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Buffy's maturity causing different attractions


Tasty Townie
Nov 29, 2020
I know Spuffy shippers often cite Spuffy as the mature relationship she has vs her girlish infatuation with Angel, but I'd like to keep this topic on maturity focused on the possibility that Angel could have only ever fallen in love with inexperienced young Buffy, and Spike could only ever fall in love with experienced older Buffy.

When Angel first sees Buffy in the flashback scenes she is fragile from her parents' split and feeling vulnerable. She has recently come into slaying and her life has changed tremendously. Yes, she is a pretty girl, but the innocence coupled with being burdened by overwhelming odds is what appeals to Angel. After being a disappointment to his family during his lifetime, then an evil vampire for centuries, and finally wallowing in self-loathing for the previous century, Buffy's youth, inexperience, and innocence are a metaphorical breath of fresh air. In helping someone so pure, he feels he is partly redeeming himself, and later Buffy herself makes him worthy by bestowing him with her affections. Since worthiness is something Angel never felt as a human this is monumental. For this reason, I think it would be impossible for any other woman, however well matched, to take Buffy's place, but I'd hazard older, wiser, experienced Buffy would also have been unable to offer Angel his moment of pure happiness. Such a relationship can only come from Buffy's unique position in life at the beginning of the series.

Spike, by contrast, sees Buffy after she has died and already faced the master. She's getting much better at fighting vampires and is really thinking on her toes. Later, when Spike truly begins to care for her, she doesn't even need Giles anymore. Then she dies a second time, and the infatuation gets deeper. Spike uncharacteristically becomes devoted to the Scoobies and Dawn in her memory. When she returns, Buffy is at her darkest, and this is when the physical relationship is actualized. Spike is attracted to older Buffy, Angel to young Buffy.

I don't think young Buffy would have appealed to Spike any more than I think older Buffy would have appealed to Angel. Yes, older Buffy still appeals to Angel, but I believe this is only because young Buffy only ever continues to exist with Angel, otherwise, she has become a different person. As Buffy ages, she becomes more assertive, commanding, and less inclined to tolerate nonsense of any sort. She is focused on her calling. Yes, she still banters with the vampires and can be silly, but slaying and her responsibilities as a guardian to Dawn take precedence above everything in her life.

Like Buffy, when Spike was still William, he had the responsibility of another person, his mother. As a vampire, he was responsible for Drusilla. Older Buffy has aspects in common with Spike. Also, vampire Spike likes being challenged by the slayers, and older Buffy is able to deliver that in spades.

Essentially, Buffy can only ever appeal to these men at the very specific time she met them, but this beings up another point. Buffy tells Angel she's cookie dough and waiting to see what she'll be when she's done baking. One day, someone gets to have delicious warm Cookie Buffy, but humans don't ever become their younger selves again. We move forward and continue to change. Buffy may not always stay dark, but she will forever now be experienced. There is no way to capture that initial innocence again. So, when considering Bangel vs Spuffy, I think perhaps the above needs to also be considered.
Interesting post
I completely agree.
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