So every time I go through a break up I re-watch all of How I Met Your Mother. This feat becomes more challenging with every season and now that we’re on the final season, it’s probably time to start a new coping strategy and read this list instead of dedicating over 64 hours to my life to HIMYM.

So this list is inspired by Cliff Clinton’s list of “100 Life Lessons I Learned from How I Met Your Mother” (which is an awesome freaking list) but instead of Life Lessons, this is Relationship Lessons I’ve learned (with a few life lessons sprinkled too) and it spans all 8 seasons. I’ve divided by season but, of course, many lessons span multiple episodes. This will be updated throughout the rest of the 9th (and final) season also & I’ll do my best to be as spoiler free as possible.


         Season 1

  1. Have an epic love story. (“Pilot”, “Knight Vision”)
  2. Don’t wait for the signal, just kiss them! (“Pilot”, “Sunrise”)
  3. If you can’t be “casual” don’t try. (“Purple Giraffe”, “Definitions”)
  4. You’ll never remember the nights you stayed in to write a paper. Also, just go on the flight/road trip! (“Purple Giraffe”, “Sweet Taste of Liberty”, “The Time Travelers”)
  5. You need to have important conversations like an adult. (“Return of the Shirt”, ”The Front Porch”, “12 Horny Women”, “The Broken Code”, “Bass Player Wanted”)
  6. Clubs suck. (“Okay, Awesome”, “Single Stamina”)
  7. “Meet them half way and put on the girlfriend costume.” (“Slutty Pumpkin”)
  8. “One day you’re going to meet a guy that makes you want to look like a complete idiot.” (“Slutty Pumpkin”)
  9. “Wait for it… it’ll happen.” (Slutty Pumpkin”, “Matchmaker”, “Something Blue”, “Platonish”, “Last Forever – Part Two”)
  10. “Life is full of changes, but the important stuff doesn’t change.” (“Intervention”, “The Duel”, “Possimpible”)
  11. Go into a marriage with a fresh start. Find a new place together. (“The Duel”,”The Fortress”)
  12. Be your own family and find your own way to freak out the people your kids bring home. (“Belly Full of Turkey”)
  13. “Life has plenty of good parts, its the rough patches that make you happy you have people to share it with.” It’s your friends jobs to cheer you up. When it all goes down in flames your friends will be there for you. (“Belly Full of Turkey”, ”Symphony of Illusion”, “Bad Crazy”, “Rally”, “Daisy”)
  14. “Don’t think… do.” But, don’t do 5 shots in a row. “Turn off your brain for a night and all you’re left with is a hangover, a sprained ankle and a pineapple.” (“No Tomorrows”, “The Pineapple Incident”)
  15. If you don’t care what someone thinks, you won’t go out of your way to hide it from them. (“The Pineapple Incident”, “The Naked Man”)
  16. New Year’s is a let down (so is Thanksgiving and Halloween). (“The Slutty Pumpkin”, “The Limo”, “Belly Full of Turkey”)
  17. Don’t spend your life chasing something right next to you. (“The Limo”)
  18. Always check that you’re bringing a guest. (“The Wedding”, “Say Cheese”)
  19. “On some level, it just has to be easy.” (“The Exploding Meatball”, “The Wedding”, “The Rough Patch”, “The Pre-Nup”)
  20. “Moments pass and lurking just around the corner from those moments is a cruel, unshaven bastard named reality.” Sometimes you need some pure unadulterated awesome. Let something be perfect and let it go.  “Drumroll, Please”)
  21. “Happiness is not that difficult.” (“Drumroll, Please”)
  22. Some occasion calls for suiting up. (“Zip, Zip, Zip”)
  23. No matter how long the relationship is, there are still firsts. You’re never done getting to know someone & relationships should always have surprises. (“Zip, Zip, Zip”, “Slap Bet”, “Robin Sparkles”, “The Rehearsal Dinner”)
  24. “Just because her life went one way and your life another, doesn’t make your life any worse.” (“Game Night”, “Glitter”, “False Positives”)
  25. Opening up make huge secrets seem minor. (“Game Night”)
  26. Long distance relationships suck. Don’t ask someone to stay for you or stay for someone unless you’re sure. (“Cupcake”)
  27. “It’s better to face it and move on than try to force something that isn’t meant to be. (“Life Among The Gorillas”, The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”, “Karma”, “P.S. I Love You”)
  28. Nothing good ever happens after 2 AM.
  29. Lead with an open bar. (“Mary, The Paralegal”, “Robots Vs. Wrestlers”)
  30. Sometimes, you can skip the apology and go straight to the forgiving. “I miss you” might be enough. (“Best Prom Ever”, “How Lily Stole Xmas”)
  31. “Sometimes, even when you know something is a mistake, you have to do it any way.” (“Milk”, “Home Wreckers”)
  32. Remember what you’re trying to save and why. (“Come On”, “Landmarks”, “Field Trip”, “Tailgate”)
  33. “Don’t piss off the universe. The universe will slap you.” (“Come On”, “The Leap”, “Dopplegangers”, “Bad News”, “Something Old”, “Bass Player Wanted”)
  34. “I know this isn’t going to work, but it has to.” (“Come On”)

