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Male jealousy in the Buffyverse

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Sineya
#1
Of Buffy's 3 main love interests - Angel, Riley and Spike, I'm interested in how they each deal with romantic jealousy. Riley stood out to me as the most obviously jealous: he agitates himself till he's positively simmering in S4 when Angel comes into the picture, and its super evident to Buffy (and she tries hard to quell his fears.) In S5 and even S6, he's super jealous of Spike (his insecurity shows through even when he attempts to bluster it out and even after he's not with the Slayer anymore.)

It's intriguing because Spike, whom one would imagine as prone to obsessive/violent jealousies given that he's a) so in love with her and b) doesn't like to lose, actually comes off a bit more, dare I say, mature? He bonds with Riley over what it's like to be in love with Buffy and in a seeming gesture of empathy/camaraderie shares his beer with him, almost as if he takes pity on him. Even when Spike is jealous of Angel in S7 especially, we're led to believe it might provoke him to go evil, but it doesn't. He grumbles to Buffy about her kissing Angel and clearly shows her he's vulnerable and jealous and not happy, but he doesn't go all postal on her and sticks by her.

Similarly, Angel doesn't act like a total baby either with his jealousy over Spike in S7. Granted, he's trying to probe hard and find out exactly what their romantic status is ("aha! boyfriend!"), but aside from a few snarky remarks ("the whole getting a soul...first it was a cool new thing,") he doesn't go all Neanderthal on Buffy.

So in summation, the vampire men seemed more equipped in dealing with competition/threats in the romance department than human Riley. Have I missed some nuances? I'd love to hear what you think!
 
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#2
I basically agree with you, but in defence of Riley I would say that when Buffy was with Angel and Spike, there were no other suitors on the scene, but when Riley was with Buffy, he had to contend with Spike always being around, and with Buffy running of the LA and Angel coming to Sunnydale. It's easier to come off as the cool non-jealous confident type when there's no competition.

I would imagine that both Angel and Spike would behave like petulant 12 year olds if, when they were seeing Buffy, Riley was around being his S4 sweet self, especially because he's human and can therefore offer Buffy a 'normal' life.
 
SunnydaleGlitz
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Ohh of course! How did I not take that into account?? :)

Alittlegrim

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#3
Mature is an interesting word and I think fairly accurate. With age often comes perspective and Angel and Spike are both more than a century older than Riley. I am also not too surprised to see such restraint in Spike even before he got his soul. I can see how he wouldn't be happy but I am also not too surprised that he didn't go ballistic or act like a baby because despite his reasonably assumed feelings of hurt and anger he also knows enough to know that lashing out isn't worth it and is not the way to get into Buffy's good graces.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#4
No, I don't agree at all. The fang brothers were plenty jealous.

Angel breaks up with this much younger girl, because he wants her to have a normal life with husband, babies and picked fence. Then in Sanctuary, he screams at her, while he is harbouring the woman who raped Buffy and Riley. Later, he comes to Sunnydale and gets himself in a fight with Riley. Some would argue that Riley instigated that fight, but Angel clearly wanted it just as much. He makes no attempt to avoid it.

Spike is super jealous. In Destiny, he beats up Angel, because of his memories of Angel having sex with his ex. There is this paradox about Spike. He wants women who are strong, assertive and independent, but he expects eternal devotion and monogamy. Unlike Riley, I don't think he cares much about Buffy's past. It is the present that concerns him, but as Pricey states, he doesn't have any rivals. When Angel shows up in S7, Spike has come far in earning back Buffy's trust, but he really isn't in a position to demand anything, so he taxes it out on the punching bag.
 
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Sineya
#5
No, I don't agree at all. The fang brothers were plenty jealous.

Angel breaks up with this much younger girl, because he wants her to have a normal life with husband, babies and picked fence. Then in Sanctuary, he screams at her, while he is harbouring the woman who raped Buffy and Riley. Later, he comes to Sunnydale and gets himself in a fight with Riley. Some would argue that Riley instigated that fight, but Angel clearly wanted it just as much. He makes no attempt to avoid it.

