Ultimate Relationship Goals For Valentine's Day: Leslie Knope And Ben Wyatt

Ultimate Relationship Goals For Valentine's Day: Leslie Knope And Ben Wyatt

​"Who's to say what works? You find somebody you like and you roll the dice. That's all anybody can do."

As Valentine's Day approaches, and as I binge-watch "Parks and Recreation" for the third time with my boyfriend, I have perpetual heart-eyes over the greatest couple to ever grace television: Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt. Don't believe me? Here are 11 reasons why everyone should want to be them.

1. The magical evolution of their relationship.

Leslie starts out hating Ben. The insult-at-work-and-then-yell-at-at-a-bar kind of hatred. And let's face it, she has a reason - Ben represents the failure of Pawnee's government and the potential loss of her beloved department and dream park in Lot 48. But then you watch them work together on the Harvest Festival, come up with corny handshakes, and eventually have to go to great lengths to keep themselves from hooking up so as to not violate the rule that government employees and their supervisors can't be romantically involved.

But then this happens:

and your heart starts doing the can-can even though you knew they were going to get together.

2. They never let anything get in their way.

Strict policy against romantic involvement between employee and boss? Sure, that impedes Leslie and Ben and strains their friendship for a little bit, but I'm glad it does, because then we get gems like this one:

But ultimately, they decide being together and growing their love for each other is the best decision, and your heart can-cans some more.

The obstacles don't stop there. But an ethics trial? Having to be long distance when Ben takes a job in Washington? Everyday strain of government work and adult life? They got nothing on Ben and Leslie.

3. They make each other grow.

It doesn't matter whether or not they're together - Ben and Leslie force each other to confront their shortcomings and take steps to remedy them, but also realize that having flaws is not the end of the world.

Sometimes, Leslie needs to be pulled back for a moment to consider her actions instead of working purely on emotion. And sometimes, Ben has to be reminded that not everything needs to be analyzed and worried about and strategized. From Ben, Leslie learns to be more open-minded and to think about how she sometimes "steamrolls" her friends. And from Leslie, Ben learns the unique power of optimism and hope mixed with hard work, but also the importance of letting loose a little.

4. They both make sacrifices for each other.

Every couple has to compromise, and no one knows this better than the power couple that is Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt. From Ben resigning in disgrace as assistant city manager to allow Leslie to keep her job as deputy director of the parks department, to Leslie being willing to put their life together on hold so Ben can advance his career in Florida, to having to decide which of them will run for governor, Ben and Leslie know that balance and compromise are key. Their relationship may give them something extra to consider when taking a job or making a political move, but they wouldn't have it any other way.

5. Ben's proposal.

I'm going to admit, I cried the first time I watched this. And the second. And the third. Largely, because I'm much the same as Leslie in the sense that we both like to stop the world for a minute to cement a big moment in our memories, but also because Ben's proposal is the perfect representation of this couple's unbreakable bond that holds strong through any sacrifice. Instead of taking a job as a campaign manager in Florida, Ben decides to "think about his future" and chooses Leslie over the job. They don't know what the future holds. They don't know what jobs will pop up, or when, or where - what they do know is they want to be together, and nothing can stop that from happening.

6. The Box.

If Ben's proposal represents the power of their sacrifices, the small wooden box they constantly exchange is the physical symbol of their compromise.

We first see it when Ben figures out Leslie is running for a spot on the City Council and therefore has to break up with him to avoid a scandal, then again when Leslie changes her mind about making Ben stay in Pawnee and supporting his move to D.C., and finally when Ben proposes:

It's a lovely, powerful, happy-tear-inducing little detail that truly symbolizes Ben and Leslie's relationship and unwavering love and support for each other. It's a physical manifestation of their complete understanding of one another as passionate employees, lovers, and, above all, people.

7. Their spontaneous, perfect wedding.

Sure, it hit a few snags, like Ron punching Councilman Jam in the face and having to be bailed out of jail, but it ended up exactly where it was always meant to happen-inside the Parks and Recreation office, with the whole department, including beloved three-legged dog Champion cheering them on. Plus, their adorable vows cannot be beaten.

