Many TV show relationships are exaggerations, romantic partnerships are usually portrayed as highly dysfunctional for laughs, or they are overly dramatic like a soap opera. Bones is an exception because it actually tackles real life issues that couples face and models the ingredients that make for a successful real life relationship; believe it or not Brennan and Booth can teach us a thing or two about being a couple.
Brennan is all about logic and facts while Booth is a people person who approaches his work using inferences and bluffs. Despite the fact that Booth’s ways are alien to her, Brennan does respect him both personally and professionally, and the pair learn from each other.
This is a valuable lesson for couples, rather than letting your differences eventually tear your relationship apart, remember it was those differences that may have attracted you in the first place, and can help each person grow in a relationship. Instead of trying to change your partner, respect them for their different perspective and approach to how they navigate the world.
For Brennan science is a religion, the only religion she actually believes in, as she is a confirmed atheist and Booth is a devout Catholic. How a couple navigates such a sensitive issue says a lot about their relationship. Brennan agrees to let Christine be baptized as it’s important to Booth although she also said she would not attend the baptism (though in the end she attends only because it’s her last chance to be with Booth before she flees with Christine because Pelant framed her). She also agreed to have a church wedding as she wants Booth to be happy.
When in a relationship where there are different religious beliefs, figure out a way to support the other person without compromising what you believe.
Money is the #1 reason couples fight according to many surveys, but Booth and Brennan’s fights are not the typical money arguments. Usually couples fight because of a lack of funds, but since they became a couple Booth has often struggled with the fact that Brennan makes so much more money than he does. Booth came into the relationship with traditional notions of the man being the provider in the relationship, whereas Brennan is so non-materialistic that she barely seems to notice how wealthy her books have made her. In “The Heiress on the Hill” Brennan receives a large book royalty check which she signs over to Booth making him very uncomfortable as its more money than he makes in a year. Booth later tries to give the check to Hodgins so that he can pay to keep his schizophrenic brother in the institution that has been his home almost all of his life.
When Hodgins declines the generous offer, Booth decides to use the money for the Wounded Warrior project, and this helps him change his outlook on money in a relationship, that what’s important is not who earns what, but how they choose to spend the money that they have. Couples take note; discuss with your partner what kind of lifestyle you want, how you feel about money, and what you both place value on before opening a joint checking account.
Both Booth and Brennan had difficult parental relationships themselves and with the birth of Christine they have to navigate the waters of how to raise a child from very different perspectives.
Brennan has high expectations for her daughter and will not accept an ‘average’ child, while Booth is the warmer parent and helps Brennan learn to be more playful with their child. Booth wants his daughter to attend church which is not something Brennan believes in. Ultimately Booth takes Christine to church followed by Brennan taking her directly after to the Natural History Museum.
While they have different approaches to parenting, each doesn’t doubt for a minute that the other one is a good parent. If you are going to build a family with your partner, know that they love the child just as much as you do and trust that they have your child’s best interest at heart in how they approach parenthood even if it’s not exactly what you would do.
Brennan and Booth have their disagreements like any real life couple, but in the end each of them accepts the person they have chosen to live their life with and love the other for exactly who they are.
Bones airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)