Jim and Pam from The Office are often talked about as one of the best couples to ever appear on television. Many people relate to their story and romance, and they are often viewed as relationship goals. On the other hand, many fans have pointed out that the relationship between Jim and Pam wasn’t always as perfect as it seemed. Of course, no relationship is perfect, and all have their strengths and their flaws. So, there are both positive things and problematic things about Jim and Pam's relationship, which is part of what makes it so believable.
Here are the five reasons Jim and Pam have a good relationship and five why it’s toxic.
10 GOOD: THEY HAVE A GOOD FOUNDATION OF FRIENDSHIP
In many romantic relationships, having a strong foundation of friendship is one of the best ways to ensure that the relationship will last. This is one area where Jim and Pam are extremely strong. They were friends for many years before they officially started dating. This allowed them to get to know each other as friends including learning each other's personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. This foundation of friendship is definitely a big strong point in their relationship.
9 TOXIC: WHEN THEY STARTED TO GROW APART
The final season of the series was when Jim and Pam struggled the most as a couple. Even though they hadn’t been together for more than five years, they were able to grow apart so dramatically in such a short period of time. This definitely doesn’t bode well for their marriage making it in the long term. While they did eventually work things out, how things manifested between them in this final season wasn’t a positive thing, and neither of them seemed happy in the relationship.
8 GOOD: THEY’RE ALWAYS MAKING EACH OTHER LAUGH
Another thing that is a good indicator of a happy, healthy relationship is being able to make your partner laugh. Having a similar sense of humor and being able to joke around and laugh is a great thing. This is another area where Jim and Pam are perfect together. They were always joking around at work and pulling pranks on Dwight as a team. Their ability to have fun together was one of the ways that they worked so well as a couple. Being able to laugh through life's little frustrations is nothing but a positive sign.
7 TOXIC: THEY WERE TOO HYPER-FOCUSED ON ONE ANOTHER
While every relationship is different, and some people spend more time together than other couples, it’s still good to have balance. Having close relationships outside of your romantic partner is healthy, and this is one area that Jim and Pam seem unbalanced. Neither of them seemed to ever really have that many friends outside of work, and they didn’t seem to have a lot of their own friends as individuals. It seemed like they really do everything together, which might not be for the best.
6 GOOD: THEY ARE ABLE TO WORK THROUGH THEIR ISSUES
While there definitely were times where Jim and Pam had a lot of issues, they were always able to work things out. Most couples have some arguments or areas where they have struggles, and this is all right. The important thing is being able to work through these issues and trying to come to a place where both parties can be happy. Jim and Pam were able to do this even with all the drama of Athlead and moving from Scranton.
5 TOXIC: JIM DOESN’T SEEM AS COMMITTED TO PARENTING AS PAM DOES
On The Office, we don’t get to see all that much of the dynamic at home between Jim and Pam. However, what is shown seems to point to Pam doing a lot more of the child-rearing than Jim does. Given that most of the time they both work full-time jobs, this doesn’t seem fair at all. They should both be equally as invested in being parents and splitting childcare since they both work. This seems like one area where they are unbalanced.
4 GOOD: IT’S CLEAR THEY ARE IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER
When it comes to relationships, it’s all right if the relationship isn’t perfect. Love can be complicated, and people and relationships are complex. But the thing that really ties Jim and Pam together is the fact that they love each other a lot. Yes, they have their flaws, and no, they aren’t always perfect. But they are still good together as a couple because of the love they have for each other and the willingness they have to make the other happy.
3 TOXIC: JIM SOMETIMES TAKES ADVANTAGE OF PAM’S MORE PASSIVE PERSONALITY
One of the most interesting things on The Office was seeing Pam grow as a person and become more self-confident. She definitely learns to express herself and her needs more. However, she can still be a bit more passive overall and sometimes Jim takes advantage of this. In Season 9, when Pam expressed that she doesn’t want to change their lives entirely, Jim resents her for speaking up and expressing her needs. It definitely comes off that Jim is the more selfish one in the relationship.
2 GOOD: THEY MADE EVEN BORING SITUATIONS HAPPY BY BEING TOGETHER
Working at a paper company definitely isn’t the most exciting job in the world. However, Jim and Pam were always able to make the daily things in their routine fun and exciting just by being together. They made jokes and games out of the most mundane things, and this kept their relationship exciting and made both of their lives better. Their ability to enjoy even the most everyday stuff is definitely a great thing about them as a couple.
1 TOXIC: JIM MAKES BIG DECISIONS WITHOUT PAM’S INPUT
One of the most toxic things about Jim and Pam's relationship is Jim’s insistence on continually making big decisions without checking with Pam. Given that they are married and these decisions often involve things like moving or starting new careers, it’s pretty ridiculous that Jim doesn’t discuss these things with his wife. First he does this when he bought his parents’ house. Then he keeps doing it in Season 9 when he starts Athlead without talking to Pam about it and begins making plans for an entirely new future.