Spike is super jealous. In Destiny, he beats up Angel, because of his memories of Angel having sex with his ex. There is this paradox about Spike. He wants women who are strong, assertive and independent, but he expects eternal devotion and monogamy. Unlike Riley, I don't think he cares much about Buffy's past. It is the present that concerns him, but as Pricey states, he doesn't have any rivals. When Angel shows up in S7, Spike has come far in earning back Buffy's trust, but he really isn't in a position to demand anything, so he taxes it out on the punching bag.

Great points! Actually - maybe I also should have made clear, I have never watched Angel, OR read the Buffy comics. So I pretty much only know what happens up till S7 Buffy... Should have made that clear in my post.
 

Alittlegrim

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#6
No, I don't agree at all. The fang brothers were plenty jealous.

Angel breaks up with this much younger girl, because he wants her to have a normal life with husband, babies and picked fence. Then in Sanctuary, he screams at her, while he is harbouring the woman who raped Buffy and Riley. Later, he comes to Sunnydale and gets himself in a fight with Riley. Some would argue that Riley instigated that fight, but Angel clearly wanted it just as much. He makes no attempt to avoid it.

Spike is super jealous. In Destiny, he beats up Angel, because of his memories of Angel having sex with his ex. There is this paradox about Spike. He wants women who are strong, assertive and independent, but he expects eternal devotion and monogamy. Unlike Riley, I don't think he cares much about Buffy's past. It is the present that concerns him, but as Pricey states, he doesn't have any rivals. When Angel shows up in S7, Spike has come far in earning back Buffy's trust, but he really isn't in a position to demand anything, so he taxes it out on the punching bag.
Good points. I was responding mostly to the instances stated in the question but those are cogent examples.
 
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#7
Great points! Actually - maybe I also should have made clear, I have never watched Angel, OR read the Buffy comics. So I pretty much only know what happens up till S7 Buffy... Should have made that clear in my post.
I would recommend Angel S5 and all the comics if you are a Spike fan. If you hate Spuffy, do not read the comics past S8 :p
 
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#8
It's intriguing because Spike, whom one would imagine as prone to obsessive/violent jealousies given that he's a) so in love with her and b) doesn't like to lose, actually comes off a bit more, dare I say, mature?
I wouldn't call Spike mature in how he deals with his feelings and jealousy. Spike tried to steal Buffy away from Riley ever since he realized he had feelings for her and tried to rub it in Riley's face that Buffy told him about her sick mother, but didn't tell her own boyfriend. S5 as a whole shows how immature and obsessive Spike was. I also agree with @WillowFromBuffy that Spike acted incredibly immaturity in AtS S5.

Similarly, Angel doesn't act like a total baby either with his jealousy over Spike in S7.
I would say Angel is the most immature of all three. He leaves Buffy in S3 because he wanted her to move on, and then comes back and beats the hell out of her boyfriend (Riley) and later whines because Buffy has feelings for Spike and later fights Spike for Buffy in AtS S5, and let's not even talk about the comics. What the hell happened to leaving her for her own good?

As a matter of fact, Riley does what both Angel and Spike are incapable of doing. He moves on. That IMO is the maturest thing ever.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#9
I think it is interesting that Spike appears to bear little ill will towards Riley. In fact, I think he emphasises with him. The reason Spike hates Angelus is that Angelus slept with Drusilla without loving her, which, in Spike's eyes, made him unworthy of her. Spike acknowledges Riley's love for Buffy, and as Spike does not believe she loves him back, he feels sorry for him rather than jealous.

Discussing Spike's maturity is a little silly, though. Spike is the antithesis of mature. None of his goods act have anything to do with maturity, apart from perhaps a few moments after he gets his soul.
 
