as well. One of the most memorable moments was when Peeta volunteered himself as tribute instead of Haymitch, just so Peeta could fight alongside Katniss in the Quarter Quell.
"You're still trying to protect me. Real or not real?" Peeta asks. "Real. It's what you and I do," Katniss assures him.
7. During the hijacking, Katniss reminded Peeta who he really was
Even when he forgot, she told him the truths about himself as if she were singing his song back to him. He realizes she has been paying more attention to him all along than he thought. "Your's is orange; not bright orange, but soft like the sunset. You're a painter. You're a baker. You always sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in your tea. You always double-knot your shoelaces."
8. The couple brings out the best in each other
Peeta helps Katniss to not be hardened by suffering, but stay tender even in cruel situations. Katniss helps Peeta to be more determined and mentally strong. She brings him hope, and he brings her softness to her dark mindset. Together, they are ready to win the Games and fight to protect each other and their own.
9. At the end of the day and Games, vulnerability and honesty wins
"Nobody needs me, Peeta says calmly. "I do," Katniss quickly exclaims, without a thought. They were real with each other, even when it would have been easier to keep the walls high. There was nothing shallow about their relationship; it was as deep and wide as the ocean. Having built on trust, it encouraged them to not just fall in love with the beautiful parts of each other's stories, but also the messy ones.
10. When one was in need, the other always put the other first
No matter how much it cost, Peeta and Katniss put each other before themselves. Sometimes it was saving each other's life, being a listening ear, helping each other to carry on, being supportive, or understanding one another in silence. "I found these over by the edge of the forest. It's primrose. I'm so sorry," Peter says before Katniss hugs him as she cries.
Let's be open to seeing where the unexpected and deep things lead us this year. After all, sometimes the best relationships start with "What's your favorite color?" Give it a chance — it may just be the beginning of your best chapter yet.