'Family Matters': 7 Lessons on Love & Relationships from Steve Urkel

One of the shows that made our ‘90s so memorable was “Family Matters,” but did you know that besides making us laugh our hearts out, the show also offers valuable lessons on love and relationships?

Jaleel White gave life to Steve Urkel, the comical nerd we all loved on the ABC and CBS-aired sitcom, and if there’s anything we remember about him, it’s his undying, sometimes ridiculous affection for Laura Winslow (played by Kellie Shanygne Williams).

“Family Matters” explored Steve’s many attempts at getting Laura to reciprocate his love and that sometimes resulted in outrageous schemes and chaos that had him reeling off our favorite phrase in that characteristic “Steve Urkel” voice: “Did I do that?”

Steve would eventually win Laura over by the end of the nine-season series, but their journey did not come without a few lessons we could use today.

1. See Beyond The Cover

For the most part, Steve – with his clumsy, suspenders-wearing, nerdy glasses-sporting self – was not exactly the picture-perfect beau that many might consider Instagram-worthy today. Laura was almost always irritated with his presence and didn’t seem to even consider him until towards the end when his suave alter ego, Stefan Urquell, showed up. It’s okay to want a partner that doesn’t look or act like something the cat dragged in but, have you thought that maybe you’re TOO fixated on the outward appearance and obsessed with the fantasies in your head?  

2. Baby Steps, Baby… Baby Steps

Many of us need to learn how to take one step after another when it comes to relationships. “Family Matters” fans will remember Laura’s look of annoyance each time Steve hashed out one of his many ridiculous plans to get her to like him. Nine times out of ten, it had her running the other way. Just because the guy or girl you’ve been crushing on says “hi” or pays you a compliment does not mean you’re getting married. Calm down, people!

3. Put In Some Effort

On the other hand, too many people seem to have gotten lazy when it comes to seeking the one they love, especially with the younger generation. Technology doesn’t help sometimes; No, a flower emoji is not the same thing as an actual bouquet. If there’s anything we’re going to take away from Steve’s grand gestures, it’s that we need to put in the work… Just know when to apply the brakes as well.

4. Take A ‘NO’ With Grace

Remember what we said about the brakes? The moment you get a “No” would be a perfect time to do that. Add when you do, remember to do it like Steve, who was gracious enough to step aside when Laura initially chose Stefan over him.

5. Your Pride Is Not Up For Sale

Steve was that insufferable guy who, in his quest to win Laura over, remained blind to her constant rejection and the countless insults thrown his way by the Winslow family. Here, we’re going to have to say: “Don’t be like Steve!” No partner – or anyone else – should be allowed to treat you like trash.

6. Have A Life Of Your Own

No one wants a partner without interests and ambitions; basically, a life of their own. Steve was crazy about Laura, yes, but he was also crazy about science experiments and explored them to no end, even if they mostly ended in disaster.

7. Stay True To You

There was Steve, and there was Stefan, but even after Laura picked his charming alter ego, Steve remained true to himself. In the end, Laura realized Stefan was all appearance and no genuine warmth, and Steve got the woman he's pined after for so long.

Lesson learned: Stay true to yourself. You don’t want to be with anyone who despises the real you, anyway.

So, what's the verdict? Did any of these Steve Urkel-inspired lessons speak to you?

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