    Season 2

  35. Figure out who you are outside of a relationship and find your passion—it’s never too late. (“Where Were We?”, “Rough Patch”, “Architect of Destruction”, “Aldrin Justice”, “Lobster Crawl”, “The Ashtray”)
  36. When love begins and when love ends the 1st thirty days are the same. (“Where Were We?”)
  37. Only thing that can heal a broken heart is time. (“Where Were We?”)
  38. Being single is a lawless post-apocalyptic wasteland. (“The Scorpion & The Toad”)
  39. Communication needs to go beneath the surface. You need to learn how to express your emotions. Listening is the foundation of a relationship. (“Brunch”, “Bagpipes”, “Benefits”, “Ted Mosby: Architect”)
  40. Opening yourself up to another person usually opens you up to being a little crazy. (“Ted Mosby: Architect”, “Robin 101”, “Rabbit or Duck”, “Good Crazy”, “Sunrise”)
  41. Stand up for yourself and believe in your ideas. (“Aldrin Justice”)
  42. Hanging out at a coffee place is not nearly as fun as hanging out in a bar. (“Swarley”)
  43. Running away won’t fix a situation you’re scared to face. (“Atlantic City”, “We’re Not From Here”, “Bagpipes”, “Desperation Day”, “Unpause”)
  44. Always find time for your friends (when you’re in a relationship, when you have kids, or when you break up.) (“How Lily Stole Xmas”, “Duel Citizenship”, “Glitter”, “Bass Player Wanted”, “Last Forever – Part One”)
  45. Almost doesn’t count. (“First Time in NY”)
  46. Take as long as you need to say I Love You. (“First Time in NY”)
  47. Even if you know how something is going to end, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride. (“Monday Night Football”, “Vesuvius”)
  48. Never underestimate the power of destiny. (“Lucky Penny”, “Miracles”, “Right Place, Right Time”, “Last Forever – Part One”)
  49. “That’s life—you never end up where you thought you wanted to be.” (“Arrivederci, Fiero”, “Everything Must Go”)
  50. Don’t decide to move in with each other because of a fight. (“Stuff”, “Moving Day”)
  51. Just because you like to spend a lot of time together doesn’t mean you’re codependent… but you probably are. (“Showdown”, “Mystery Vs. History”)
  52. The wedding you set out to have is almost never the wedding you end up with. (“Something Borrowed”)
  53. Some relationships have an expiration date. See: The Freeway Theory (“Something Blue”, “First Time in NY”, “Last Forever – Part One”)

    Season 3

  54. There are no winners or losers in breakups, but there really is. (“Wait For It”)
  55. “Some stories you tell, some stories you don’t.” Some things should remain a mystery. (“Third Wheel”, “Tick, Tick, Tick”, “Rebound Bro”, “Zoo or False”, “Mystery Vs. History”)
  56. Everyone has baggage (“Little Boys”) but it’s easier when someone gives you a hand with it.” (“The Wedding Bride”)
  57. A girl is allowed to be crazy as long as she is equally hot. (“How I Met Everyone Else”)
  58. Online dating: there’s no stigma anymore, unless it’s while playing World of Warcraft. (“How I Met Everyone Else”)
  59. When you get married, you start outgrowing certain parts of your life. (“Dowisetrepla”)
  60. You shouldn’t keep big secrets in relationships that effect your partner. (“Dowisetrepla”, “Weekend at Barney’s”, “No Questions Asked”)
  61. If you love someone enough, their bad habits are easy to forget and quirks easy to love. If you ask someone to change too much, they won’t be the person you love anymore. (“Spoiler Alert”, “Intervention”, “The Fortress”, “Double Date”, “Three Days Rule”)
  62. Trying to be friends with your ex is a lot harder than it looks. (“Slapsgiving”, “Of Course”, “Ducky Tie”, “The Broken Code”)
  63. “Friendship [and love] is an involuntary reflex, it just happens. You can’t help it.” (“Slapsgiving”, “End of the Aisle”)
  64. There’s no such thing as out of your league. (“The Yips”)
  65. Don’t hook up with someone you can’t avoid. (“The Platinum Rule”)
  66. “The overwhelming odds have it ending badly and when that happens it will be for one million possible reasons. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and when it does happen, so help me God, it’s not going to be because of some rule. (“The Platinum Rule”)
  67. Sometimes you see someone and instantly know that is the person for you. (“Ten Sessions”)
  68. Sometimes, you can turn a no into a yes. (“Ten Sessions”, “Unfinished Business”, “Platonish”)
  69. No matter how warped, everyone should have some level of standards they hold themselves to. (“The Bracket”)
  70. Your future isn’t money or possessions or being miserable at your job. Love and friendship are more important. (“Chain of Screaming”)
  71. Being a teenager wasn’t as awesome as you remembered. (“Sandcastles in the Sand”, “Sorry Bro”, “The Stamp Tramp”)
  72. Honor the bro code—men & women. (“The Goat”, “The Broath”, “The Broken Code”)
  73. Be aware of stuff you no longer have use for, including friends. (“The Goat”, “Slapsgiving 2”, “Twin Beds”, “Unfinished Business”, “Something Old”)
  74. Reinvest in yourself. (“Everything Must Go”, Daisy”)
  75. Date/Time Continuum: Never make plans with someone further in the future than the amount of tie you’ve been dating. (“Miracles”)

