Why on Earth do we torture ourselves with the terrifying process that is falling in love? It’s exciting and new and fun, sure, but you’re also placing your heart on a chopping block and trusting the object of your affection to not slice it into a million little pieces. When we’re younger, we don’t understand what to do or how to do it, or that a broken heart is even a possible outcome. Max Braverman is learning the ups and downs of love right now on Parenthood, and I gotta say, I’ve learned a thing or two from him already.

Do Your Research

When Max decides he likes something, he learns everything he can about it. He wants to be an expert and he wants guidance on how to get there from people and sources he can rely on. When Max decides he likes Dylan, he scours the library for books on dating advice and tips on flirting. He also consults with his parents (who are just the cutest couple ever to grace the planet, so they know their stuff), and they encourage him to take it slow and open up to Dylan. This approach is actually pretty brilliant, because even though we tend to rely on our hearts and gut instincts to lead us to love, reading up on the subject from experts in the field can never hurt.

Be Clear and Honest

After compiling all the data he can on love, he decides the direct approach is the best way to go. He tells Dylan about his feelings and intentions, and he often lets her know what he likes about her. I mean, how can you not be flattered by that? Why play games and dance around the subject when you just make it abundantly clear right off the bat?

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Make the Effort

Direct eye contact and regular communication habits do not come easily to Max, but because he’s so aware of his Asperger’s syndrome, he knows he has to try even harder to make his feelings known. Falling in love pushes you out of your comfort zone constantly, but it also takes effort to keep that love alive. So try a little harder than you normally would. Those who are meant to be with you will appreciate it. And those who don’t appreciate it don’t deserve you anyway.

Setbacks May Occur. . .

Like the one Max had on Parenthood after seeing Dylan kissing another boy and hearing her say that she’ll never like him “that way.” Ouch. You will get stung in the pursuit of love. It just happens.

But That Doesn’t Mean You’ve Lost

Max gets upset and starts a fight with the kid Dylan was kissing. He’s also pretty harsh when she tries to make up as friends. But he tries again to win her heart by presenting her with a handmade poster with photos of her and horses and other things she loves. It doesn’t go over too well, but hey, at least he tried. You just can’t give up. The person who stung you might come around and realize how special you are. Or they might not and you’ll eventually find someone who will. 

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And Finally, Mom is Always Right

Which is what Mama Braverman tries to tell Max when he’s visibly broken-hearted. She tells him he’ll find someone else and that person will love him back. In the moment, this advice from Mom never helps that much. You’re too in the moment to think rationally. But when she says this, when all moms say this, they are right. We should really start listening.

Parenthood airs Thursday nights at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Chrissa Hardy

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV