Mindy Project: One Good Reason Mindy and Danny Shouldn't Be Together

Ho, ho… whoa nelly do we have a problem on our hands.

The Mindy Project closed the first half of its season Tuesday with a Christmas episode that left us feeling more The Family Stone and less It’s a Wonderful Life: After flashing back to her first week at the OB-GYN practice, Mindy realized once more that she’s been allowing Danny to bar her from going after her dreams.

So while he and Leo slept, she snuck out to measure her old apartment — which hasn’t sold yet — to see if Leo’s crib will fit in what used to be her closet. It will, and the realization that she was contemplating leaving Danny and moving out made her weep on the floor of her empty flat. At the very end of the episode, she crept back into bed with Danny, who pulled her close.

The closing scene certainly gave the sense that our girl had made a big, tough decision — and not a moment too soon, I say.

Before you fling flaming Diamond Dan thongs at my head in protest, hear me out. No one wants Danny and Mindy to have their happy-ever-after more than I do. I boarded this ‘ship back at that first hand-grab-during-turbulence in Season 1, and I’ve been buckled in tight ever since.

Mindy Project Should Mindy Danny Break Up

When Drs. Lahiri and Castellano finally hooked up in the airplane galley in Season 2, former TVLine editor Meg Masters and I had a kvelling session that lasted far too long and rehashed the event in far too much detail for us talking about people we do not know who don’t actually exist.

Or the Empire State Building declaration of love? I died, revived, sprinted up 86 flights of stairs and then died again. Of HAPPINESS.

And last season, when Mindy told Danny she was pregnant with Leo? And he reverently cooed, “We’re a family?” With the belly-palming? And the Beyoncé?! Are you kidding me? Only a monster would try to keep these two apart, right?

But here’s the thing: Every time Danny talks about how Mindy should want to stay home and raise their brood, he takes a lint brush to the warm fuzzies I have regarding their relationship. One or two of these mentions makes sense; he’s a conservative curmudgeon, and it fits. But his relentlessness on the topic this season goes beyond “funny character quirk” and spreads dangerously into “I don’t really know my fiancée at all.”

Because Mindy’s pride in her work has been there all along; even in the series pilot, in which most of her life is a messy pile of bad hookups and too much booze, she’s a badass baby doc when it comes to handling a tricky breech birth. For Danny not to know that — or worse, to disregard it because it doesn’t fit his preconceived notion of gender roles within his marriage — is troubling in the extreme.

Which brings me to my unhappily made point: If Danny isn’t down with the Mindy-that-is instead of the Mindy-he-envisions, maybe it’s time for a change. Temporary? Permanent? Who knows?  All I’m sure of is that I sincerely hope these two weirdos end up together — in a relationship where both of them can achieve their long-held dreams (and have lots of kinda inappropriate sex).

What are your thoughts on the state of The Mindy Project‘s central couple? Weigh in via the poll below, then hit the comments to elaborate!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lauren says:

    It’s things like this that make me want to have writers explain themselves. I wonder what they consider the end game. They have chosen to give Danny this hard line about gender roles when they could have softened him up. His retro attitude was played for laughs and it worked before they were a couple and in the beginning of their relationship. But now it is bumming me out and making me like Danny less. Which I don’t appreciate now that they have a child together.

    • jj says:

      my thoughts exactly, danny’s change in attitude has made the show hard to watch for me

      • J says:

        I have been waiting for them to break up for a long time. I never wanted them together in the first place because I didn’t like the way Danny is and I love Mindy. I absolutely hope she leaves him, that will make me love the show even more. It’s because Mindy is a strong woman but she doesn’t pretend not to have insecurities and sometimes they rule her…but again, Mindy is a strong woman and most of the time, in the end, she doesn’t let those insecurities rule her. I believe the show is showing the very real role patriarchy plays in relationships. With Mindy breaking up with Danny, if she does, it will be a very strong message in my opinion that a woman does not have to bow down to tradition, even if she’s got a kid. Cause we all know, if Mindy leaves, she sure as hell is taking Leo with her anyway…over her dead body. Mindy is so strong, i just want to see her overcome her struggles and leave Danny. I like that it’s taking the show a long time for them to have her make this decision because obviously they do love each other and it makes it seem more real…like I said, Mindy isn’t ashamed to reveal her insecurities and that she bows down to them sometimes, oftentimes with Danny. But when the time really matters, she stands up for herself…and I think she will find the strength in this situation to do the same. I totally believe in her…she deserves so much better. And I know she has a kid, but parents don’t have to be together in order for a baby to grow up just fine. And especially with Mindy, Leo will be just fine. Not to say that Danny will be a bad father. In the end, I really hope Mindy leaves Danny…maybe she’ll find someone who respects her…maybe she’ll fly solo. Whatever it may be, if she takes this step in her life I feel like she is one step closer to never letting her insecurities or doubts rule her again.

