asker

itwastheband asked: I just recently finished ITF, and one thing I've noticed a lot of is that people keep saying Simon and Kieren have an unhealthy relationship and, while I agree they have problems, I feel the need to point out that they're still really early into their relationship. So, I feel like a lot of their issues are just because they haven't been around each other long enough and they haven’t worked everything out yet. For instance, Simon putting Kieren on a pedestal – [1/8]

we’ve already seen him rebuff Simon when he was acting like Kieren was heaven sent after the Blue Oblivion incident and they hadn’t known each other that long at that point. So I can’t see Kieren being okay with Simon worshiping him, and I don’t doubt he’d be vocal about it every time it happens. Simon, on the other hand, I can see him having more of a problem only because he acts like a schoolboy with a crush. [2/8]

And, like anyone with a crush, it takes a little while to see past the glam and glitter. Which, I think Simon saw past for a brief moment in 2.03 when he was disappointed when Kieren refused to help. Unfortunately, that one time is nowhere near enough to show that Kieren’s just a normal, yet very good person, so it’ll definitely take some more time for Simon to get past treating Kieren like he’s made of gold. [3/8]

(Though, if you ask me, I think Kieren could use being called beautiful and incredible more often – I think it’d do wonders for his self-esteem) As for Kieren respecting Simon’s religion/Simon himself – I get the feeling this is going to be another “OH!” moment similar to the one right after the lunch in 2.04, where he doesn’t realize what he’s done/been doing until AFTER everything is over. [4/8]

That or it’ll be similar to the moment in 2.06 for Sue when Shirley unintentionally whacked her over the head with a figurative clue-by-four to hit the point home. Or, maybe he might even need his mom/dad/Amy to step in and explain things to him before he really gets it. Who knows, maybe Simon will even say something one day even in a fit of hurt/frustration. My point is, I don’t consider them unhealthy. Yes, they have some pretty big issues to work through besides the aforementioned – [5/8]

with Simon needing to learn who he is/be less codependent and Kieren needing to realize how much power he has/how to not abuse it – but ultimately they just make me think of any other couple that are learning to live with each other and not step on any landmines in the process. What would be unhealthy is if Simon kept winding him up or if Kieren kept forcing Simon to wear cover up despite knowing it’s hurting the other person, which I can’t see after them learning what they did in 2.04 [6/8]

I’m sorry for the essay. I just cringe at that description for them because when I think of unhealthy relationships, I think of canon pairings from other shows that are rife with INTENTIONAL cheating, lying, and constant arguments over every little thing. This is nowhere close to that, even if they have the potential to go there, and that’s why this show is such a breath of fresh air. [7/8]

(I also cringe when people say Kieren doesn’t care for Simon as much in return. Simon is confident in who he is, Kieren’s not. What speaks volumes to me is that Kieren didn’t give Simon up when he found the Blue Oblivion. He also didn’t sign the confession and damn Simon, even when Kieren had no idea if Simon was guilty. That combined with Kieren trying to warn him, being hurt when he couldn’t find him and the sketch of him in his room – we have requited feelings. He’s just quieter about it.)

———-

Welcome! Thank you for writing back about my Siren flaws meta (by the way, you can use the “submit" if you have long messages, it’d save you time breaking up the message into asks) and thank you for being polite! There’s a lot to go through here, so I’ll try to take it bit by bit.

one thing I’ve noticed a lot of is that people keep saying Simon and Kieren have an unhealthy relationship and, while I agree they have problems, I feel the need to point out that they’re still really early into their relationship. So, I feel like a lot of their issues are just because they haven’t been around each other long enough and they haven’t worked everything out yet.

I want to say that just because I see flaws or unhealthy elements in a pairing, doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination mean I think that the entire relationship is unhealthy. I do not think Siren, as a whole, is unhealthy- I think it’s FANTASTIC. But, I do believe that it has unhealthy elements, which is what I originally was writing about.

