Love the analysis below, credit to OP on tumblr https://lovingquotesthatspeakmymind.tumblr.com/post/185226309324/thoughts-on-ep-15-come-to-think-about-it-for-the
“Come to think about it, for the time when I couldn’t draw, perhaps it was meant for me to find something that was more precious. To me, it was you that I found.” - Ryan Gold to Deok Mi
I think most of us would have anticipated this “childhood stories” concept quite early into the drama. I suspected it too.
But what Ep 15 did well was that it kinda made this “childhood concept” less cliché.
It’s true that Deok Mi and Ryan knew each other from young. However, at the age of 7 both of them had a bad experience that traumatised them for the rest of their life.
For Deok Mi, the loss of her younger brother due to car accident caused her to forget most of her childhood even the happy moments. Because of the vague memories she have, she gets nightmare too but she can’t remember it well.
For Ryan, as we all know, he was abandoned at orphanage by someone (as expected was Deok Mi’s mom). This rather vivid memory constantly gave him nightmare and was part of the reason why he couldn’t draw.
Tbh, the concept of childhood friends for Ryan and Deok Mi in this drama is not main focus (at least from my POV). Rather it was the fact that in the process of finding out his childhood trauma and overcoming his inability to draw, Ryan got to meet Deok Mi who was the total opposite of Ryan even though both of them can no longer draw. While Ryan suffered due to his inability to draw again, Deok Mi made use of her talents to live as a fansite master and remained cheerful. And even though they might have known each other when they were younger, that wasn’t the main reason why they chose to stay with each other despite knowing the truth.
They stayed with each other because Deok Mi has been a constant pillar of support for Ryan. She was there when he needed someone to hug and tell him everything will be alright. She was there when he had doubts about his mom. She was there when everyone, including himself, knew that he can no longer draw but she encouraged him bit by bit. To Deok Mi, Ryan was someone who embraced her “idol/fandom/fansite master” side without any judgments.
And indeed Her Private Life really showed us what a mature relationship is all about - COMMUNICATION.
Without that, relationship is really as fragile as you can see in any other kdrama with lots of misunderstanding and childish arguments (oops but it’s true)