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Netflix’s adaptation of David Nicholls’ novel, ‘One Day,’ explores the complex interplay between privilege and relationships. The story follows Emma and Dexter, who meet at university and develop a close but complicated friendship.

Privilege in Relationships

Throughout the series, the show weaves in conversations and moments that highlight the impact of privilege on relationships.

  • Financial Stability:
    Dexter’s privileged upbringing allows him to travel and pursue his interests without immediate financial concerns, while Emma struggles to make ends meet.
  • Educational Opportunities: Dexter’s family connections grant him access to exclusive work experiences and career opportunities, which Emma lacks.
  • Social Capital:
    Dexter’s confidence and ease in social situations stems from his social status, while Emma feels self-conscious and insecure.

The Impact on Relationships

The disparity in privilege between Emma and Dexter creates tensions and misunderstandings.

  • Jealousy and Envy: Dexter’s success and easy life trigger feelings of jealousy and envy in Emma.
  • Lack of Understanding: Dexter’s inability to comprehend Emma’s financial struggles and aspirations alienates her.
  • Power Imbalances: Dexter’s privilege gives him a sense of entitlement and power, which can be emotionally draining for Emma.

Communication and Healing

Navigating privilege in relationships requires open communication and a willingness to understand each other’s perspectives.

  • Sharing Experiences: Sharing personal experiences and challenges can help foster empathy and understanding.
  • Active Listening:
    Listening attentively to each other’s experiences and perspectives without judgment is crucial.
  • Support Networks: Seeking support from others who have similar experiences can provide validation and guidance.

The Importance of Privilege Awareness

Understanding privilege is essential for creating equitable and fulfilling relationships.

  • Self-Reflection: Recognizing our own privileges and how they shape our experiences is important for personal growth.
  • Challenging Inequality: Acknowledging privilege allows us to challenge systemic inequalities and advocate for justice.
  • Cultivating Gratitude: Recognizing the advantages we have can foster gratitude and humility.


‘One Day’ serves as a poignant reminder of the complex role privilege plays in relationships. By exploring the challenges and opportunities it presents, the show encourages us to engage in meaningful conversations and work towards creating more equitable and understanding connections.