      • J says:

        I hope Mindy leaves him for good. Never wanted them together in the first place, but looking back, I think it was really smart and creative of the show to have the “will they or wont they” ship them, have them have a baby, and THEN have them go through this stuff that will possible have them break up for good. Usually shows don’t take these risks. Made it so less cliche and much more interesting.

        • Lacey says:

          I TOTALLY agree that this arc makes the show so much more interesting!! I LOVE that Mindy is addressing patriarchy and gender roles, I’ve never really seen this done so well (or at all really) in a sitcom. The issue is handled with heart and yet the shows remains funny, I think, and sadly this actually happens irl!!! I still think that they should get back together; they obviously complement each other well, it’s just that Danny should stay at home. He’d love it, but he’s stuck in his constricted gendered thinking for the time being. But I’d love at least another season of single, party-girl Mindy/ Mindy in hilarious relationships before Danny wakes up and stops being a caveman.

  2. Lena says:

    his attitude makes me dread watching.

    • Chester says:

      I am dying for Mindy to ask him why he doesn’t give up his career and stay at home with Leo. If he thinks stay-at-home parenting is so important, then why doesn’t he do it?

      • Madison says:

        She basically did last week. He kinda scoffed at her, if I remember correctly. Whatever his reaction, I dont remember it being good.

      • Tina Mahan says:

        My sentiments exactly. When my ex husband asked me to change my last name to his I turned around and asked him to change his and if his answer was no then so was mine. They are in the same practice and she has a new company so he should be the one working part time.

  3. Tbh I’m done with the show. Doesn’t matter what will happen I will never agree with this arc and the fact Danny doesn’t support Mindy. it would make more sense if they broke up because of the marriage issue last season imo.

    • Anaisabel says:

      AGREE!!!! I still will watch Mindy but its really upsetting that there doing this to Danny he is not like this at all. I feel like in need to add drama they went down this road that make no sense!!!!!!!! Danny has always supported Mindy i don’t get why they are making so that he is holding her back now. for this they should of ended the show last season if they didn’t have any better ideas.

      • Mary says:

        This is true to his character, especially how he behaves on relationships. Look at all the women they’ve had him date they have all broken up with him for this reason.

        • What reason? It was never explain why his marriage failed. Mindy Kaling even said she wants bring Christina back bc she wants explore more of her side of the failed marriage. This show the reasons are unclear or Mindy wouldn’t even need bring her back. Anyway they never said anything about him to be too controling

          • Mary says:

            Every relationship he has had has had the breakup explained, Christina a lot. More from Danny’s pov but when she was on we got glimpses of hers and it was the same as eye patch, Amy, Alex, and now Mindy. He has been 100% consistent in character it’s just happening to Mindy so it’s more annoying because really who cared about eye patch.

        • Ashleigh says:

          True. Like Eyepatch (Allison Williams’ character) in Season 1. They break up with him because he’s closed-minded and thinks there’s only one right way to do things. In one of the episodes where Christina was back, she cautioned him against being “the old Danny.” Good catch.

          • Mary says:

            And Alex because he lied about being married. Danny has a fear of being left and control issues it comes up all the time. And don’t get me started on how he treated Amy. Why would anyone think Amy be different he has to deal with his issues to be able to treat someone different and he hasn’t. He projects instead of self reflection.

          • Those reasons are so normal to me I would be ok if they broke up for one of those reasons. but with Mindy the reasons were worse very very worse. The parent trap thing it’s disgusting. I can’t see the resemblance tbh. And it’s not because of the baby it’s his character flaws

          • Mary says:

            @tais it’s all the same reason though control. Yes the baby thing was beyond crossing a controlling line and gross but it’s what he has always done just heightened.

