…which is part of why different people ship different things. Or even the same things for different reasons.
Now I’m a romantic at heart. I do get the fuzzies when I see the characters I want to be together kiss. Though, for me, there is more to a relationship than that. I also love to watch non-romantic relationships play out. Like Tony and Bruce being “Science Bros”, or Turk and J.D. having the most epic bromance ever!
When I ship though, I always have reasons. It’s why I find it hard to follow crack pairings. I can’t really get invested in “These two characters are sexy, they should fuck”. I’m not arguing that they shouldn’t, and if that is the opinion of the characters involved as well, go for it! Hell, it could be canon, but that’s still not enough to interest me. I need a connection.
Take, for example, my recent fall into the Clint/Natasha camp; I don’t ship them just because they are sexy. I actually didn’t think about them much going into the movie, to be honest. But I know their backgrounds. I know both have gotten around, quite a bit in fact. So the two of them having sex would seem to matter little in that context. No, what caught me was the connection they shared. Clearly they have shared things with each other that they haven’t with anyone else, and feel they can confide in each other. They have each other’s backs (for now anyway, in the movie-verse. Once again, I know the characters as they are in the comics.)
It’s what I love about the (some of it headcanon) Sebastian/Hawke romance. That he has made vows, but he’s not struggling against them for the sake of getting sex again. Depending on your play through, he offers a sexless marriage. No, it’s because he deeply loves her for who she is and seems to want nothing more than to be with her, despite his duties and (in the case of my Hawke) her being an apostate. Given his discipline up til then, there must be a lot of emotion there to bring him to that point.
The connections like these are what appeal to me in a relationship. For me, it can be as intimate, if not more so, than sex. It’s the emotions. Sex and snuggling is one way to physically (and visually in the case of drawing) convey those feelings, but its the feeling that matter most to me. That’s what I seek out in my ships. It’s what I sought out in a partner. Not everyone will agree, but my opinion is that it’s best when the person you will be spending the rest of your life with is your best friend. When you can tell each other everything, when you know things nobody else does. Sharing that connection only the two of you have.
This is what I value in my ships.