Jim And Pam Are Proof You Don’t Have To Settle For The Bare Minimum

We accept the bare minimum for a lot of reasons. Maybe our low self-esteem has made us believe that this is the best we can do. Or maybe we just haven’t found someone who treats us well so we don’t even know the difference. For Pam Beasley in The Office, it took her finally getting away from her terrible fiancé Roy to see that she’d been settling for the bare minimum. Perhaps you need your own wakeup call to ditch your Roy and find your Jim Halpert.

Pam! You can do so much better than Roy! The Office

When The Office starts, we immediately see that Jim and Pam are basically meant for each other. They have the same sense of humor, they get along so well–they’re basically perfect. And the way they look at each other when they think the other isn’t looking shows just how big of a crush they both have. The only thing standing in the way? Pam’s long-term engagement with warehouse worker and all-around shitshow, Roy. Even without Jim there to show Pam just how much better she could have it, Roy was a walking, beer-guzzling red flag.

Red Flag: Roy refuses to set a date for the wedding. At every Dundies award ceremony, Michael Scott gives Pam a Dundie for “longest engagement.” Clearly it bothers her, yet Roy is dragging his feet. He did the bare minimum of asking her to marry him, and seems to think that’s enough to keep her around indefinitely.

Red Flag: Roy never considers what Pam wants. Speaking of the Dundies, in the first episode of season 2, the office is invited to Chili’s to celebrate the awards. Roy attends with Pam, but he quickly decides he’d rather go to Poor Richard’s bar with his warehouse coworker than stay for the show. He moves to leave and leads Pam out of the restaurant. He never even asks her if she wants to stay–he just assumes she’ll do whatever he wants. Good for Pam that she yelled at him in the parking lot and went back inside to be with future hubby, Jim.

Red Flag: She’s never as happy with Roy as she is with Jim. It’s a true eye-opener when you realize that your fiancé makes you feel like shit and your best friend at work is the only one who makes you feel like it’s okay to be yourself…

It’s not enough that someone wants to be with you. Sure, Roy likes Pam enough to be in a relationship with her, but where’s the dedication? Where’s the effort? He’s a Bare Minimum Man in every sense of the word. Luckily, Pam eventually realizes she could have something so much better with Jim. She had to learn in her own time, well after Jim finally let her know his true feelings.

In season 3, episode 22, “Beach Games,” Pam says it perfectly. After being ignored all day, she walks across hot coals. With the adrenaline pumping, she has some choice words as the entirety of the office sits around the fire:

Jim, I called off my wedding because of you. And now we’re not even friends. And things are just, like, weird between us, and that sucks. And I miss you. You were my best friend before you went to Stamford. And I really miss you. I shouldn’t have been with Roy. And there were a lot of reasons to call off my wedding.

Pam, The Office, “Beach Games”

Sometimes you need to see how good you can have it to realize that your situation is bad. Pam eventually figured it out and ended up with her soulmate. You can, too.