8. Their love is all-encompassing, but that doesn't mean other aspects of their lives fall to the wayside.

They don't even let their honeymoon bliss detract from the overarching goal of the entire series: putting a park in the empty lot behind Ann Perkins' house. Married life never holds them back from pursuing new opportunities. We've also all heard the thought that when people enter into a serious romantic relationship, they lose three friends. If this is even true at all, it definitely isn't for Ben and Leslie. They keep each other close and their friends even closer, because they know the importance of friendship and the truly special nature of their fellow Pawneeans.

9. They can handle anything life throws at them.

Even when this happens -

Ben and Leslie know they can take any and all of life's surprises, because they have each other.

10. "I love you and I like you."

One of my absolute favorite things about not only Leslie and Ben, but "Parks and Rec" in general: the distinction between "love" and "like." Love and lust alone cannot sustain a relationship for long; two people really have to like each other in order to keep working together and have a successful marriage. And if they feel both? That's when magic á la Leslie and Ben happens.

11. Their optimism.

The optimism of this couple can be summed up in everything I've already listed, but it's important enough to merit its own category. Ben and Leslie's relationship basically boils down to one phrase: "Everything will be okay." They love each other, they like each other, and they both have the drive and compassion to work through the situations when those things aren't quite enough. If any two people are "relationship goals," it's these two; they're both kind, successful people who randomly found each other and never left each other's side once they did. They push each other to be better while celebrating all the great things they already are, they give each other hope when one starts to stumble, and they are true life partners.

Cover Image Credit: Crushable

Popular Right Now

7 Students You'll Find at College Libraries as Characters from "Shameless"

The characters in "Shameless" may not hit the books very often but college kids try to.

The library is always packed with tons of people from all different spectrums of the university community. No matter who you are or what you study, long nights will be spent at your college lib. So, here's all the types of people found at college libraries as characters from "Shameless."

1. Fiona: The ones who bit off way more than they could chew.

The Fionas of Marston are taking 24 credits, juggling greek life, their engineering frat and the University Democrats club while working a part-time job as Study Edge tutor. These people are either always strung out on coffee or Red Bull and NEVER have time to stop an talk so a wave is sufficient.

2. Lip- The ones who get it without even trying.

These are the ones everyone is jealous of. They don't even have to study and still ace the exam. How dare they?! They make you feel dumb for picking your major.

3. Ian- The ones who can't focus no matter how hard they try.

Not even a jab at Ian's mental health, more of the fact that he can't figure out what to do with his life so he drops out of school. The Ians of Marston will find any excuse to not do the one assignment they came to do.

4. Debbie- The ones who do just enough to get by.

Debbie isn't dumb but she's no Lip. Debbie was the kid that never really gave Fiona any trouble until she got pregnant. The Debbies of Marston are the ones who do they're work and study enough to get a passing grade, but they don't go above and beyond if they don't have to.

5. Carl- The ones who come for the social aspect.

Some of the students in Marston just don't do any work at all. Their friends decide to come and get some work done and they just came to socialize, and just end up sitting on their phones for 2 hours straight and going on their computers to check Facebook and change the song on Spotify. Meanwhile, they're failing all their classes.

6. Liam- The freshmen who don't know what the different levels mean.

The students who just started at UF have no idea what the levels of the library mean so they end up talking ridiculously loud on the fourth floor and then get mad when no one will shut up in the basement.

7. Frank- The ones who come hungover.

We all know the girls who will come to Marston hungover after a night out so they can feel productive after not getting anything done the past 3 days because they were at crush parties with free entry and open tabs.

Cover Image Credit: Nothing But Geek

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Parkland Students Organize March On Washington

"Students all over the country are going to be joining us because the adults have let us down."

Nikolas Cruz opened fire on teachers and students at Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine's Day. Now, students from the school are speaking out. Several told “Face the Nation” and “Meet the Press” this past Sunday that the government is letting them down. They say they are creating a national movement to stomp out gun violence.

Government polarization and the cultural divide in the United States separates the country on gun control. 75 percent of Republicans worry the government will go too far in restricting gun rights while 73 percent of Democrats fear the government will fail to do enough to regulate guns, according to NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Five student survivors talked with CBS’s “Face The Nation” about their discontent with the government's actions towards gun regulation. One of the survivors, Emma Gonzalez, said: “People who we put into power, who should be working for us, they have us working for them. And that’s pitiful.” The teenagers are organizing a march on Washington to rally students from all parts of the country and persuade politicians to enforce stricter gun laws.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Related Content

Facebook Comments