Every now and then you come across pairings that just work, like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, Marieke Hardy and Bob Ellis, and Nick Cave and me. There's something so right about these couplings that it's hard to imagine a world without them (especially after you've worked so hard to conjure them up).
So it is with some of the Western world's greatest love stories: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Iseult, and Queen Elizabeth and her corgis.
But if we split the pairs and consider each individual separately, what do we have? A metrosexual man-boy, a whiny tween, a lad who doesn't know when to let go, a chick whose propensity to drink leads her to all sorts of trouble, and Queen Elizabeth and her corgis (I can't make it any worse than it already is).
So considered together the partners work, but if we separate the blissful pairings it's like waking up the morning after.
But what of the stories where you fall in love with one half of the pair (say, hypothetically, the dashing, serious-browed poet-scholar Randolph Henry Ash in A.S. Byatt's Possession) yet find the large-toothed, sharp-nosed heroine (say the poetess Christabel Lamotte in the very same Possession) hard to take?
What if you think, hypothetically, that you'd be a better match for Randolph Henry Ash than Christabel Lamotte?
Is it wrong to object to a fictional pairing? Is it insensitive to prefer one spunky fictional love-nut over the other not so spunky nutter?
And logistically speaking, how would one actually intervene in a pairing between an obviously ill-suited fictional nineteenth century couple who exist in an archive romance that was published in 1990?
Important questions, I know. So tell me, which fictional character would you bump to get closer to their squeeze?