As if there wasn’t a harder question to ask. And what criteria do you use? Actually, this was a really simple question to answer, and I’m going to go with the first answer that popped into my head: Spike and Buffy (Spuffy).
When I look for a romance or love story, I want something that will make me laugh and cry in the same moment. One that gives me goosebumps and butterflies because it’s just. that. good. And Joss Whedon is certainly one to make all those things happen. But for me, it happened with Spuffy.
And it’s not because of the hot sex or the fact that I love James Marsters. It’s so much more than that.
I love that Buffy and Spike hated each other when they met. I love that they tried to kill each other. I love that out of that hatred, Spike found a soft spot for Buffy in that he couldn’t get her out of his head.
“We have something, Buffy. It’s not pretty, but it’s real, and there’s nothing either one of us can do about it. Like it or not, I’m in your life, you can’t just shut me out.” Spike, Crush
And from there, it progressed. Sure, Buffy eventually gave in to Spike, claiming she never really loved him. But by the end of season 7, when Buffy realized she had no other ally in the biggest fight of her life, Spike was there to prove how much he loved her. Not for him, and not for any other reason than she was who she was.
“You listen to me. I’ve been alive a bit longer than you and dead a lot longer than that. I’ve seen things you couldn’t imagine and done things I’d prefer you didn’t. I don’t exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood which doesn’t exactly rush in the direction of my brain so I make a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years and there?s only one thing I’ve ever been sure of. You. Hey, look at me. I’m not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it’s not because I want you, or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You are a hell of a woman. You’re the one, Buffy.” Spike, Touched
It was pure and it was real. Soul or no soul, Spike didn’t need it to love Buffy.
And there you have it. My long-winded answer about my favorite romance.