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#10
Are you kidding? Spike stabbed Angel in the back because Drusilla fancied the latter more for a time. Angel immediately asked Willow to investigate Ford in Lie to Me, was jealous of Xander in early season 2 and was just as immature in regards to Riley as Riley was in regards to him.

Even when Spike is jealous of Angel in S7 especially, we're led to believe it might provoke him to go evil, but it doesn't. He grumbles to Buffy about her kissing Angel and clearly shows her he's vulnerable and jealous and not happy, but he doesn't go all postal on her and sticks by her.
What a hilariously low standard. Oh, he didn't go all postal? Neither did Riley, you know. In fact, Riley's duties as a member of The Initiative and whatever it was that succeeded it gave him not just the right but the obligation to capture or kill both Spike and Angel, he didn't do it because of their plot armor... I mean, as a favour for Buffy. I very much doubt Spike wouldn't have used an opportunity to get rid of Angel and Riley for good if he had such an opportunity in say season five.

He bonds with Riley
No, he didn't. He was trying to deceive Riley and make him leave Buffy.
 
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Sineya
#11
Are you kidding? Spike stabbed Angel in the back because Drusilla fancied the latter more for a time. Angel immediately asked Willow to investigate Ford in Lie to Me, was jealous of Xander in early season 2 and was just as immature in regards to Riley as Riley was in regards to him.



What a hilariously low standard. Oh, he didn't go all postal? Neither did Riley, you know. In fact, Riley's duties as a member of The Initiative and whatever it was that succeeded it gave him not just the right but the obligation to capture or kill both Spike and Angel, he didn't do it because of their plot armor... I mean, as a favour for Buffy. I very much doubt Spike wouldn't have used an opportunity to get rid of Angel and Riley for good if he had such an opportunity in say season five.



No, he didn't. He was trying to deceive Riley and make him leave Buffy.
I agree with everything you say except - Riley totally went postal on Buffy. Multiple times. I mean, how can you even compare? He was so oppressive at one point it led to Buffy having to backpedal all the time and not even feel like she could be herself without apologising for her past, and for her exes, etc. I mean, I love Riley but he was constantly on the boil. I also don't completely agree that Riley did such a kind-hearted thing in not attempting to kill Spike or Angel...for one thing, he actually did try, and two, he knows if he did that it would completely make Buffy hate him, and he wouldn't have wanted to risk that.
I also highly doubt Spike would have killed Riley if he had the chance. I just don't see him doing it - he wasn't for one thing threatened by him in any really serious way, and the thing about Spike is, like most vampires (according to himself, they like to talk big), he talks about killing people but doesn't usually go there unless it's on the side of good. Again, I have to stress: I'm limited to only knowing what happens from S1-S7 Buffy. But I agree with you on everything else!

"No, he didn't. He was trying to deceive Riley and make him leave Buffy."[/QUOTE]

You can't possible know that, unless you can read Spike's mind. So we'll have to leave that at conjecture.
 
I wouldn't call Spike mature in how he deals with his feelings and jealousy. Spike tried to steal Buffy away from Riley ever since he realized he had feelings for her and tried to rub it in Riley's face that Buffy told him about her sick mother, but didn't tell her own boyfriend. S5 as a whole shows how immature and obsessive Spike was. I also agree with @WillowFromBuffy that Spike acted incredibly immaturity in AtS S5.



I would say Angel is the most immature of all three. He leaves Buffy in S3 because he wanted her to move on, and then comes back and beats the hell out of her boyfriend (Riley) and later whines because Buffy has feelings for Spike and later fights Spike for Buffy in AtS S5, and let's not even talk about the comics. What the hell happened to leaving her for her own good?

As a matter of fact, Riley does what both Angel and Spike are incapable of doing. He moves on. That IMO is the maturest thing ever.
I totally agree, especially about Angel. And great points about Spike; he was definitely childlike when gloating over who got to know about Buffy's sick mother first. I think, however, when he saw how heartbroken Buffy was at finding Riley with the vamp feeding on him for pleasure, his focus shifted to concern for Buffy. He was remorseful and frustrated at how he had opened her up to hurt, even if not directly caused by him.