            Please note I’m fine with then together or broken up I watch the show for the story of Mindy, I like them together (well not as much since ma came around) but it’s the Mindy Project the show is about her journey and I find it endlessly entertaining. I just find this Danny has been changed strange because literally this is 1000% in character only difference is his behavior is affecting a character we love.

        • If I’m not mistaken Christina cheated on him then when they got back together he trusted her and let her take nude pictures of him which she then put on exhibit without his permission. Granted Danny is not blameless but that was Danny in the start he has come a long thanks in large part to Mindy. He opens up more and he didn’t want to get married and he changed his mind about that for her. And last season Mindy went to California and he supported her and even contemplated moving to there for her too. I get that Leo brings up a lot of abandonment issues he has but this season they have really made him out to be unreasonable and a bully which is out of character from past seasons.

          • Mary says:

            Was he supportive when he cost her the fellowship in the first place because he dismissed it as nothing but a crazy plan to get him to propose?

            And yes Christina cheated but they made a lot of allusions to Danny not being a partner or communicating with her. They also showed it when she came back and with EVERY other woman he was with on the show.

            He agreed to move when he was pushed into a corner, that is how he always moves forward probably out of fear but come on time for him to put on the big boy pants and get over it. Sorry but I’m so sick of his childhood trauma that he refuses to deal with to the point it is negativity impacting every relationship he has.

            Be real Danny has no friends outside of Mindy, hasn’t formed healthy romantic relationships, and has yet to bond or really parent his child (been gone majority of his life) he needs help. But he needs to look in the mirror and realize it’s him not everyone else. Which I’d imagine is part of this story.

  4. Marcie says:

    I’ve been totally angry with Danny’s behavior and ready for Mindy to leave him, but then something he said last night about her leaving made me think maybe he’s just trying to lock her down into staying with him by having more children. Maybe his abandonment issues have gotten the better of him and he just fears that Mindy will up and leave him. If this is the case, he’s, of course, going about it the wrong way. But maybe when they have that final fight before she does leave, he’ll come to his senses and realize he’s driving her away – the opposite of what he wants to achieve.

  5. Rafael says:

    The public criticism made the idea of appraising Danny as a bad character, but the public criticism may have went too far on that appraisal too quick, IMO.

  6. robandco says:

    The beginning of the season was so good, the first couple of episodes with Leo were really fun because Mindy and Danny had changed and were adorable.
    But then Danny went back to being himself and he is not a lovable person. Very flawed and extremely self centered and judgmental. Yes, Mindy is self centered, but she has a good heart.
    I was against Danny and Mindy at first, but then the plane thing happened and she got pregnant and it was fun but now they appear to be toxic for each other.
    Break up for good or take time apart to rewrite Danny’s character like he was last season and get them back together but Now Danny (and his terrible mother) needs to go.

  7. Callie says:

    Question: when money showed up to the first day of work – it was shown as if it was the first time Jeremy and Mindy met. Didn’t they used to hook up during residency?

  8. amb1973 says:

    It’s not like he wants her to give up her fullt-time job as a barista or aspiring actress or something. She’s a medical doctor, for goodness’ sake. She wento to school for like ten years. She’s supposed to just dump all that work? Also, why’s he so amped to have another kid…they JUST had one!

    All my shows are busily ruining, for me probably permanently, their primary romantic relationships. Danny’s a retro controlling douche, Oliver Queen’s a sack of crap liar Felicity realistically should never trust again, Beckett is a weirdo with no strategic planning ability, Iris and Barry barely talk. All so dumb.

    • Anaisabel says:

      OUCH a sack of crap liar. That is harsh.

      • amb1973 says:

        I cannot for the life of me get my reply to post. What is wrong with this site?

      • amb1973 says:

        If Oliver were the exact same character but played by an ugly guy no one would defend him. His PTSD does not excuse lying to, using, and manipulating everyone around him for years. And the lies to Felicity (and they were LIES, not omissions, because he said it doesn’t matter (it does) and it’s over (it’s not, he told the kid he’d be back)) are only going to get worse. He’s going to propose to Felicity without telling her the kid she’d be stepmother to exists. There’s no need for him to lie to her, because he knows very well Felicity would keep the secret, seeing as how she’s kept all his secrets for three years. He’s probably going to visit Baby Mama and kid, piling on more lies, while living with Felicity, off her money. It’s disgusting, and he had supposedly learned not to do this crap. I’m tired of it. He’s regressed all the way to Ollie, and he’s interacting with Felicity just like Ollie did with Laurel…do something crappy, get caught, she forgives him. He is a 30-year-old man who NEVER LEARNS.

