5 Love Lessons From 'Silver Linings Playbook'


bradley cooper silver linings playbook
This insightful rom-com can teach us a lot about love.

Healthy relationships take work and awareness. Merriam-Webster defines a romantic relationship as an emotional attachment between individuals (a meaningful relationship). In other words, relationships require two people to interact in certain ways to make the emotional connection meaningful.

The Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook introduces us to messy relationships and messy lives. The relationships and characters are incredibly sensitive and humane. It is a romantic comedy that highlights the best and worst behaviors of people in relationships.


Silver Linings Playbook is a story of love, loss and everything in-between. The main character is Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper). The story starts with Pat's release from a mental hospital after being treated for bipolar disorder for eight months. We find out Pat nearly killed a man who was having an affair with his wife Nikki (Brea Bee).

Nikki gets a restraining order against Pat after the attack. Pat's goa, for month,s was to become the man Nikki wanted and reunite with his wife. Pat's thinking was noble, yet grandiose, which fits with his bipolar diagnosis and symptoms. Yet, Pat found that living with a sense of hope after experiencing the despair of losing everything — his wife, job, home and freedom — provided meaning for him. He vowed to look for the silver lining from every experience, learn from it and move forward.

A friend of Pat's introduces him to Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), a woman with a sordid past. Pat and Tiffany connect immediately, discussing the various psychotropic medicines they have been on to help them deal with their mental health symptoms. We learn Tiffany struggles with depression and is dealing with the unexpected death of her husband.

Pat and Tiffany begin to spend time with each other and find they can be themselves with each other. They don't pretend. They are honest, and tolerant of the others quirkiness and idiosyncrasies. Both are messes emotionally yet are able to connect with the "crazy" in each other.

Here is what we can learn from Silver Linings Playbook about meaningful relationships:

1. Accept people for who they are. Embrace the quirks and emotional baggage your partner brings to the relationship. Tiffany and Pat accept each others' emotional baggage. Pat learned to stop idealizing Nikki and accept the reality she had moved on. He also came to appreciate Tiffany for her thoughtfulness and accepting him as the man he was already. Keep reading ...

More relationship advice from YourTango:

Article contributed by

Teresa Maples


Teresa Maples MS, LMHC, CSAT, CMAT

Wanting something more from your relationship?, Join my newsletter. and you will recieve free practical relationship tools helping you develop a closer more connected relationship.


Location: Tacoma, WA
Credentials: CMAT, CSAT, LMHC
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sex Addiction
Other Articles/News by Teresa Maples:

5 Signs You're Bored Of Your Sex Life...And How To Fix It


Affairs are rampant, you may have considered having one yourself. In a recent research article, Ashley Madison surveyed their clients and found that "Women Seek Affairs, Not Divorce". When it comes to long term relationships and marriage it’s easy to turn on the auto pilot switch and neglect each other. You have your life with your friends and ... Read more

Is He Addicted To Porn? 8 Ways To Help Him


One of the ways that relationships go sideways is when one or both partners have an addiction. That addiction may be to alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, shopping or even to the Internet, particularly pornography. Recent studies have shown that Internet addictions can actually change brain activity in humans. In a 2014 study porn users had a smaller reward ... Read more

Want A Better Marriage? Look At Each Other


Have you ever wondered what it is that attracts us to one person over another? It’s what we see in their eyes. Some call this love at first sight. We recognize something familiar in that person’s gaze, which draws us to them. In long-term relationships, many couples are so focused on raising kids, going to work and dealing with a thousand other ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular