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What Grey’s Anatomy Has Taught Us About Love

Primetime soap “Grey’s Anatomy” has made sex in scrubs seem totally normal. The often intertwined, always complicated relationships at Seattle Grace may rarely be examples of how to cultivate love, but they certainly teach us things about relationships and the human condition.

Here are some of the things “Grey’s Anatomy” has taught us about love:

Never steal another woman’s man.

Nor should you steal another man’s woman. End of story.

In a show where infidelity runs rampant — Meredith’s mom cheated on her husband, Derek’s wife cheated on him — the easiest lesson learned is to stay away from people in committed relationships. Affairs, more often than not, irreparably damage dating relationships, marriages and friendships.

Love lesson learned: Respect other relationships above your own infatuations.

Be picky.

“When you find that right person for a first kiss, it’s everything,” Meredith says in a voice over. While the show might have too many first kisses to count, the sentiment is spot on. Choose love wisely. It will be worth it.

And while “Grey’s Anatomy” frequently points to the importance of not doing life alone, it also reminds viewers to not enter into relationships merely because of loneliness.

Love lesson learned: Save those kisses for “that right person.”

Don’t compare yourself to anyone.

At Seattle Grace, doctors constantly play the comparison game, struggling with the fact that there will always be younger, smarter, more accomplished professionals to come along. Don’t get caught up in the need to be the best. Just be your best.

Love lesson learned: Be yourself.

Relationships don’t always follow the rules.

Meredith’s encounter with a married man eventually ended in marriage and motherhood. The journey was messy, she didn’t play by the rules, and things still worked out. Relationships don’t always make sense, and there’s no cause-and-effect formula to happily ever after. Meredith’s story might have had a so-far happy ending, but a parallel one would end in heartbreak; likewise, people who make their dating moves carefully aren’t necessarily immune to disappointment.

Love lesson learned: Each relationship is unique. Don’t expect “dating rules” to guarantee a specific outcome.

Listen to your mother.

Derek’s mother gave him her ring to give to Meredith, a clear sign of her support — and evidence that she didn’t feel the same way about his first wife, Addison.

Love lesson learned: Sometimes mom really does know best.

Consider your reputation.

“Everyone sleeps with Mark.” McDreamy’s Casanova reputation is hardly a desirable one in the workplace. Be aware that your dating decisions reflect your character and says volumes about you to those around you.

Love lesson learned: Keep it classy — and avoid being nicknamed McSteamy. Or McDreamy.

Extreme circumstances can operate as truth serum.

On “Grey’s Anatomy”, characters tend to express themselves most honestly and vulnerably when forced into extreme circumstances, like under lockdown during a shooting or after a fatal plane crash (!). These moments are massive sighs of relief for the audience, but also frustrating: “Why didn’t you confess your undying love, like, six months ago?!”

Love lesson learned: Live — and love — each day like it’s your last.

Grey’s Anatomy” returns to ABC Thursday, September 27th!

Image courtesy: ABC