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When the Cat Loved the Bat: 5 Love Lessons that Selina and Bruce Can Teach Us All

When the Cat Loved the Bat: 5 Love Lessons that Selina and Bruce Can Teach Us All

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Every relationship has its obstacles, be they distance, communication, meddling family members or relatives, or the fact that one party is a die-hard criminal while the other one is a die-hard catcher of criminals. The latter perfectly reflects the relationship between the Caped Crusader of Gotham and Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, a relationship many believe to be detrimental to both. However, something that’s often overlooked about this relationship between the glossy pages of DC Comics’ paneling is that there are some real-life love lessons to be gleaned from the couple.

The tumultuous yet captivating relationship between the Bat and the Cat (and their respective alter-egos, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle) serves as a rather complex example of how contrasting personalities and love choices can still coalesce into a relationship — an unconventional one, but hey, love comes in all shapes, sizes, and Kevlar-lined jumpsuits. There are plenty of things we can learn about love from the Bat and the Cat. Here are five lessons of the heart that can be applied outside the realm of comics.

They Respect Each Other’s Differences

One of the most striking aspects of Batman and Selina’s relationship is their acceptance of each other’s contrasting lives — which was very nicely depicted in Matt Reeves’s Batman, at least to a degree. It’s a tale as old as Detective Comics; Batman is the good guy who embodies the rule of law and rigid order, while Catwoman represents unbridled freedom and moral complexity.

However, that didn’t stop them from entering into a relationship that actually thrived on mutual respect for their differences across different media, and not just in comics alone. The relationship they developed highlights the importance of acknowledging and respecting the qualities each partner brings to the relationship without trying to change them.

Complementing Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Though they’re both creatures of the night and, at heart, analogous to nocturnal predators, the Bat and the Cat often operate from different moral and legal standpoints. However, their relationship also shows how partners complement each other, not just by bringing their unique strengths to the table but also by making up for individual weaknesses as well.

Admittedly, what Selina brings out in Bruce might not be deemed his best, considering his role as the Caped Crusader, but it’s the part of him that he often shuts off in his quest for justice. Additionally, Catwoman’s cat burglar (pun free of charge) expertise, street smarts, and underworld connections she amassed during her career have often proved invaluable to Batman’s crusade against crime.

Likewise, Batman’s moral compass and detective skills often keep Selina from becoming a complete villain or at least help guide her down a less nefarious path, as he often instills in her a sense of responsibility and need to stop herself from becoming like Gotham’s more sinister forces. This leveraging of each other’s strengths and weaknesses turns the Bat and the Cat into a formidable couple, and many could take a page from their book.

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Keeping Excitement High and Boredom Low

This is a very important lesson, considering that Bruce and Selina have been in an on-and-off relationship for more than 70 years now. In fact, Catwoman is one of the oldest characters in the Batman universe. Her initial purpose was to add a layer of sex appeal to Batman by being as flirtatious and sensual as pre-Comics Code Authority comics would allow. Apparently, her sex appeal might’ve appealed a bit too much to the pointy-eared vigilante since it drew Batman’s attention in more ways than one.

Regardless, the dynamic duo’s life is all but mundane, with nighttime activities ranging from high-stake heists to rooftop chases across Gotham, adding more excitement and adventure to the relationship. This aspect teaches us about the importance of keeping a relationship alive by constantly injecting new experiences and challenges, thus preventing monotony. However, we would strongly advise against “spicing things up” by making a habit of antagonizing people with the nom de guerre of Two-Face or The Penguin.

Stronger Together

There have been but a few times when Batman wasn’t portrayed as a quintessential loner. In fact, DC Comics fans initially reacted negatively towards the idea of Batman having a romantic interest or even a boy wonder for that matter. That changed over time. Batman’s relationship with Catwoman demonstrates just how much easier it is to overcome obstacles with a partner.

Bruce’s relationship with Selina, parallel to Batman’s partnership with Catwoman, reveals that even the most self-sufficient individuals can benefit from the support and companionship of a partner, even if that partner is someone you’d gladly turn over to Commissioner Gordon — at least occasionally.

Challenges Promote Growth

Due to their differences, Bruce and Selina often challenge each other to grow. The feline femme-fatale challenges Batman’s rigid moral framework, while the Gotham Knight offers Catwoman a more grounded perspective on justice or at least a reason to align herself closer to good than not. These interactions often lead to personal growth and reflection, showcasing how relationships often lead to both growth and mutual development that strengthens both parties in equal measure.

Final Thoughts

The relationship between Bruce and Selina and Batman and Catwoman, as complex as it is, provides a multitude of great lessons about love while teaching us that respect, understanding, and growth are all the necessary underlying components of a strong relationship.

Just like in a real relationship, their experience together has had its ups and downs, but by accepting who they are and respecting their strengths and differences, Bruce and Selina managed to maintain their relationship across several different continuities in comics and across oceans of media, including animated releases and movies.

They’re still married on Earth-2, and they’re still pretty much involved with each other in Tom King’s Batman runs. Their relationship stands as a testament that, while the road to love is never easy, it sure helps to have a Batarang or two… and maybe a whip in the toolkit.

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