Twelve years ago today, the world witnessed the celluloid love story of Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams), two teens from opposite sides of the tracks who fall head over heels in love one summer, get torn apart by her disapproving parents, and meet again years later when she’s already engaged to another man. (Sigh.)
In celebration of the 12th anniversary of the Nicholas Sparks-adapted romantic drama The Notebook—one of the most enduring chick flicks ever—we’ve rounded up love lessons we gained from the film that we’ll forever hold in our beating old hearts. Read on for a refresher, dig up your copy of the DVD, and don’t forget the Kleenex. (Also, just putting this out there: #RyanAndRachelForever.)
1. Dying to date someone? GO. FOR. IT.
Noah was the poster boy for perseverance when he kept trying to get Allie to say yes to a date despite her repeated refusals. While we wouldn’t recommend dangling from a Ferris wheel and blackmailing the object of your desire for a date, there are plenty of less life-threatening ways to get on a guy’s radar.
2. Give someone who’s not your usual type a chance.
Noah was a poor country boy while Allie was a rich city girl; in theory, it never would have worked. Yet they ended up loving each other to the death—literally! If someone you never thought you’d go for gives you all of the butterflies, go ahead and give it a shot. You’ll soon find common ground, and you might even find yourself saying your own (hopefully less cheesy) version of “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”
3. The right love can coax you out of your comfort zone.
Allie, who up until then had lived a structured, sheltered existence, let a lust for life take over once she and Noah started dating. Finding that one person who makes you throw caution to the wind and just live is a beautiful thing. (Although it’s still not a good idea to lie down in the middle of the street just for kicks.)
4. Physical attraction is important.
Allie and Noah MOMOLed all over town the summer they dated, and years later when they finally made love, they pretty much had the best sex known to man. Anyone who says she doesn’t want that kind of chemistry is LYING.
5. Fights don’t mean that your relationship is doomed.
Not even the most solid of couples are immune from the occasional fight. While we hope you’re not having screamfests in public and shouting “I HATE YOU!!!” like Noah and Allie, you should at least know better than to give up on a relationship over a tiny tampuhan.
6. You may go a little cray after a heartbreak, and that’s totes normal.
In Noah’s case, he restored the abandoned house he and Allie first made love in, hoping that his doing so would bring her back to him. Of course, there are less extravagant, less outrageous ways to slip up in your post-breakup recovery, like maybe get drunk and send a ton of “I want you back, baby” texts to your ex. Nobody ever said the road to healing was easy.
7. If you can’t seem to get over someone, stop sitting on your ass and DO SOMETHING.
Take it from Noah and Allie: There are just some loves that don’t go away. If you’re still harboring feelings for an ex and you know for a fact that he’s still single and he hasn’t moved out of the country to become a monk or something, hit him up with a cool, casual message and get that old flame going again.
8. Be worried if your fiancée says she needs to “clear her head” before the wedding.
Lon, Allie’s fiancé, heard it from her right before she drove back to Seabrook to see Noah after years of separation. You know what happened next.
9. You shouldn’t have to convince someone to be with you.
This sentiment came from Lon, who took the news of Allie’s tryst with Noah like a real champ. We wish we could be that cool if our own boyfriends ever told us that they’ve been banging their exes on the sly.
10. When you truly love someone, you don’t give up on them.
Fast forward to a nursing home decades later, Old Noah would read the story of their love to Alzheimer’s-stricken Old Allie every single day, if only to see the flicker of recognition on her face in the rare moments she remembered. If that’s not love, we don’t know what is.
11. Love is a powerful thing.
“I think our love can do anything we want it to,” Old Noah whispered to Old Allie before they lay side by side in bed and simultaneously passed away in their sleep. Okay, willing yourselves to die together is kind of a tall order, but there’s something to be said for having so much faith in your love, you believe you can achieve anything with it.
12. There’s nothing sweeter than growing old with the one you love.
Elderly couples who kiss, cuddle, and lie on their deathbed together are the ultimate #RelationshipGoals. BRB BAWLING.
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