Do you ever come across these amazing female characters, and you absolutely love them? And they have a love interest, and you think they and the love interest are really cute together and you spend forever squeeing over them? And then they get together, and you squee like a lunatic. But as the relationship goes on, you realise something: deep down, you liked the character better when she was alone.
This has been happening to me a lot recently, and it's kind of an interesting phenomenon, because it's not one that I've ever run into with male characters, as far as I can recall (well, maybe with Dawson Leery, but that's because he's an awful human being who *deserves* to be alone...).
Anyway, I want to talk about some of the characters that I kind of think are better off alone. Because reasons.
It's not secret that rewatching Buffy for Snark Squad completely changed the way I felt about certain characters. Rewatching Angel for Snark Squad has made everything worse, because in season 5, we spend an awful lot of time watching Spike and Angel fight over which one of them gets Buffy. AND SHE'S NOT EVEN THERE. Her relationships with both of them were pretty fucked up, and her relationship with Riley was basically a season and a half of rebound. Even Buffy agrees at the end of season 7 that she's better off alone.
Much was made of the love triangle in The Hunger Games, but every time I read the books, I'm struck by how reluctant Katniss is to be involved with either Peeta or Gale. At the end of Mockingjay, she basically tells us that it took Peeta the better part of a decade to convince her that having kids was a good idea. Being a part of the Games forced her into faking a relationship with Peeta, which in turn led to Gale being all jealous and "I LOVED YOU FIRST"-y. Katniss is a hesitant participant from start to finish, and it almost seems like she ends up with Peeta just so that there's someone there in the night when she wakes up screaming.
Don't get me wrong, I adore Veronica and Logan. Piz can go jump in a lake for all I care. But I read the new Veronica Mars novel yesterday, and I thought it was really interesting that Rob Thomas chose to really limit the communication between Veronica and Logan throughout the course of the story. Yes, it's partly because he's deployed in God knows where. But when they DO communicate? The conversation is stilted and a little awkward. You can't undo nine years of separation in two weeks, so of COURSE it would be awkward between them. All of that aside, I found myself liking Book!Veronica more than I liked Couple-y!Veronica...
I love the IDEA of Clintasha so much it's not even funny. I squeed like a lunatic when I saw her arrow necklace. But do I want the MCU to be filled with a weepy Natasha by an injured Clint's bedside? Do I want them being all public-displays-of-affection-y before heading off on missions? Do I want a Clintasha wedding officiated by Tony Stark (who got a licence on the internet) in the ruins of whatever threat to the world they've just defeated? NOPE (except maybe that last one because it sounds kind of awesome...). I want her to stay her sassy BAMF-tastic, arse-kicking self. (Although if they want to include some anvils about #secretsexytimes, that would be fine)
Much like with Clintasha, The X-Files dropped some pretty big anvils about #secretsexytimes between Mulder and Scully over the years. That said, when we did eventually get a canon relationship in the second X-Files movie, it was TERRIBLE. Much better to have Scully on her own with frequently dropped anvils than in a relationship that didn't live up to expectations.
Rory, Rory, Rory. So incredibly smart. Such terrible taste in men... Dean turned out to be a complete douchenozzle with a side of extra-marital affair. And Logan Huntzberger was just awful from start to finish. Jess is clearly the best fit for her, but - much like Logan Echolls - he needs time away from her to deal with his problems and grow up. Thank God the show ended with her on her own, going off to take over the journalistic world.
Oof. Poor Cristina's had a rough road. Admittedly, I haven't watched the last season and a half of Grey's Anatomy - I kind of gave up a little after the plane crash, because Lexi was one of my favourites. But Cristina keeps getting paired with these characters who don't understand her or who want completely different things to her and can't see that she won't change her mind about them. And then when she's all "Um, no. You knew that before this even started...", they get all butthurt about it, and she's left to pick up the pieces of her life. Again... BLURGH.
I adored the Tomorrow, When the War Began books as a teenager. But Ellie, the gutsy incredible narrator of the series, is SO MUCH BETTER not in a relationship. She goes back to Lee time and time again, even though she hates the things that he does and the way it effects him. She has this awesome sibling relationship with Homer, and then the end of The Ellie Chronicles has a friend being all "You know Homer's in love with you, right?". Um. WHAT?!
Oh my God. SO MUCH of Fred's character was destroyed by the writers making her the plaything at the centre of a love triangle between Gunn and Wesley. She deserved so much better than to wind up in a crappy relationship with either one of them. I don't think I'll ever be over how she was treated in seasons 4 and 5...
This doesn't mean that ALL strong female characters are better off alone - just look at Zoe Alleyne Washburne, or Rose Tyler. Pepper Potts or Willow Rosenberg (minus the Kennedy thing, because NOPE). Olivia Dunham, Elizabeth Bennet, Alexia Tarabotti, Elena Michaels, Piper Halliwell, Kate Daniels, Hermione Granger, Sydney Bristow. The list goes on and on.
Furthermore, this doesn't mean that the characters I've discussed above should be alone forever. It definitely doesn't mean that. What it DOES mean is that the writers aren't doing the characters justice. They pair them with unsuitable characters, turn their whole storyline into a relationship story, or have them fall apart where they previously would have stood up and fought. And it's infuriating...
Who would you add to this list? Are there any that you'd remove??