4 love lessons we all deserve to learn from ‘Nevertheless’
People at times get involved with toxic relationships that may consume their sanity. It’s an endless cycle where you question the meaning of love and self-worth. But some eventually escape, ultimately wondering if they’ll ever fall in love again.
The trending K-drama Nevertheless offers a glimpse into this cycle. The story follows the whirlwind romance of university art students Yoo Nabi (Han Sohee) and Park Jaeeon (Song Kang). Nabi just got out of a toxic relationship, while Jaeeon has a reputation for sleeping around. Yet they're undeniably attracted to one another.
One of the ongoing debates among fans—which allowed us to look at our own experiences—is Jaeeon’s playboy ways and Nabi’s foolishness. It’s easy to curse at Jaeeon since he’s a walking red flag, it’s frustrating to watch Nabi’s weakness, and Yang Dohyeok’s (Chae Jonghyeop) contrast from the male lead makes him "boring."
As we count down to its finale, PhilSTAR L!fe rounds up the love lessons that teach us to take a reality check on the type of relationships we deserve. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)
Be careful of red flags, it hurts your relationship in the long run
Nevertheless starts with Nabi’s inner monologue when her ex-boyfriend made an erotic sculpture of her. She felt violated since he didn’t ask for her consent—yet, she’s at fault for not “understanding” him. We don’t see much of his face, since their relationship lingered in her memories. Even so, we witness a glimpse of how it ruined Nabi’s perception of love.
Nabi acknowledges her ex was a jerk. Yet she falls for Jaeeon’s charm while accepting his red flags as mere flaws. We’re made aware of Nabi’s self-awareness, though, especially when she admitted the “gates of hell have opened” after kissing him.
Jaeeon is drawn to Nabi too. But he still sleeps around, meets up with his ex-girlfriend, and questions her for wanting to define their relationship. It only took an emotional confrontation in a thunderstorm to realize that he’s “lost her.”
It’s easy to fall for someone’s good looks, killer charm, and sweet gestures. But without having self-respect, you'll fall into an endless cycle of uncertainty toward your relationship, leaving you empty.
Define your relationship—if you want to be serious or get to know each other as friends
“Our relationship exists at night, it sometimes felt like we were lovers.” The first few episodes show Nabi and Jaeeon acting like a couple. They’re affectionate, stay at each other’s place, and sleep together frequently. Yet, she has no idea how to define their relationship.
Their relationship continues but Jaeeon continues his playboy ways when they’re not together. Nabi even encounters his ex-girlfriend who want him back. But, she can’t mark her territory since he’s not her boyfriend.
Once Nabi had enough, she asked Jaeeon to define their relationship. What makes it painful is that he sees her as a "friend" despite their nightly rendezvous. But what stings more is Jaeeon saying “there’s nothing to end anyway,” after their confrontation.
Set healthy boundaries with yourself, even if you’re in a relationship
It’s easy to swear at Jaeeon for his flirtatious ways. On the other hand, it’s easy to sympathize with Nabi’s internal turmoil. Her perception of love is ruined by her experiences, and we can’t blame her for staying in this endless cycle.
However, people forget to realize that Nabi doesn’t have an idea about establishing healthy boundaries. She gets swept away by Jaeeon’s charms and seeks comfort with Dohyeok at the same time. But what makes it ironic is that she’s considered a trustworthy confidante by her friends who are going through relationship problems.
Nabi’s inner monologue shows that she’s aware of her personal boundaries. Being aware of what she wants in a relationship is a start, however, it’s up to our heroine to decide how she must act upon them.
In the ninth episode, the dramatic confrontation with Jaeeon is a step in the right direction. But her heartbreaking breakdown leaves us worried about what will happen after.
Whether you choose to date or stay single, it’s your choice
Nabi finds herself between the rivalry of Jaeeon and Dohyeok. The former offers the passion she craves, while the latter gives the security she needs. She’s confused about whether to choose either one of them, yet it’s also implied in her university life that she still has a lot of growing up to do.
Nabi gets a glimpse of them as partners on separate occasions. She’s Dohyeok’s first love, while Jaeeon is determined to win her back. Eventually, she ended things with Jaeeon for good and remained friendly with Dohyeok. But viewers are doubtful of her future.
While it’s normal for K-dramas to focus on romantic rivalry, Nevertheless is not scared to show that Nabi is not yet ready to be in a serious relationship. And that’s okay. She still needs to focus on improving her craft and fulfilling her dreams first.
Team Butterfly (Jaeeon) or Team Potato (Dohyeok)? How about Team Nabi, instead.
Banner and thumbnail photo from JTBC Drama