Relationships are the lifeblood of so many shows.
Fans get invested in rooting for couples to get together, and tension is maintained by keeping these couples apart or having their relationships slowly build.
Every last drop of drama gets squeezed out of this tension.
The moment that the will-they-won't-they couple finally ends up in each other's arms is a moment of elation for many fans and is often met with cheers and squeals.
Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Tim and Dawn/Jim and Pam; our modern-day Romeos and Juliets, and in some ways just as tragic.
Because once these couples get together, the relationship often dies.
It doesn't necessarily die in the sense that the fictional duo fails as a couple, but because the show either ends or the drama is gone.
So much story tension is often placed on whether or not a couple belongs together that once they get together, their storylines are over.
If a couple does get together mid-series, they often become drab and boring, losing their zest. Storylines tend to become tropey, with many couples going through the motions.
The writers can't go back on the couple, so the unions often seem relatively perfect with only minor squabbles over basic topics, such as house chores or dinner with the in-laws.
To return to the cheers and squeals, TV couples often enter the baby phase very quickly -- a phase that cannot be escaped from once it starts.
There is a couple on television right now that sidesteps all of these pitfalls. They provide an example for all future fictional romances to follow.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Jake and Amy are TV's best couple.
Jake and Amy get together in Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 3 and get married in Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5, and have only improved as a couple since their union -- a rare feat in the television landscape.
So how has the couple managed to continue to be an interesting team even after their marriage?
The secret to their relationship is their individuality.
Jake and Amy seem to follow a pretty standard pathway for a TV couple. Jake pines after Amy for a while then admits his feelings.
After Amy's rejection, they both date other people until eventually they end up together.
This pathway is only a small part of their storylines, though.
Their relationship is not at the center of their personalities or character arcs, and this separation keeps them interesting on a character level outside of their relationship status.
Jake starts the series as an arrogant and self-proclaimed hotshot detective who wants to be like the cops in the '80s movies he grew up with.
I'm the king of respectfulness, bitches!Jake
This version of Jake isn't one that can maintain a sturdy relationship, as his attitude and thought processes are very selfish.
Pining for Amy isn't what causes him to see the light. Instead, it's his work with his new Captain, Captain Raymond Holt.
Captain Holt helps teach Jake discipline and the value of working with others.
This is a journey that works on both a professional level and a personal level, as Jake becomes a better detective and a better person.
He even tries to promote and encourage Amy's own romances, and he does so as a friend, not as someone trying to look like a nice guy so he can snag a date.
This arc isn't about Jake turning into a person for Amy, but about maturing into a person who is ready to be in any relationship.
It just happens that he chooses to be with Amy when their timing lines up.
Amy also grows as a result of her work with the precinct, once again particularly with Captain Holt.
In fact, I'd argue that both characters have a stronger emphasis placed on their relationships with their captain than they do with each other.
Amy starts the series with an aggressive need for approval from her boss, often becoming a teacher's pet whenever necessary to earn some goodwill from the captain.
She is desperate for his mentorship because she has aspirations to move up in the ranks herself.
Amy: So, you think we can laugh about me poisoning you?
Capt. Holt: Yes, I do. Someday. Perhaps over street meat. (chuckles)
Amy: Sir, did you just laugh?
Capt. Holt: Uproariously.
Amy: Oh my God! It's happening!
While seeking mentorship is often a mature thing to do, Amy's obsession with Holt's approval often keeps her from expressing her own thoughts and feelings.
Through her relationship with Holt, she gains the confidence to disagree with him and voice her own opinions.
This makes her a more complete person and one that is capable of becoming sergeant.
Her more restrained and reasonable respect for the captain (and authority in general) also helps bring her to a place where she is better able to balance her work and personal life since she isn't always trying to please her mentors.
Jake and Amy's relationship happens between these individual periods of growth. This means that each character gets to have storylines where they don't depend on each other, and often times don't even interact.
The focus on their individuality is why their relationship has continued to grow and improve over the course of the series instead of thinning out as they got together.
Since the "will-they-won't-they" trope isn't either characters main series arc, their getting together isn't the end of their storylines.
The series still has plenty of places to go with them because the characters themselves still have desires and goals outside of their relationship.
On Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 4 Episode 18, "Chasing Amy," Amy fears their relationship will change if she passes the sergeant's exam and becomes Jake's boss.
Jake points out that becoming sergeant has been her dream since well before they were dating and he always knew that she would be his boss someday.
Amy passes the exam, and their relationship remains healthy.
These sorts of relationship problems are very specific to their desires and personalities and are why they prove that a happy, stable couple can still be interesting to watch because their individual stories go on.
That's not to say their relationship hasn't been part of their individual journeys -- it has. But it plays more of a support role than a defining factor.
Jake has grown more empathetic and understanding of the people around him since starting his relationship with Amy.
While Jake has learned from Holt how to work with others and seek their insight, Amy has taught him how to live with others and make personal sacrifices to maintain healthy relationships with them.
Jake has helped Amy change for the better as well, as she can be quite stiff at times. Jake's goofy personality has helped her relax and to allow herself to have a bit more fun.
Despite their effect on each other, however, neither character needed to completely overhaul themselves to have the other fall in love with them.
Amy still loves puzzles and busy work and Jake still loves immature jokes and pretending he's John McClane.
Their relationship is used to highlight these personality traits because the characters accept each other for who they are and choose to be together.
Amy: How do we keep it light and breezy...I know. A comprehensive set of rules.
Jake: How am I attracted to you? Doesn't matter. I am. Go.
This leads us to another reason Jake and Amy are a great TV couple.
Too often in television couples end up together because they are meant to be.
Relationships are not a destiny, they are a choice, and choosing to be with your partner instead of being assigned one from the stars places even more value on your partner.
Out of all the potential partners you could have chosen, you chose to be with this person.
Not only does that choice add weight to a relationship (and within a narrative give true agency to the characters), it helps ensure that a couple forms as a compliment to their lives and not as the purpose of it.
Jake and Amy both continue to have their own aspirations.
Amy wants to continue to move up in the rankings, and Jake wants to continue working and putting bad guys away.
Their stories will take them further on these journeys, and whatever relationship curveball they add next (babies, it's always babies), will be an addition to their storylines and not the driving force behind them.
All television couples can learn from their example.
If a show makes its characters' main purposes to end up with each other, they have nowhere interesting left to go once that storyline is complete.
Amy: I would love to defend my crown after I destroyed you all last year.
Jake: Well, I mean, the proposal was all part of my plan.
Amy: All I remember is you bowing to me on your knees.
Jake: Yeah, I was asking you to marry me.
Amy: Well, you looked like a fool.
Each character should maintain their own sense of self, just as Jake and Amy do.
This provides continued storylines long after the characters start a relationship and allows any relationship storylines to be driven by the individual characters in the couple, even if that relationship is relatively drama-free.
That's why Jake and Amy are the best couple on TV right now.
They don't just provide an example for all other television couples; they provide an example for our relationships in real life, too.
And we sure would appreciate a follow of our new Twitter account as we work to rebuild our audience!
Tommy Czerpak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.