Like we’ve both said, they have problems, and I agree that a lot of them they will be working through- but that doesn’t excuse them or make them go away currently, so until we see them work through those things, we can only assume about future healthy resolutions. It’s likely, of course it’s extremely likely based on how they’ve handled themselves so far, and that’s part of why I’m so excited about them.

For instance, Simon putting Kieren on a pedestal – we’ve already seen him rebuff Simon when he was acting like Kieren was heaven sent after the Blue Oblivion incident and they hadn’t known each other that long at that point. So I can’t see Kieren being okay with Simon worshiping him, and I don’t doubt he’d be vocal about it every time it happens.

The problem with Simon putting Kieren on a pedestal is that this isn’t Kieren’s problem. This is Simon’s problem, and Kieren rebuffing him isn’t the solution (it’s not a problem, either, and I won’t say it doesn’t help at all, but it’s not the end solution).

Look at it like this. Say you see something which you find to be beautiful and you tell the person who made it that you think it is beautiful and they tell you it is not beautiful, it’s just ordinary. That doesn’t change your opinion of it being beautiful. You still think it is. You may not tell them again (or you may tell them more, idk), but your opinion, your mindset, doesn’t change.

Kieren telling Simon “I’m just a normal person” doesn’t mean Simon does or will believe that. Kieren telling Simon to stop thinking that may not change that Simon thinks Kieren is incredible, it may just make him stop trying to tell Kieren that, and we’ve been given no evidence that Simon will stop this behavior which leads me to….

I think Simon saw past [the glam and glitter of his crush on Kieren] for a brief moment in 2.03 when he was disappointed when Kieren refused to help. Unfortunately, that one time is nowhere near enough to show that Kieren’s just a normal, yet very good person, so it’ll definitely take some more time for Simon to get past treating Kieren like he’s made of gold.

On the one hand, I agree that Simon “saw past” his crush for a moment when Kieren called him out, but his reaction to this was in no way good. He threw the adult equivalent of a hissy fit because he didn’t get what he wanted/expected. The only healthy thing about his reaction to Kieren telling Simon no, was that he walked away with his anger rather than take it out on Kieren. He needed time to cool off, and so he took it, and for that I’m supremely pleased with Simon (and even more so that he DID take Kieren’s no, even if he was unhappy about it).

And the scene in the GP surgery showed some even more problematic behavior for them because although I was extremely happy to see Kieren put his foot down and refuse to budge on the issue of following actions he didn’t believe were “the right thing to do,” the fact that Simon was willing to try to force Kieren into doing them anyway speaks volumes about Simon’s mindset at this point.

Now, granted, Kieren doesn’t let him get away with it, and I think this moment helped them GREATLY to begin to understand one another (like you’ve said, they’re only just starting out and getting a feel for one another etc). Simon is (was) someone who was very used to people going along with him. He’s an Important Person, one of the Chosen, a disciple to a Very Important Person. Kieren not acknowledging that as true or even relevant means that if Simon wants to continue to interact with Kieren, he will to change how he acts and interacts with Kieren (which is, in my opinion, a good thing).

In this respect, your earlier point about Kieren rebuffing Simon for putting him on a pedestal is accurate; it is important that Kieren continue to do that, as it is part of the way Simon will grow out of his crush and see Kieren as a normal person.

As for Kieren respecting Simon’s religion/Simon himself – I get the feeling this is going to be another “OH!” moment similar to the one right after the lunch in 2.04, where he doesn’t realize what he’s done/been doing until AFTER everything is over.

The thing about this is that what you’re seeing is a potential solution, whereas what we have in canon so far is still a problem. And it’s fine, to be hopeful that they will resolve this (and I agree, I think that they will solve it somehow in the future), but for right now, it’s a problem, it’s one of the unhealthy elements of their current relationship.

Additionally (and I’m not saying that this is the case here, because I don’t think it is currently), I want to point out that there are other situations where one person does bad things to another person, and then apologizes afterward. And that’s fine, if that’s the only time it happens and the person learns from their mistake and doesn’t hurt the person that way again. But we have a name for that cycle of it becomes a pattern.

