A Different World is one of the hottest and influential sitcoms from the late 80’s to early 90’s that is still leaving a positive impact today. The show centered around the life of college students at an HBCU (Hillman) and touched on many radical issues in the world such as racism, feminism, politics, etc. But perhaps what captured the hearts of millions of fans was the on-again-off-again relationship of the southern belle and Brooklyn nerd. Whitley Gilbert and Dwayne Wayne’s relationship was the center of the show, and it was either one you could love or hate.
Though most viewers adore the pair, there are those that believe that Dwayne settled for Whitley, or that they argued too much and they were too different. Some hate the fact that Whitley took Dwayne back after he emotionally cheated on her while they were engaged, and some just hate Whitley’s squeaky voice when she nags Dwayne. If you look at the turmoil of the relationship you’ll find reasons to dislike this couple, but if you look at the way they loved each other, then you will see that Dwayne & Whitley taught us a lot about real love, and they gave us a lot to look up to. Here’s five reasons why we should look up to Dwayne & Whitley’s relationship:
- Both Dwayne and Whitley were flawed. Yet, they were able to see each other’s flaws, accept them, and grow together despite them. This is a major lesson we can learn from in this “perfect” generation.
- Whitley set a standard, and Dwayne chose to rise to it. Women and men can learn from this. Dwayne could’ve cheated on her, complained about having to wait, or even left her but he didn’t. Instead, he learned that her high standard is what he needed to become a man. Whitley is the real MVP for this.
- Dwayne was an example of a real man, not a grown boy. He was dominant without being controlling or silencing Whitley. He adored Whitley and let her shine. He was educated & ambitious, independent, handsome, a provider, a protector, well-groomed, honest and trustworthy. Oh, and did we mention that he was handsome?
- They showed the importance of friendship and forgiveness. They communicated with each other so openly because they were friends first. They had fun with each other, and could completely be themselves.When friends fall out they forgive each other and that’s what they did, time and time again. Love is forgiveness, and we can definitely learn forgiveness from these two.
- They taught each other, and helped each other to become a better person. This judgmental generation needs help in this department. Whitley thought that she would always be dependent on a man, but Dwayne taught her independence. Dwayne could’ve been with the smartest chick on campus, someone that was more on his level intellectually. Whitley wanted a man with status and could’ve chosen anyone else over Dwayne the nerd. However, Whitley and Dwayne taught each other how to love, because despite their differences or preferences, they loved each other for who they were and that is that real love that everyone wants. Even in this different world we live in today, Dwayne & Whitley are still the definition of relationship goals.
Written By: Kahina Ray