I also think Riley's maturity is greatly weakened by the fact that even after he and Buffy are no longer together and he's married (and therefore ought to have moved on completely), he still holds judgement over who she chooses to be with, and you can feel her squirming over it! I felt awful for her in As You Were, because I think part of her self loathing/depression came from judgment like that.
 
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#12
I agree with everything you say except - Riley totally went postal on Buffy. Multiple times.
We obviously have a very different definition of going postal. Yelling at your boyfriend/girlfriend alone isn't enough to qualify as going postal to me. Going postal in Riley's case would be hunting down Spike/Angel and slowly torturing them to death.

I also don't completely agree that Riley did such a kind-hearted thing in not attempting to kill Spike or Angel...for one thing, he actually did try
He did? When?

and two, he knows if he did that it would completely make Buffy hate him,
How so? Is she going to automatically know it was him? Let's say Riley used a real stake instead of a plastic one in season 5, do you honestly believe Buffy's conclusion would be Riley must have done it and not "Spike probably went some place else or was killed by the demons he quarrels with all the time"?

and the thing about Spike is, like most vampires (according to himself, they like to talk big), he talks about killing people but doesn't usually go there unless it's on the side of good.
Spike, and all other vampires, relish killing. Very much so. Spike in particular came very close to killing himself, after being unable to kill people for a week or two. He repeatedly tried to get rid of Angel and his machinations in Out of My Mind almost led to Riley's death (mind you, Riley was being beyond ridiculous in that episode but still).
 
Spanky
Spanky
Or going postal would be actually, ya know, physically or mentally abusing Buffy, which he never did either.

Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
#13
They were all jealous but ...

In S5 and even S6, he's super jealous of Spike (his insecurity shows through even when he attempts to bluster it out and even after he's not with the Slayer anymore.)
I never saw any evidence Riley was jealous of Spike can you point out where you saw that? He was jealous if Angel to be sure, used Angel and Dracula as an excuse for the vamp whore stuff but I didn’t think he felt Spike was a threat.

. If you hate Spuffy, do not read the comics past S8 :p
As someone who hates Spuffy, Season 9 was perfectly fine. It’s only S10 and 11 that were tough but some parts are still very readable for non-Spuffy fans. It’s nice to see Buffy and Angel together and fighting in Old Demons for example. :)
 
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Spanky

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#14
He was jealous if Angel to be sure, used Angel and Dracula as an excuse for the vamp whore stuff
Yes, he was jealous of Angel but it wasn't unnatural. It wasn't until Dracula and Buffy blatantly lying to him that it started to turn negative. If anything I think he was a little impressed with Angel... but that's just my opinion.
 
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Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
#15
Great points! Actually - maybe I also should have made clear, I have never watched Angel, OR read the Buffy comics. So I pretty much only know what happens up till S7 Buffy... Should have made that clear in my post.
I feel like you kinda bowed out before peak jealousy for both vamps so you have only half of the story. Season 5 AtS is an opus on Angel and Spike being jealous over Buffy. It starts to get annoying actually.

And it’s not just the guys who are jealous - Buffy is extremely jealous too (of Faith in Enemies and Sanctuary) re Angel. And in s10 she appears jealous of Dawn and Angel hugging. She is jealous in As You We’re about Riley’s wife. And I think she is upset in the comics about Harmony and Spike’s deal. So all of them are extremely jealous really.
 