    Season 4

  76. The longest pause you’ll ever experience is when you ask the question, “Will you marry me?” (“Do I Know You?”, “How Your Mother Met Me”)
  77. Have a reason to put on pants in the morning. (“Best Burger In New York”)
  78. You can let go of things and not let go of yourself. (“Best Burger In New York”)
  79. It’s scary to bet on yourself but if you don’t no one else will… except your friends. (“I Heart NJ”, “Mosbius Designs”, “Last Cigarette Ever”, “Dopplegangers”, “Unfinished Business”, “False Positives”)
  80. It’s not true love til you can communicate telepathically & can fart in front of each other. (“Shelter Island”, “Trilogy Time”)
  81. “Don’t ever invite as ex to your wedding.” (“Shelter Island”)
  82. Know a hopeless cause when you see it. There are certain moments in life that you have to decide which things you can stand to have torn down and which to preserve. (“Shelter Island”, “Landmarks”, “No Pressure”)
  83. Don’t disappear into someone else’s life. (“Shelter Island”)
  84. You can’t fast forward to the end. (“Shelter Island”, “Murtaugh”, “Home Wreckers”, “The Stintson Missile Crisis”, “The Time Travelers”)
  85. “Sometimes you think you’re living out one story, but the truth turns out to be something else entirely.” (“Shelter Island”, “Tick, Tick,  Tick”)
  86. “Don’t allow your demons to haunt you.” (“Happily Ever After”, “Karma”, “The Final Page Part 1”)
  87. “You may think you only options are to swallow your anger or to throw it in someone’s face. You can just let it go. Only when you do that is it really gone and you can move forward.” (“The Platinum Rule”, “Happily Ever After”)
  88. “Sometimes it’s fun to go out with other single women and do stuff you don’t want to.” (“Woooo!”)
  89. Hanging out someone that has it all together can bum people out. (“Woooo!”)
  90. Celebrate the little things. (“Woooo!”)
  91. Do what you’ve gotta do to get over an ex. (“The Naked Man”, “Good Crazy”)
  92. You should never have to prove you’re not a slut to your friends or anyone else. (“The Naked Man”)
  93. Home is wherever people care about you. (“Little Minnesota”, “46 Minutes”)
  94. When exes relapse someone always gets hurt. (“Benefits”, “Sorry Bro”)
  95. Sometimes you’ve got to (wo)man up and just go for it. Don’t give up before you even start. (“Benefits”, “Big Days”, ”Mosbius Designs”)
  96. There are a lot of ways to be in a relationships (and get married). (“Three Days of Snow”, “Bagpipes”, “The Exploding Meatball Sub”, “Vesuvius”)
  97. “If you ever do meet someone special, don’t runaway. Embrace it.” “When you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it.” (“The Stintsons”, “Gary Blauman”)
  98. Life’s not always exciting. (“Sorry Bro”, “Now We’re Even”)
  99. Think about who you want to be on the front porch with you. (“The Front Porch”)
  100. “Why do you have to look good all the time?” Don’t worry so much about being liked. (“Front Porch”, “Canning Randy”)
  101. “That’s what marriage is about: unconditional love.” (“Front Porch”)
  102. “It shouldn’t matter what my friends think of my girlfriend, but it does matter what my girlfriend thinks about my friends.” (“Front Porch”, “The Autumn of Breakups”)
  103. If feels good to be appreciated for your effort. (“Murtaugh”)
  104. You wait three days to call a woman because that’s how long Jesus wants you to wait. (“Three Days Rule”)
  105. Figure out what to do when a goal is complete. (“Right Way, Wrong Way”, “Lobster Crawl”)
  106. Don’t be afraid to say you want “the one”. (“As Fast As She Can”)
  107. “She’s on her way and she’s getting here as fast as she can.” (“As Fast As She Can”, “The Time Traveler’s”, “Platonish”)
  108. “Screw the plan. You can’t design your life like a building.” (“The Leap”)