  9. J.Norman says:

    They can be cute together and they both – in their own way(s) – want it to work.
    But the problem is, that is not enough for the long term.
    They are inherently too different in underlying viewpoints and temperament for it ever to work long term.
    They have to spend too much time trying to accommodate the other for it not to eventually collapse.

    A lot of us have had that experience in our lives.

  10. Kristen says:

    They have needed to break up for a while. Dating back to last season–they only reason he was willing to marry he was because she was pregnant. He had made it REALLY clear before that he would never marry her and in his own words did not consider her family. Mindy was someone he was dating who accidentally got pregnant, and because of his conservatism and traditional views, and his desire to be a good dad, he was willing to be with her long term. Which is admirable to a point. But add in that pre-pregnancy she wanted him to want HER, and never actually got that–he only wanted her after she was pregnant, and ever since been trying to change her and constantly points out everything she does that he finds wrong–he is a terrible boyfriend. He is selfish and controlling and stubborn, and never puts Mindy first, ever.

    I’ve wanted them to get together since the first episode, and was SO happy when they kissed on the plane. But the other examples you give did not make me nearly as happy as you–he had to run to the top of the empire state building because he had blown Mindy off in such a terrible way. He patted her stomach and said they were a family only a few scenes after telling her she WASN’T family. If she hadn’t gotten pregnant, he never would have done that.

    Add in the fact that he calls other female characters “honey” and “sweetheart” in the classic condescending way, puts both himself and his mother ahead of Mindy, and seems to get off on pointing out all of Mindy’s faults and insecurities, and I seriously don’t get how the writers think we’re ever supposed to root for them to stay together.

    • Jess says:

      I completely agree with everything you just wrote. You see I started picking up on these exact signs too, I could see the build up, and in my head I would question Mindy’s reaction to these situations. “Why is she taking this almost lying down?” “Why does it seem like she is she almost slowly retracting into her shell?”, “Why is she not questioning and reflecting on these issues and instead is just overlooking them so easily?”. Because like all the other characters have been insinuating, Mindy at her very core, (while having a caring heart) is a very bold, intelligent, strong, assertive and confident woman with a fire in her soul and who injects spirit into everything she does (even the wrong decisions that she makes at times, which to me, just adds to her charm. This girl doesn’t go down without a fight, she’s that “go big or go home” kind of girl), and it has been so upsetting to see that that fire has been dimming slowly and surely over time during this relationship.

      For the record I have always rooted for Mindy and Danny like the loyal overly optimistic, romantic minion that I am, but as a viewer I feel Mindy’s struggle, I want them to be together like they are suppose to be, I really believe that, (because they do love each other, there’s no doubt) but not like this, and I feel like finally in this mid season finale, Mindy has finally caught up to the viewers 3rd party perspective and realised that too.

      I feel like while Mindy has overlooked so many of Danny’s flaws and has made compromises, Danny won’t even consider the possibility of a compromise and instead turns it all back onto Mindy, and just blames it on her own flaws and insecurities, which isn’t particularly very fair to dump onto one person entirely. And the worst part is he doesn’t even believe he is making Mindy feel this way when she is clearly telling him is an assertive and honest manner how it’s making her feel in the season finale, and he plainly dismisses it, as if she has no right to feel that way.

      I empathise with her as I have previously been with someone who made me feel a very similar way. And I salute her for finally standing up and saying exactly how he is making her feel (she hit the nail on the head in that monologue during their argument). And It breaks mine and the viewers hearts to see this progression I think as much as it has Mindy’s in realising. We have the luxury of the fourth wall, which has made it a lot more obvious to us, a lot earlier on than it took for Mindy to see.