Grace
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On the positive side, if Buffy wasn't jealous of Faith talking to Scott Hope in Faith, Hope & Trick, your beloved Scuffy might never have been a thing. :)
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#16
I feel like you kinda bowed out before peak jealousy for both vamps so you have only half of the story. Season 5 AtS is an opus on Angel and Spike being jealous over Buffy. It starts to get annoying actually.
I tend to agree - funny in places but often tedious. I found this:

"Later in the evening, Fury was asked to please stop writing Spike as being stupid in all his episodes. Fury was confused, and said when did he write Spike as stupid. He was told that someone says he's stupid in every episode. He again asked for examples. The puppet ep was mentioned -- he pointed out he didn't write that one. :) He then added that "Spike isn't stupid. Angel calls him stupid, but that's just because he's jealous of him." Spoiler Slayer: ATS: David Fury Comments

I'm not sure I agree with it in its entirety but I think if Fury's right it's probably because we get Angel's POV more so than Spike's.
 

Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
#17
He then added that "Spike isn't stupid. Angel calls him stupid, but that's just because he's jealous of him."
As well he should be, Spike has a soul with no clause. He can screw the living daylights out of the woman they both love. He is not limited in his ability to find happiness the way that Angel is due to his curse. Spike has friends and family to support him now that he has his soul. Angel had no one, was cast out by the only family he had and struggled with his place in this world and what it meant to have a soul until he met Buffy. All that has been a struggle for Angel, Spike has been handed to him on a silver plater. And now (in s5 that is)Spike is in contention potentially for the Shanshu? I am jealous of Spike for Angel.
 

Alittlegrim

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#19
I wouldn't call Spike mature in how he deals with his feelings and jealousy. Spike tried to steal Buffy away from Riley ever since he realized he had feelings for her and tried to rub it in Riley's face that Buffy told him about her sick mother, but didn't tell her own boyfriend. S5 as a whole shows how immature and obsessive Spike was. I also agree with @WillowFromBuffy that Spike acted incredibly immaturity in AtS S5.



I would say Angel is the most immature of all three. He leaves Buffy in S3 because he wanted her to move on, and then comes back and beats the hell out of her boyfriend (Riley) and later whines because Buffy has feelings for Spike and later fights Spike for Buffy in AtS S5, and let's not even talk about the comics. What the hell happened to leaving her for her own good?

As a matter of fact, Riley does what both Angel and Spike are incapable of doing. He moves on. That IMO is the maturest thing ever.
I wouldn't say he was "mature" either. More pragmatic in the times when he shows restraint.
 

GraceK

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#20
I also think Riley's maturity is greatly weakened by the fact that even after he and Buffy are no longer together and he's married (and therefore ought to have moved on completely), he still holds judgement over who she chooses to be with, and you can feel her squirming over it! I felt awful for her in As You Were, because I think part of her self loathing/depression came from judgment like that.
Yeah no. Riley actually was extremely mature in that episode. He’s tracking a a demon that leads him to Spike, and finds Buffy naked with him . It’s Spike who actually acts like an ass, taunting Riley as much as he can and dropping vulgar suggestions. Riley doesn’t even flinch and not only refuses to take the bait, but doesn’t even make a move to attack him. He also listens to Buffy and respects her enough to leave him alive. He doesn’t judge her AT ALL, she judges herself. He actually lets her know neither her job or sexual escapades with Spike touch her in any way, and that he will always respect and care about her. I’m a very vocal Spike fan, but I dont attribute things to him that aren’t there.
I also highly doubt Spike would have killed Riley if he had the chance. I just don't see him doing it - he wasn't for one thing threatened by him in any really serious way, and the thing about Spike is, like most vampires (according to himself, they like to talk big), he talks about killing people but doesn't usually go there unless it's on the side of good.
This is fanon. Spike literally tells Riley to his face That he’s so jealous of him it hurts. His motivation by bringing Buffy to see Riley in the vamp nest is motivated purely by jealously.and he also tells Riley that he if could, he would have killed him long ago.

Spike may like people, but as “happy meals with legs”. Pre chip he has no problem at all torturing or killing anyone. Hence his name “William the Bloody” and his use of railroad spikes. It’s only AFTER he is chipped and hangs around the scoobies long enough that he starts developing any sort of empathy. This idea that Spike is so noble and different that he would never hurt a fly unless on the side of good is pure fanon.
 
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