    Season 5

  109. “It’s important to define the relationship.” (“Definitions”)
  110. Dating someone then breaking up is the emotional equivalent of an English degree. (“Robin 101”)
  111. Couples need other couples. (“Sexless Innkeeper”)
  112. Sometimes you have to set your ego aside and understand that the person you love is more important than winning. Never keep score in a relationship. (“The Drunk Train”, “The Pre Nup”, ”Bagpipes”, “Sunrise”)
  113. Don’t write someone off that you’d regret really losing even if they don’t love you the way you want them to. (“Slapsgiving 2”, “Good Crazy”, ”The Stintson Missile Crisis”, “The Over Correction”)
  114. If you’re not scared, you’re not taking a chance. (“The Window”)
  115. Chase after the real thing no matter how tough it gets. (“The Window”, “The Rebound Girl”, “The Magician’s Code”)
  116. You never know when you’re about to meet someone really important. (“Girls Vs. Suits”)
  117. Every relationship has a reacher and a settler. (“Jenkins”)
  118. Sports takes your mind off your troubles, if only for a moment. (“The Perfect Week”)
  119. “Free will gets you constant ego crushing uncertainty.” (“Rabbit or Duck”)
  120. “‘Right now’ paints a picture of some sort of magical future time when things will work out but that will never happen.” (“Hooked”)
  121. “Honesty is tough but in the end it’s the far kinder option.” (“Hooked”)
  122. Most dating books are moronic and arbitrary. (“Of Course”)
  123. “What if we break up?” “What if you don’t?” Consider all possibilities. (“Say Cheese”, “Landmarks”, “The Time Travelers”)
  124. You can’t tack on a new ending just because you don’t like how a story ends. (“Zoo or False”)
  125. You can take a stupid decision and turn it into something else entirely. (“Home Wrecker”, “The Final Page Part 2”, “Knight Vision”)
  126. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but keep people around that stop you from being a douche. (“Robot Vs. Wrestlers”)
  127. “We only see what we want to see when we’re ready to see it.” (“Dopplegangers”)

    Season 6

  128. Undersell, over deliver. (“Cleaning House”)
  129. Don’t keep things around that reminds you of a version of yourself that you could be, even if it’s a version of yourself you never become. (“Unfinished Business”)
  130. “It’s only once you’ve stopped that you realize how hard it is to start again, so you force yourself not to want it but it’s always there and until you finish it, it’ll always be unfinished business.” (“Unfinished Business”, “The Final Page Part 2”, “Sunrise”)
  131. Love is trusting someone enough to tell them what’s really bothering you. Where’s the poop? (“Unfinished Business”, “The Pre-Nup”)
  132. You can find what you need in unexpected places. (“Subway Races”)
  133. Don’t pretend to like something for someone else. Discover something you love through them. (“Architecture of Destruction”)
  134. It’s nice to feel needed but better to feel wanted. (“Baby Talk”)
  135. Some situations you have no control over, so don’t waste your time stressing over them. Controlling other things won’t help. (“Baby Talk”, “Garbage Island”)
  136. Be careful about crossing the line with friends already in relationships. (“The Mermaid Theory”, “The Final Page”)
  137. When your friends have great news, you need to be happy for them, even if you start thinking about how you’ve screwed up your own life. (“False Positives”)
  138. Play along: the more you fight it, the worse it gets. (“Bad News”)
  139. You should really call your parents. (“Last Words”)
  140. Even if you can’t see, keep moving forward and hope for the best. (“Desperation Day”, “Romeward Bound”)
  141. Sometimes things need to fall apart to make way for better things. “The eggs are already broken. Let’s make a pretty good omelet.” (“Garbage Island”)
  142. You can tell people exactly what you want out of a relationship. (“A Change of Heart”, “46 Minutes”, “The Autumn of Breakups”, “The Broken Code”)
  143. Everyone has a glaring gap in knowledge they never learned. (“Legendaddy”)
  144. Eventually the party has to stop. (“Hopeless”, “Weekend at Barney’s”, “Last Forever – Part One”)
  145. It’s okay to challenge each other but, in the end you should always be on the same team and communicate with one another. (“Hopeless”, “The Fortress”, “The Poker Game”, “No Questions Asked”
  146. You’ll never forget the first time you tell someone you love them. (“The Perfect Cocktail”)
  147. Coffee is code for I want to get back together. (“Challenged Accepted”)
  148. After a breakup, we think we’re doing great but it takes the smallest thing to unravel. (“Challenge Accepted”, “The Ashtray”)
  149. You can’t cling to the past, because no matter how tightly you hold on, it’s already gone. (“Challenge Accepted”, “Something Old”)
  150. “It’s never too late.” (“Challenge Accepted”, “Tick, Tick, Tick”, “Last Forever – Part 2”)

