Why it breaks my heart to say goodbye to Jim and Pam

If you’re not a fan of The Office, you may not be interested in this post.

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Jim and Pam are what true romance looks like.  Well, maybe not perfectly, but in comparison to all of the garbage portrayed on TV and in the movies today, yes, Jim and Pam are true romance.  It breaks my heart to say goodbye to them, even though we’ve now seen that they’re going to make it as a couple and they are going to live happily ever after.

I’ll be the first to admit that I get a little too attached to TV characters at times, but really it always has a deeper meaning than just liking the people on screen.  I cried when Rick and his crew watched in shock as Sophia, the young girl they had been searching for, emerged from the barn as a zombie and they had to kill her.  It wasn’t because I was particularly invested in the character of Sophia, it was because I’m a dad and to see the pain on Carol’s face as her daughter is put down was horrifying.  I empathized.

I simultaneously wanted to cry and throw up as Opie, who had sacrificed himself for the sake of his best friend, was killed in prison with a lead pipe.  It doesn’t seem like a sweet moment, but the brotherhood portrayed on Sons of Anarchy runs deep.  To watch one of the brothers literally die for another is a bit emotional.

Back to Jim and Pam though.  Fans of The Office have watched as a man who loved a woman tried to woo her.  Jim wasn’t trying to get into Pam’s pants, he was trying to court her, trying to win her heart.  He did this through thoughtful and sweet gestures, many of which took considerable planning and effort.  For all his tries, he didn’t succeed at first.  Pam was taken.  Like many women in real life, Pam was with the type of man who didn’t respect her, didn’t show her any real love, and sure didn’t put the effort forth that Jim was.

Jim never gave up on trying to win Pam over and one day she finally woke up and saw what was in front of her.  A real man, one who was willing to sacrifice for her, who was willing to put her first, was attempting to be with her.  She finally gave him a chance, and we all applauded.  Their dating relationship was sweet, not the type of thing you see on TV where so many couples just stay together as long as things make them feel happy and then throw each other away.  Even when Jim and Pam had arguments, you could see their mutual respect and their love for each other.

This final season of The Office has had some ups and downs for the Halperts.  With Jim keeping secrets and then moving away against his wife’s wishes, we all kind of wondered if they had what it takes to last.  Pam was understandably feeling like her husband was putting himself above her and the kids, and it was painful to watch her cry.  At one point, thank God, Jim finally realizes what he’s doing to her and he decides, as any real man does, that he has to make some sacrifices in order to keep his marriage alive.  That in itself strays so far from the norm of TV couples that I can’t think of another example where a husband truly acts like a husband in that way.

What was most touching to me during this final season is when Jim does come to his senses and yet Pam is still holding back because of the hurt he’s caused.  During one of the most beautiful scenes ever, Jim embraces his wife and just holds her, even though she isn’t hugging back.  The montage that plays is from Jim and Pam’s wedding, the part where the pastor is reading from 1 Corinthians 13.  As Pam is reminded of what true love is (From the Bible, no less!) and the vows she made to her husband, she returns the embrace.  She puts aside her hurt and forgives because love forgives.  That is true love and that is never, ever seen on TV or in movies.  Ever.

In a more recent episode, Jim has returned to the office and left the job in Philadelphia because he wants his marriage to work.  Though he seems happy, Pam wonders if Jim has sacrificed too much and if he’ll one day resent her for it.  She worries that she’s “not enough” to keep him happy.  Like the real man he is, Jim steps up and does whatever it takes to convince Pam that she IS enough.  I believe the exact words he spoke to her after she watched the DVD he had made of their courtship and marriage were, “Not enough?  You’re everything.”  Yeah, Jim and Pam are going to make it.

So, yes, I’m sad that one of my favorite TV couples will no longer grace the screen because I really like them.  But the real reason I’m heartbroken that they’ll be gone is that there are no replacements.  The alternatives now on TV are people who arbitrarily end up in bed together, couples who leave each other at the first sign of unhappiness, and married couples who are portrayed as unhappy just because they are married.  There are no more Jim Halperts on TV, men who will fight for their wives and give up everything for them.  There are no more Pams, who will ultimately decided that no matter where they are they will be content because they have found their soulmate.

I don’t want my daughter to have some loser try to get with her just to leave her when she doesn’t give him everything he wants.  I want her to be respected and pursued as someone that’s a treasure, not a cheap trophy.  We need more Jim Halperts in this world, even fictional ones.

I’m going to miss Jim and Pam because true love, much like in real life, is hard to find on TV shows.  If you see another couple doing it right, leave a comment so we’ll all know that hope isn’t lost.

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