      Even Mindy’s friends have really pointed out these obvious markings of an unbalanced relationship. I have found Peter to be (surprisingly) an incredibly thought provoking character for Mindy and Danny. I adore Peter. His character progression for me has completely won me over. Something about his opinions has become sturdy ground for me as a viewer. I feel like he says the things we as viewers are dying to reveal to the characters themselves. I mean if it wasn’t for Peter they may have possibly never even gotten together. Peter is a goof but he is all about the real talk when it comes to the important things.

      Danny has progressively become more demeaning, insensitive and unwilling to budge than ever before. We all know deep down Danny is a good guy but that doesn’t make up for the fact that his reasoning behind his decisions are ironically wrong. I just wish Danny would come to realise all of these fall-backs sooner rather than later. The difference is that Danny makes what he calls “right” decisions but for the wrong reasons while Mindy has the strength to make the wrong decisions for the right reasons. Mindy doesn’t want to leave Danny but she see’s how detrimental it is for everyone that she find herself again no matter what the costs.. Which is what made it so bitter-sweet.. Because even Danny himself in the past instructed and encouraged her to do exactly as she has now decided to do in present time, “Dont EVER let anyone stop you from doing what you want.. not EVEN me.”. I personally believe that eventually they will come back together because as when they first met, I think deep down he wants Mindy to as he said himself “stay and make things different” but sadly I think in order to do that the roles have to be reversed now and he has to make the decision to “stay and (more importantly) make things different” because lately Mindy has been the one staying put exactly where he has told her to be. If he doesn’t start to respect her as an equal in the relationship it will never work, Mindy knows this now. But like the optimistic cherub I am, I think and hope that eventually he will find his way, because as past Danny said himself, “maybe I can be like that”. I think now it’s time he decides if he can not only be like that, but WANTS to be like that because if he doesn’t want to incorporate a little positive change and adapt his mindset on how he relates to people (most importantly Mindy), then there is no way he and Mindy can have their happily ever after. The Parallels in that episode and the way their relationship had come full circle was definitely a beautiful but somber feat for those writers.

  11. . says:

    At this point I don’t care if they stay together. I know we’re probably supposed to root for them but they clearly want very different things. So if Danny doesn’t come around and accept that Mindy wants to focus on her career, they should break up (at least temporarily). Plus I’m curious to see how Mindy would handle being a single mother with two jobs.

  12. Katrina says:

    I don’t think Mindy and Danny should breakup. They are perfect for each other. Like any relationship it takes work. Danny’s character has change for Mindy in a lot of ways. Mindy cried and begged Danny to marry her because she was different and wanted to get married to him. Even though he did not want to get married , he was going to do for her. Mindy loves him and I feel like nothing should get in the way. Mindy also said she wanted six children. What did she think will happen if she has kids. I don’t think Danny means any harm, I just think he just wants his children ‘s mother to be there unlike his mother because she had to work. I will be very sad if they break up. This year is ending bad with all these shows couples breaking up.

  13. Cora says:

    Even though I love Danny and probably understand his behavior more than other viewers, I can see these past episodes were tough. I got pissed off the most when he called Minday’s Later Baby a hobby. You know what? I love this couple and I want them together but I feel that these episodes are important. It happens a lot in relationships. Maybe not the staying-at-home-raising the kids part but trying to find a compromise in a situation where only one person in the relationship can be happy and competing on who can be the happy one. The lazy thing would be having them break up when the first sign of trouble came up like all tv shows do. But they are exploring how complex things can get and how to make the relationship can work. This is when Leo is more important than ever. If there wasn’t a baby, they would break up and not see each other. But since there is a baby, it’s not that simple. You would still have to see the baby daddy/mommy.

    • Dee says:

      I totally agree, At first I was a little put off because I love the character of Danny Castellano so much and I did not like the road they had him headed on. I have now come to really appreciate what the show is doing, it is dealing with real issues that couples face and lets be honest I feel with Leo being unplanned they did not discuss everything they may have needed to before planning kids like other couple would have. There is no doubt these two love each other and I believe they belong together but relationships take work and communication. I hope like you said the writers show they working through this even if it involves a short separation what with everything we say with her apartment at the end.

  14. Dee says:

    I just want to sincerely thank you for writing this. I probably more obsessed with this show than is healthy but that besides the point. Anyway I have really struggled to out my emotions into words but you just did it perfectly. I am such a fan of this couple, like you said I have been buckled in tightly and that will never change but having said that something in their relatiohship does have to change. I hope Danny has the same realization that he had in tonights fall finale and realizes how Truly good of a Doctor and mother Mindy is and they are able to just get back to loving and supporting each and also all the inappropriate sex like you mentioned lol.