    Season 7

  151. It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s chemistry. If you have chemistry the only thing you need is timing. (“Best Man”, “End of the Aisle”)
  152. “If you try to suppress your care free idiot side it will come out in full swing.” (“The Naked Truth”) 
  153. “You can’t talk yourself into falling in (or out of) love. It doesn’t take days of deliberation. When it’s real you know with absolute certainty.” “If you have to think about it, you haven’t found it yet.” (“The Naked Truth”, “Farhampton”, “The Broken Code”, “How Your Mother Met Me”)
  154. “You’re a grown ass man—if you want to say something, say it.” (“The Stintson Missile Crisis”)
  155. Set some boundaries. (“Noretta”, “Disaster Averted”)
  156. You haven’t truly lived until someone somewhere puts a sign up because of something you did. (“Disaster Averted”)
  157. Be with someone that makes you want to be a better person. (“Tick, Tick, Tick”)
  158. Being assertive is just as important as being nice. (“The Burning Beekeeper”, “The Lighthouse”)
  159. There are people you may always be in love with, but you can’t put your life on hold for them. (“No Pressure”, “How Your Mother Met Me”, “Sunrise”) 

    Season 8

  160. The clock doesn’t reset when you get back together, it unpauses. (“The Autumn of Breakups”)
  161. One good deed creates a ripple effect. (“Twelve Horny Women”)
  162. Once in a while, do what’s best for you. (“Final Page Part 2”)
  163. You’re allowed to be unhappy for the greatest good. (“Band or DJ”)
  164. The Dobler-Dahmer Theory: There’s a fine line between love and insanity. (“P.S. I Love You”, “Sunrise”)
  165. Before a man gets married, he’ll make one more horrible mistake. (“P.S. I Love You”)
  166. Girls act crazy because the guy she is dating is sending her mixed signals and the guy is probably a little crazy. (“Bad Crazy”)
  167. “Maybe you don’t have to give meaning to everything. Maybe you already know deep down.” (“Something Old”)

    Season 9

  168. Have faith in your relationship. When you believe in people, people come through. (“Coming Back”)
  169. Say goodbye to the bad things not the good ones. (“Last Time in New York”)
  170. Grant your friends at least one “no questions asked.” (“No Questions Asked”)
  171. Never settle for good enough. (“The Lighthouse”, “How Your Mother Met Me”)
  172. “Two people are only platonic if in the next 20 minutes there is no chance of them hooking up.” (Platonish”)
  173. “Screw tomorrow. We go big tonight.” (“Unpause”)
  174. “Every rule has an exception.” (“Unpause”)
  175. “You know what comes after ‘the one’? The next one.” (“How Your Mother Met Me”)
  176. “A few final thoughts, don’t get married until you’re thirty. Play laser tag once a week. Give at least as many high fives as you get. Teacup pigs are lady magnets, but are very hard to care for… Not worth the effort. The same goes for dogs and babies. And most importantly, whatever you do in this life… it’s not legendary unless your friends are there to see it. Good luck boys. Take care of the game for me.” (“Sunrise”)
  177. Don’t be the guy that lives in his stories. “Life only moves forward.” (“Vesuvius”)
  178. The friends, neighbors, drinking buddies, and partners in crime you love so much when you’re young, as the years go by, you just lose touch.(“Gary Blauman”)
  179. “One set of vows can’t cover a lifetime” (“End of the Aisle”)
  180. Sometimes, three deep breaths can change everything. (“End of the Aisle”)
  181. “None of us can vow to be perfect, in the end, all we can do is promise to love each other with everything we’ve got.” (“End of the Aisle”)


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