Unfortunately, we ended up more like Jerry and Elaine from Seinfeld. I've often described TV as a social barometer that tells us what our culture finds important and what we, as a people, desire. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the relationships we see portrayed on it.
Things have become much more authentic and reflective of the real world. We've come a long way from the days of Ralph and Alice Kramden sleeping in separate beds in The Honeymooners (not to mention Rob and Laura Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show of the 1960s).
While shows like that are classics in their own right, we can probably see a little more of our selves in the shows that are aired today.
Gauge where your relationship stands. Take a look at these very well-known (if now only in reruns) TV relationships. Do you see yourself?
Jim & Pam, The Office (American Version)
There's an undeniable attraction that's mutually understood, but painfully never spoken of. Circumstance and some bad choices always keep them apart, but their whole-hearted respect keeps them closer with each other than they are with their own boyfriend/girlfriend.
Also See: Mulder & Scully, The X Files
Nate & Brenda, Six Feet Under
They're both damaged goods with huge amounts of baggage. Although they appear to communicate well, so much is left unsaid between them. From the moment of their first meeting (and having sex) on an airplane, fate seems to always be throwing them at each other. On the up-side, the sex is terrific. On the down-side each of them is prone to somewhat socio-pathic behavior. When you look at them, you can't decide whether they're doomed or blessed to be together forever.
Also See: Frank Burns & Margaret Houlihan, M*A*S*H
Frank & Estelle Costanza, Seinfeld
They're completely psychotic, they don't listen to each other, and their main mode of communicating is yelling. The verbal haranguing is intense and they've been know to even split up on occasion. Still, there's something there that keeps them together for the long haul -- possibly neurosis.
Also See: Peg & Al Bundy in Married with Children
Homer & Marge, The Simpsons
He's a doltish oaf of a man and she's the long-suffering, repressed, and dutiful wife. While Homer is always making an ass of himself at social occasions and has more than once blown the family nest egg, Marge always sticks by his side. Why? Because deep down, Homer's love for Marge is unquestionable and absolute. No matter how close they've come to the breaking point (and they've come mighty close) Homer always seems to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat with a sweet gesture of his love. They're far from perfect, but they're perfect for each other.
Also See: Edith & Archie, All in the Family