Ruby And Jasmine’s Relationship On ‘On My Block’ Is An Important Lesson To Teens About Love And Heartbreak
Teen shows often live or die by their couples and Netflix’s On My Block is no different. For four seasons, we’ve watched our favorite fictional high schoolers break up and get back together.
While Cesar and Monse may be the first couple of On My Block, I’m here to say it’s really Ruby and Jasmine that I’m rooting for. Theirs is the relationship that is truly aspirational.
When season four opens, Ruby and Jasmine are together but on the rocks. They’ve both gotten lost in each other—Jasmine can’t stop making decisions for her bf even though it means she never focuses on herself. And without friends outside of their relationship (the group fell apart), neither of them has a strong grounding in who they are anymore. It’s not healthy and Ruby ends it. But this being a show, the end is never the end. Jasmine and Ruby break up but find their way back to each other in a way the provides a model on how to handle our relationships, even for those of us way out of high school.
First, let’s tackle the whole identity issue, finding yourself outside (or inside) a relationship.
The one who got dumped, Jasmine, is first to prioritize self-care after their breakup.
This is mostly thanks to Monse offering her some sage advice and generally being around again. It’s some of the usual stuff. Face masks make an appearance—but Jasmine’s self-care is bigger than that. It’s where she goes to college, how big her friend circle is, what she likes about herself.
For his part, Ruby is obsessed over Jasmine’s choices but also learns to make decisions independently. For example, he goes by himself, without even asking anyone for advice, to confront the boy who shot him seasons ago. And with that convo, he gets some much-needed closure. Ruby’s figured out what he wants and isn’t afraid to go get it anymore. This is what we like to call personal growth.
While they’re apart, Ruby and Jasmine both also build up their friendships, which is good for everyone.
Jamal plays a big part here. He manages to befriend them both separately. So when Ruby finally finds out that Abuelita has cancer, he has Jamal to lean on. Plus Jamal tries to point Ruby away from obsessing over Jasmine, encouraging his friend to care about more than the girl he used to date. Jamal’s also a comforting presence to Jasmine. They finish Jasmine’s Christmas decorations together after her family’s left. They take morning walks and confide each other. So the friendship reminds Jasmine that she’s pretty great on her own, that her over-the-top-ness is a strength, not a weakness.
Jamal aside, the friendship that really sings to me is between the girls.
It’s rare that we see women in mixed-gender settings unite like Monse and Jasmine and that goes for Latina media that’s too often filled with catty telenovelas and women-as-natural-competition tropes. But these two support each other, helping each other get over broken hearts and see their worth regardless of their romantic status.
So when Jasmine and Ruby get back together (slowly), they are able to enjoy something way better. They’ve built their communities separately and together.
They’ve figured out what they need and how to get it. They know and trust themselves more. And they value each other at a whole other level. If that isn’t relationship goals, I don’t know what is.
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