Marriage is hard. No matter how much you love your partner, spending your life together is bound to come with times when you wonder if you'd be better off without each other. You know what else is hard, though? Dating. Dating is dreadful. Sure, you occasionally have a first date that feels magical, but if you're being honest with yourself, your past dating experiences were probably way more horror movie than romantic comedy. Want more proof? These eight shows streaming on Netflix right now highlight just how awful dating is these days, and will make you grateful you're off the market. Even if you do hate your spouse today.
Whatever your relationship was like before having children, marriage after kids is an entirely different ballgame. And when you're in the trenches, it's totally normal to think about your dating days fondly. The dinners! The sex! The freedom! The thrill of never knowing if that person you were totally into was ever going to call you back. (Spoiler alert: they didn't). Your memories may not be reliable witnesses to the reality of dating in today's world, especially if you never had to "swipe right" in order to meet someone new, like myself.
Thankfully, these shows have done the work for us all. I hugged my partner a little tighter after I watched them, and you will too.
Do not be fooled by Penn Badgly's boyish good looks. I repeat, do not be fooled. You is one of the most disturbing dating shows to ever exist (my husband refused to watch past the first episode), but I finished the whole series and have truly never been more grateful that I'm no longer single after having done so.
2. 'Dating Around'
I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a fan of reality dating shows. Probably because I was a reality tv producer for many years, I can spot all the behind-the-scenes producing from a mile away. However, Dating Around gets a very enthusiastic thumbs up from moi.
The first episode is completely cringe-worthy as it captures the awkwardness of trying to connect with someone (or in this case, five someones) you've never met on a first date. I almost didn't watch beyond this episode because it made me so uncomfortable, but I'm really glad I did. Each episode brilliantly captures the challenges, and sometimes the rewards, of putting yourself out there. My husband and I watched together and laughed about all of our awkward first dates of the past.
3. 'Back With The Ex'
I tried to like this show, I really did. It's an Australian format centering on four couples who broke up, but one of them hasn't been able to let go of the idea that the other is "the one who got away." And, while you may have someone like that in your life, this show goes to prove that some things are better left in the past.
This Netflix-original series from Judd Apatow centers on the story of opposites attracting, but all I can think about when I watch is how these characters need boat loads of therapy before they should ever try dating again.
5. 'Russian Doll'
This series starring the uber-talented Natasha Lyonne isn't about dating, per se, but her struggle to reconcile her past, including her relationship with an ex who keeps coming back into her life, will remind you just how exhausting it is to try and make unhealthy relationships work.
6. 'Friends From College'
I'm obsessed with this show, and anxiously awaiting the third season. It brilliantly captures not only the pains of dating in your thirties, but also the complex realities of dating after divorce. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll probably relate to at least one of these characters on a deeply personal level.
7. 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'
I'm so sad this show is no longer on the air but thrilled to find it streaming on Netflix. Rachel Bloom stars as Rebecca, an incredibly smart, successful woman who upends her entire life in New York in order to try and rekindle a relationship with her first love. It's hilarious, heartwarming, full of original musical acts (bonus!), and will also remind you just how far you used to go in order to get the attention of the crush you just knew was "the one." A chill runs up my spine just thinking about it.
8. 'Someone Great'
This isn't a series, but rather a Netflix-original movie and you need to stop everything you're doing it and watch it immediately. First, Gina Rodriguez is my number one girl crush and I will honestly watch anything she's in (please tell me you watch Jane the Virgin). This film is about the absolute crushing heartbreak that comes after the break-up of her long-term relationship. If you don't cry along with her as she reminisces about their love, and her loss, you may be a monster who has no soul. Just sayin'.
The absolute best part about this movie is how her friends rally around her to help get her through the first 24 hours post-breakup, and I couldn't help but think of my own pals who did the same for me when I was single.
So instead of wishing for your single days, maybe calling up your besties and watching some of these shows together is the safest bet of all.