that could have happened: Barney Stinson willingly gave up his ultimate challenge: trying to get Robin.
*Warning: spoilers ahead*
In tonight’s hilarious and touching episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney stops beating around the bush and gives Robin what she needs.
After their awkward, “Hey, how are you?” “Good, and you?” Barney waves a hand at Robin to sit down at their booth. And says the best thing he could say for their relationship. He says it’s over.
“I’m done,” he says. “You don’t have to worry anymore. I’m done trying to get you. I can’t do it anymore. I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to figure it out, but I promise, I’m done making a fool of myself.”
Robin needed to hear that. She has to start fighting for what she wants. Even more so than Barney, Robin is an ace at suppressing her feelings for fear of rejection and abandonment. Until now, she has allowed Barney to pursue her, alternately giving him hope and shutting him down. But this was cowardly. She has to take a risk.
First, however, she has to figure out that she really loves him. I don’t think Robin has ever admitted this. She thinks her feelings are misguided and a mistake—she is thinking too much about it. She makes her decisions about relationships based on what she thinks other people would or would not do—what is best for her according to the world. Instead, she has to realize that she is in love with the womanizing man-whore that is—was—Barney.
Barney has made it easy for her in the course of their relationship, constantly putting himself and his own feelings on the line for her, taking the brunt of the blame and the aftermath. Robin has not had to fight. Yes, she has felt the weight of unrequited love when he was with Nora, but instead of expressing her feelings she retreated behind a wall of indifference, justifying her actions as being the best for both of them. She blamed timing in the Season 7 premiere, but the truth is she has not fought her demons as Barney has fought his. Now that he has withdrawn himself from the fight, it leaves Robin in the ring alone. She has to face her feelings since Barney is no longer doing the heavy lifting.
Barney has already moved towards monogamy. He wants to settle down and he has already figured out with whom. He does not need to prove his worth, his love, or his fidelity. It is time for Robin to do the same.
Barney and Robin, whether or not they are perfect for each other or are meant to be, love each other. They are willing to make sacrifices for each other. They are willing to put up with each others’ little problems and big issues. They are simply in love. Barney knows it, the gang knows it, we know it. Robin’s smart—she’ll catch up soon. Her little “huh” at the end of his speech is the first step.