What 'This Is Us' Can Teach Us About Intimacy In Relationships

They show "This is Us" has ended its run, and yet the lessons it taught are still as salient as ever. The Emmy-award-winning drama followed the multi-generational Pearson family and their struggles and triumphs throughout life. Heartfelt, gut-wrenching, and extremely tender, the show imparted plenty of wisdom on familial relationships, romantic partnerships, and self-acceptance.

Although we're still sad that "This is Us" ended after the sixth season, watching the Pearsons navigate life with each other has been one of the best teachers about love in all its forms. From Rebecca and Jack's strong affection for one another to the Big Three's determination to always show up, watching the hit NBC show was always a rollercoaster of emotions.

In one 40-minute episode, the audience laughed at Kevin's constant antics, smiled at Kate and Toby's witty banter, and cried — because will we ever experience a love as kind as Beth and Randall's? Perhaps not, but we can still learn about intimacy from them and the other interpersonal dynamics in the "This is Us" universe.

Create space to hear your partner out

Throughout the show, Randall often experienced anxiety. The constant worrying and attacks left him debilitated, hyperventilating with nothing but his thoughts in a room that was simultaneously shrinking and spinning. While his wife, Beth, was certainly a no-nonsense woman, she allowed Randall to work through his thoughts without ridiculing them.

A common game they played was "Worst Case Scenario" – whenever one of the pair was worked up about something, they spent a few minutes thinking about the absolute worst thing that could go wrong. From there, they could deduce what was a valid fear and what were unrealistic thoughts that their imaginations had run wild with.

The practice allowed the couple to feel validated in their feelings. Anxiety can feel like you're overthinking about the most inconsequential things, which can spiral into worrying that you're wasting your time pondering ridiculous thoughts. However, Beth always made Randall feel like his emotions mattered while also encouraging him to see a therapist. She was certainly a rock for Randall but knew that she couldn't be everything to him. Rather than thinking that Beth was pushing him away, Randall accepted that she was offering support. He took up the idea and sought professional help instead of continuously emotionally flooding Beth. This simple action allowed the two to have more room in their relationship to accomplish their goals.

Always show up for one another

There are many things that "This is Us" got right about family and relationship dynamics. Whether it's the inherent silliness of sibling bickering or the quick, quiet dissent into abusive relationships, the writers' room had a strong grasp on the realities of life. While it was somewhat unrealistic that all the Pearsons could show up to every event, whether big or small, their commitment to simply being there is something we could all learn from.

During season one, Kevin leaves the play he'd been working hard for to run over to Randall's office, where the latter brother was having a panic attack. Despite Randall never uttering a word about his emotional state, through some strange sibling telepathy, Kevin instantly knew what his priorities should be.

Leaving behind the things you put a strong emphasis on to support your loved ones shows a deep understanding that sometimes their emotional needs trump your own. While it can't be expected to always drop everything and run over to your partner, stepping into their shoes to recognize that they need a shoulder to lean on creates depth and intimacy within the relationship. Although Randall and Kevin continued to face battles within their relationship as brothers, they always knew that their familial connection was greater than anything else.