Why Steve Was Always the Better Choice for Nancy in Stranger Things

Stranger Things 3 is looming on the horizon.

In fact, the new season is set to premiere on July 4, 2019. But before we dive into new mayhem in Hawkins, we have to take a quick trip into the past. More specifically, I need to talk about Steve and Nancy's relationship.

At the end of Season 2, it seemed like Nancy was veering more towards a relationship with Jonathan. To which I have to say, excuse me?!

If you don't believe that Steve is undeniably the better choice for Nancy, you're wrong. And I can prove it. Keep scrolling for all the reasons Nancy should absolutely be with Steve Harrington and not Jonathan Byers.

They Balance Each Other

We've all heard the phrase "opposites attract," yes? Well, that's exactly what happens with Steve and Nancy. At her core, Nancy is a bit shy and nerdy. She seems to want a comfortable and lively social life, but she's a little introverted and tends to fade into the background. On the other hand, Steve is the quintessential high school cool guy. He's into sports, he's very friendly and he likes to get out and do things. His grades suffer in the process, but he's more committed to his social life than anything else.

Nancy and Steve each provide each other with what the other person needs. Nancy helps Steve with schoolwork and convinces him to mellow out from time to time, and Steve helps bring Nancy out of her shell. Steve boosts Nancy's confidence and Nancy boosts Steve's empathy. They bring out the best in each other, but still embrace exactly who the other person is. What more could anyone want out of a relationship?

Stranger Things: Steve and Nancy at a Halloween party

(Stranger Things via Netflix)


Steve Truly Cares

I like to draw a very  clear line between Season 1 Steve and Season 2 Steve. They were essentially the same person, but Season 2 Steve lost all those annoying qualities that made all of us bristle a little during Season 1. However, despite his attitude adjustment, it was obvious that both Steves truly cared for Nancy. Steve is constantly watching out for Nancy, both emotionally and physically. He respects the boundaries she sets, apologizes when he needs to and makes adjustments to make their relationship stronger. He made his mistakes, particularly in the first season, but it was obvious from day one that he really wanted the best for Nancy.

On the other hand, Jonathan consistently makes Nancy uncomfortable. He's strange and quiet, and she never really knows what to say to him. His obsession with her is clear from the beginning, but he seems to care more about getting what he wants than listening to Nancy's feelings. Never forget that he takes pictures of her without her permission—a fact that's never adequately addressed. His motives appear more selfish, whereas Steve tries to listen and respond to what Nancy wants, not what he wants.

Nancy and Jonathan Reading a Book

(Stranger Things via Netflix)


Nancy Is More Herself Around Steve

Throughout the first and second seasons, we're given slight hints that we're supposed to believe Nancy is more herself around Jonathan. However, I would argue the exact opposite. Nancy and Jonathan are thrown together as a necessary team in dangerous situations. They don't seem to have a real bond—they just happen to band together to stop the monsters that are terrorizing the city.

On the other hand, Nancy has a genuine attraction to Steve. She choose to be with him, whereas she's barely spoken to Jonathan at all before they team up. She shows Steve her nerdy side, she's honest with her feelings, she makes decisions that she's comfortable with and she's not afraid to let him into her life. When Nancy's with Steve, we get a real sense of who she is as a person. When she's with Jonathan, we get to see that she's a determined fighter. It's a completely different dynamic, and one that has me totally convinced Steve is the better choice for her.

Steve and Nancy From Stranger Things at Christmas

(Stranger Things via Netflix)


Steve Is Selfless

Although he tries to act like a tough guy, at his core Steve is truly a selfless character. He puts himself in danger to help out kids he barely knows. He ditches his friends when he realizes what massive jerks they are. He apologizes, even when he doesn't think he's done anything wrong. He respects other people's wishes and stands up for what's right, often injuring himself in the process.

It's not that Jonathan is necessarily selfish, but he certainly doesn't demonstrate the same heroic qualities that Steve possesses. He often veers towards thinking about his own needs, even in the middle of a disastrous situation. Does that make him a bad person? Of course not. But if I had to choose a partner for Nancy, Steve's many endearing qualities make him the obvious choice. I would rather have a selfless, unconditionally loving partner than one who seems to judge me for making decisions that have nothing to do with him. Jonathan's fine, but Steve is better, which is why he's definitely the better choice for Nancy.


Looking for more Stranger Things content? Click HERE for everything you know about Season 3 so far.