‘This Is Us’: Is Deja and Malik’s Relationship Too Unrealistic? Here’s What Fans Think

The recent This Is Us storyline that has viewers talking is the relationship between Deja and Malik. The two could not be more adorable, and they seem to have a very real connection. But then again, Deja is only 14, and Malik is barely older at 16. Is there any way a relationship like this would work in real life? 

Fans are arguing about their relationship, and both sides have good points. On the one hand, both Deja and Malik are mature for their age because of the experiences they’ve been through.

Then again, their relationship is happening really fast, and since when do 14 and 16-year-olds speak so eloquently? Is this budding romance the sort of thing that could really thrive, or are the show’s writers reaching a little too far this time?

They both had to grow up fast

Lyric Ross as Deja, Asante Blackk as Malik on This Is Us
Lyric Ross as Deja, Asante Blackk as Malik | Mitchell Haddad/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Deja was a foster child with a painful history. Her mom was just a teenager when Deja was born, and she couldn’t handle the responsibility. Deja stayed with her grandma for a while, until she died, then went back to live with her mom. She was just a small child but she tried to take care of her mom, who still wasn’t able to be a parent.

Inevitably, she ended up in the foster care system. By the time she landed at Beth and Randall’s home, Deja had faced more struggles and pain than many people do in a lifetime. 

Malik, on the other hand, seems to come from a pretty stable, loving home. His parents are still married, and they clearly adore each other. All of that support is a good thing, because Malik is a very young dad. At 16 he’s raising his baby, and the mom is out of the picture.

So although Malik’s had a much more nurturing childhood, you could argue that he’s started adulthood early too. 

As one fan commented on Reddit, “Malik is older than Deja by a few years but both of these kids had to grow up real fast in their situations. Let’s not forget Deja has been ‘taking care’ of her mom for a while before she ended up w Beth and Randall.”

But still – 14 and 16?

However, some fans don’t buy the theory that they are both mature for their age. After all, if life has forced them into growing up quickly, why should they rush even more?

Another Reddit commenter said: “Can she for once live her life care free? And he has a child and works and goes to school how do you have time for a relationship?”

It is true that their lives are already complicated. Maybe they should focus on what they have left of their childhoods before they get serious about anyone. 

There’s still something there

Despite the fact it may not make a lot of sense for kids this young to be together, there’s also just something about them.

They each accept the other for who they are, and Malik is able to treat Deja with the same tenderness he sees his dad give his mom. Deja doesn’t judge Malik for being a young father, which seems comforting to him. 

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"The way you look at me." #ThisIsUs

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Fans also think Malik has qualities that remind them of Jack. He’s romantic and thoughtful, and he seems to tend toward grand gestures. All of that is reminiscent of Jack, who sets the standard for romance in the world of This Is Us.

Will Malik and Deja make it as a couple? Should they? The only thing we know for sure is that since this relationship is happening in the world of This Is Us we should expect surprises, heartache, and love. We’ll just have to wait and see what emotion wins the day.