I’m not, in any way, shape, or form, saying that Kieren currently is abusive (emotionally) toward Simon, but if this develops into a pattern of “another similar moment where he doesn’t realize what he’s done/been doing until after everything is over,” then it holds potential to unintentionally become that. So far, however, Kieren has repeatedly disrespected Simon’s beliefs, which is not a good sign. The hope here is that Kieren hasn’t figured out it’s a problem yet and that, once Kieren does realize what he’s been doing, he corrects himself and does not repeat the mistake.

So, for the moment, I think it stands true that Kieren treating Simon with disrespect/disregard is a problem.

Who knows, maybe Simon will even say something one day even in a fit of hurt/frustration.

I hold out high hopes that Simon will say something BEFORE he reaches the “fit of hurt/frustration stage” because that stage isn’t a good one. That stage means Simon has already tolerated an amount of hurt without feeling like he can speak to Kieren like an adult, like an equal, and that he is only able to bring up his feelings when he is lashing out. That’s not healthy, either.

I don’t consider them unhealthy. Yes, they have some pretty big issues to work through besides the aforementioned – with Simon needing to learn who he is/be less codependent and Kieren needing to realize how much power he has/how to not abuse it – but ultimately they just make me think of any other couple that are learning to live with each other and not step on any landmines in the process.

Like I said at the start, I don’t think their relationship itself is unhealthy, I think there are unhealthy elements to it, and I agree completely that I think they will work through those things as they learn and grow together. Part of the fun, part of why we get SO ATTACHED to characters and ships is because we see the problems, the odds stacked against them working it out, and we are excited to see them work past those things together. I fully believe that’s where Siren is heading.

What would be unhealthy is if Simon kept winding him up or if Kieren kept forcing Simon to wear cover up despite knowing it’s hurting the other person, which I can’t see after them learning what they did in 2.04

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen them interact much past 2.04. Their whole relationship happens in a very short amount of time, and so much other shit’s gone down in that time that they’ve been given very little chance to work themselves out. So, for the moment, we don’t know if Simon will keep winding Kieren up, and we don’t know if Kieren will ask Simon to do more things Simon disagrees with (and we don’t know how far Simon will be willing to bend to make Kieren happy, still, especially if he is being fueled by guilt over trying to kill Kieren).

I agree that I can’t see them stagnating after what they’ve been through, I think that they WILL adapt and learn and be better, but that’s speculation only so far. We really do need a season 3, yes?

I’m sorry for the essay.

Don’t be! Oh my goodness, never be sorry for wanting/having discussion! This was an amazing set of messages to receive, and I’m really happy for a chance to discuss this with someone who can disagree and discuss sensitive topics respectfully!

I just cringe at that description for them because when I think of unhealthy relationships, I think of canon pairings from other shows that are rife with INTENTIONAL cheating, lying, and constant arguments over every little thing. This is nowhere close to that, even if they have the potential to go there

100% there with you. Siren definitely does not have the normal, shitty cheating/lying problems that a lot of tv romances have, and for that I’m infinitely thankful. I’m also thankful that they both appear to want to work through their problems, rather than one or both of them being constantly angry that there IS a problem. Even when Kieren is telling Simon to cut it out about calling him incredible, he’s not mean or angry- he’s a little hurt, a little exasperated, and it’s very clear he cares still. I like that.

But it’s really no secret how much I love Siren (its good AND bad, I love all parts of it).

I also cringe when people say Kieren doesn’t care for Simon as much in return.

This stems, I think, mostly from the fact that Dom (the creator of the show) said outright in an interview—

With Kieren and Simon’s relationship, it’s just beginning really, they’re not in love with each other I don’t think. I think Simon is much more into Kieren than Kieren is into Simon. I think he’s intrigued and I think he fancies Simon, but it’s not like that all-encompassing Romeo and Juliet thing (x)

So, word-of-god stuff like that pretty much colors everyone’s view of the relationship, or like it did for me, confirmed what I already believed.

Anyway, this was great! I’m very glad to be able to have this discussion, and see other points of view written out. Thank you for taking the time to come talk with me! <3

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