  15. Mare says:

    I hope they make it but it is really disappointing how much of a chauvinist jerk they are making Danny. He could be a jerk before but he’s never been this bad. It’s disappointing that the writer’s have gone this way. It’s souring the show for me.

  16. Sarah says:

    I hate that the poll doesn’t give a choice to stay together but not marry.

    • T says:

      Mindy wants to get married. That’s probably why they don’t have that option in the poll. She told Danny she didn’t have to get married, but most likely because she was trying to make him happy and ignoring her life long dreams. Plus they’ve already proven that staying together but not getting married wouldn’t really work for them in the show. They both have different views of how they expect the relationship to be.

  17. A says:

    All this episode proves is that Danny has apparently been a huge jerk since the day he met Mindy, and not even in a funny way. Why would a self-described rom-com want to make the male lead so unlikable? At this point, the only smart, self-respecting decision Mindy can make is to leave him. It seems like they’ve really backed themselves into a corner with this one.

  18. aaaron gilkes says:

    Thats nice

  19. Aaron G says:


  20. The Mindy Lover says:

    I dont agree with the turn the show has taken and feel it has been tainted by so much focus on Mindy and Dannys relationship. Just like most shows of this era, ruined by cliche sentimental redundancies. Of course we all love to see main characters love, but bringing a child into it and not having the characters evolve, MAINLY Danny, is becoming a seemingly bottomless pit of “We dont know what else to put in the show”. I loved this show for its jokes and change in characters and funny plots that all the characters shared. Forcing Danny to be so closed minded even since Season 1 shows strong character stability but to me shows a slight character flaw in Mindy being so out of the box, and always standing up for what she believes in. Basically you have the opposites attract thing down but anyone knows a child often changes a person.

    • The Mindy Lover says:

      Yes, you will get ratings with Mindy and Danny staying together or breaking up but I would have rathered them break up before Leo and things go back to normal at the office and we get back to more characters introduced or some characters evolved. Now I’m stuck with if they break up, hows the show end and what will the show be about? Danny coming by Mindys to see Leo? Awkwardness at the workplace? Will we see Leo grow older and be co-parented? Or will they try living seperately for a while, realize they love each other too much and up being happily married after? I dont see the end-game at all.

      • The Mindy Lover says:

         I wish before Leo, the show ended Danny and Mindy and got back to having those random funny moments where all characters were involved in something crazy.

        • The Mindy Lover says:

           I fear a lot of unanswered questions and some unexplainable things that dont really add up in the future and this might end up being one of those “this is where the show is going because we need ratings and we dont know how to end it” kind of show, Which is what a lot of shows do. Hit you with some big random drama filled moments but never truely having any fluidity or closure to the character development or storyline.

          • The Mindy Lover says:

            You would think making a character like Danny so strong in his ways from Season 1 would have BEEN made sacrificies and compromises for Mindy and also for Leo. I dont even look at Danny as a father to Leo which makes no sense because of how family oriented Danny is with his parents

  21. Nicole Brant says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to drag Danny across the coals for his beliefs. Are they a bit outdated? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that they are wrong. I completely understand his reasons for wanting Mindy to stay home. He raised his brother and his poor, hardworking mother couldn’t be around. He has said from the first moment they really got together at the top of the Empire State Building what he wanted (“..since I’ll be the breadwinner and you’ll be the stay at home mom”). These are clearly 2 people with very opposite beliefs and life choices who somehow got this far without realizing this, so if they want to be together there have to be some major compromises.

    All that said, I think it’s a little bit of sloppy writing to suddenly have Danny pushing this so hard, especially after being gone for so long. It makes it seem to me that maybe Chris wants out of the show so they are eventually pushing him out, unfortunately, by painting him as this horrible guy.

    Finally, I’m really bummed about the turn the show is taking. I like to be entertained with my comedy shows and not have all this realism. Real life is hard enough and I just don’t want to see this in my favorite couple.

  22. Mary says:

    I love Danny’s character! Ultra conservative. They’re just a bad match for each other is all.