Lina and Zelgadis
(A debate written by Astra M.)

Make no mistake, I know how popular this pairing is.  And there are several factors that would seem to support a successful union between Ms. Inverse and the dapper chimera:

1) They are the most intelligent, capable characters in the whole Slayers pantheon
2) Cool, resourceful, confident, and utterly competent people would naturally fit together with each other than with silly, annoying only-there-for-comedy sidekicks
3) Similar dark natures with underlying noble characteristics make for an interesting relationship chemistry
4) They like each other, look good together, Lina's happy nature is good for Zelgadis' dreary one, are close in age, are often on the road traveling, etc...

And there are lots more, which I won't list since this isn't that kind of a shrine, anyway.  And I'll start off with this comment: if you look at it honestly, some of these reasons are a little on the trivial side (but I won't go into those because I didn't write this document to be a general bashing of Zel-Lina shrines, believe it or not, though it's true I don't support them.)  I also don't think it would be productive for me to debate these reasons because 1) good or bad, we really do use a lot of 'em in real life to make relationship judgements, and 2) they're really subjective.  No, my real disagreement with the pro Zel-Lina supporters is that many of the arguments used to promote a potential relationship between the two don't take into account their underlying natures at all.

So instead, I offer these observations based on what I've seen of Zelgadis and Lina's interactions:

1)  Zelgadis and Lina have natures (and wills) that don't automatically lend themselves to supporting the other's.  Zelgadis and Lina have preference styles that, instead of being potentially mutually beneficial, often just end up grating on each other's nerves.

Zelgadis is too demanding and driven - it's just his nature.  He expects a lot out of his prospective significant other, as he does to himself, and will continue to put a lot of demands on both his lover and himself throughout life.  Lina, on the other hand, is too laid back and self-willed to put up with this kind of unwanted pressure before telling Zelgadis to chill out or get lost - she will not be pushed by anyone, and she doesn't see the need for such endless "self-improvement."  Zelgadis wants to get things done *right away* and hates wasting time or being sidetracked whereas Lina likes to take things easy and won't hesitate to take a swim or a side trip to an inn should the urge overcome her - and she doesn't understand what the big deal is when Zelgadis complains, who can't understand why Lina can be so casual.  Lina is very impulsive and direct - she lives for the moment, after all.  Zelgadis is ever cautious and meticulous; charging in is not his style, until he knows exactly what's going on.  So Zel gets annoyed with Lina's impulsive behavior while Lina thinks Zel's complaints are just silly.  Some of these qualities could potentially be a good balance for each other - provided Lina doesn't fireball Zelgadis first or Zelgadis doesn't chew out Lina every time she does something rash...or just walk off on his own, which is more likely.

2)  Zelgadis and Lina have completely different outlooks on life and how they relate to it.  They do not by any means share the same goals.

Lina is a free-spirit; she's a generally positive person who enjoys life, and she wanders the world to have fun and take it as it comes.  She won't be pinned down to any particular place if she can help it, and if she is (by necessity) she will be very restless and eager to move on, should the opportunity come.  Zelgadis is driven and controlling (to an extent; don't take that the wrong way).  He's out in the world for a reason: to find that damn cure, if it exists, not to stop and smell the roses.  Otherwise he could easily put down roots in some place and stay there (it's generally a more efficient way of pursuing his other intellectual interests).  His objectives in life are about personal control and furthering his own causes.  He intellectualizes his life, rather than experiences it; he doesn't view the world as a wonderful place waiting to be discovered.  Adventure is a by-product of searching for a cure, not an objective in itself like it is with Lina - and she must have it.

3)  Neither Lina nor Zelgadis have the skills or ability to provide the emotional support the other needs

Here is something they have in common, but not in a good way - they're both emotionally stunted when it comes to relating to and caring for another person, Zelgadis far more than Lina.  They aren't the type to naturally provide warmth, understanding, and love to another person - they need it to be given to them first, then they will open up and start reciprocating.  It's just a part of their self-centered natures - insensitive to other's feelings, more focused on their own, and bad at making sense of their own confused emotions and interpreting (or accepting) another's attentions.  Like I said, Lina and Zelgadis have their own respective hang ups in this area; they have a hard enough time handling their own issues, much less someone else's.  And for a final illustrative point on this matter: whenever Lina tells Zelgadis to cheer up, she's not doing it out of empathy for his situation.  That is, she's not saying "Smile, because it will make you feel better" but "Smile, because it bothers me to see people frowning."

4)  Zelgadis and Lina have completely different personal tastes in lifestyles and interests/pursuits

Lina and Zel may both be equally intelligent and capable of conducting a lengthy discourse on some topic...if they had a topic that Lina didn't find boring.  Basically, Lina isn't interesting in getting into arguments like Zelgadis is; she likes her facts straight and unembellished - and relevant to her needs.  Zelgadis, however, thrives on the give-and-take of argumentative reasoning; he likes to learn about different things and as it happens, he knows an awful lot in a wide variety of areas, which is not quite so true of Lina.  Zelgadis has artistic leanings and seems to have more cultured tastes, whereas Lina... um ... seems to have ...(is it getting hot in here?) ... unassuming tastes.  Like for vacuum-sucking her body mass, stealing treasure and terrorizing bandit gangs.  Beyond their ability to strategize and appreciate each other's level-headedness and strength, they really don't share any of the same pursuits or interests.

In short: this is the kind of relationship where the two involved, once having gotten together, soon realize they have nothing in common and wonder why they ruined a perfectly good friendship.  True, Zelgadis and Lina respect each other very much - how couldn't they, when the other is the only person they can generally rely on to have a coherent thought amongst all the other crazies?  It's natural to feel an attraction for someone in this situation.  But regardless of how much you may admire someone, that alone won't provide the necessary support to build a lasting relationship.  The basic problem with Lina and Zel is that they both have very low tolerance for handling other people's needs, so they both need partners who are more compliant.  Neither Lina or Zel are good at doing this for each other - and that lack of compromise/support is ultimately fatal.  I'm sorry, but from what I've seen, Zelgadis and Lina...just don't have what it takes to deal with each other for very long.

Well, that's all I have to say about this subject for the time being.

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