nate and raina

Why Chair is Better Than Dair

A lot of Dair shippers claim that Dair is a “healthy” relationship while Chair is a “toxic” one.  But even though I’ve never been the type of person who is crazy about shipping TV couples, I’ve been a Chair fan since day one.

While I was watching Season 4, I liked watching Dan and Blair’s relationship develop—as friends.  I thought it was a good idea for the GG writers to have these two very different characters, who have always held this dislike for one another, to find a connection and become friends. However, that’s all they are—friends.  Through the entirety of Dair, the basis of Dan and Blair’s relationship was their shared love of classic films and their similar intellectual tastes.  In the Season 5 finale, Blair’s diary is revealed and in it, Blair wrote, “This romance with Dan is fun, but is cultural stimulation enough?”  This shows Blair’s view on her relationship with Dan.  She appreciated his company at a time when she felt alone (after the chaos of her failed wedding with Louis) and his mutual interest in educational movies, but that was the total extent of their relationship. The single common link between them was the fact that they were on the same intellectual level, and it’s not even as if Chuck and Blair didn’t have an equally vibrant cultural connection.  

Dair has always lacked the chemistry that Chair has always possessed.  When Blair and Dan first slept together, it was extremely awkward for both of them.  When they first kissed in Season 4, the kiss actually propelled Blair into deciding that she was ready to be with Chuck.  From the beginning, Blair has never thought of Dan in a romantic way.  In the end, they only ended up together because Dan was infatuated with the character he had written in his book who was based on Blair.  But the fact is that character was not Blair and only a figment of his imagination vaguely based on Blair.  Serena told him as much.  Blair only convinced herself into having a relationship with Dan because she felt like he had been there for her at the time.  But friends are there for each other too, and friendship is the main thing that existed between Dan and Blair.  When Blair and Chuck agreed they had to become a couple only when they could acknowledge each other openly as equals, I completely agreed with their logic.  The truth is that Blair has never viewed Dan as a full equal.  They became good friends, but Blair has consistently shown that she doesn’t think of Dan as being on the same level as her.  In order to have a truly “healthy” relationship, the couple should view one another as equals.  In Season 6 Episode 3, Blair feels as if she can’t “task” Chuck because she treats him as an equal.  She tells him, “Tasks are for minions or Dan Humphrey.”

Dair supporters claim that Dair is a “pure and simple” love, unlike Chair.  But when Dan tells Blair he loves her for the first time in Season 5 Episode 22, it’s after he spent the entire day stalking her.  He had been horrifyingly worried about her spending time with Chuck.  He had every right to be concerned due to the intense relationship Blair had with Chuck, but did he really love Blair when he told her those words?  We’ve seen this exact situation before.  In Season 2 Episode 22, Nate asks Blair to move in with him on a whim after he feels jealous about Blair’s interaction with Chuck.  We all know Nair/Blaite never worked out.  Nate and Blair loved each other and cared for one another, but in a completely platonic way.  In Season 5 Episode 22, we see Dan doing the exact same thing as Nate when he tells Blair he loves her.  Dan and Blair may be great friends, but that’s all they are.  Dair shippers say that Blair is “light and happy” when she’s with Dan.  She’s light and happy because that’s how people are when they’re with their friends.  There are no deep, strong emotions existing between Dan and Blair, and that’s the only reason their relationship is light.

I’m not going to lie; Chuck has done some horrible, horrible things.  But one thing he’s never done is cheat on Blair.  When he’s with her, she’s the only girl he wants to be with.  He slept with Jenny Humphrey, but he and Blair weren’t together at the time and the only reason he was able to do what he did was because he believed that Blair had completely given up on their relationship and that she no longer loved him.  Though that definitely doesn’t excuse what he did, it doesn’t change the truth, which is that Blair has always been first for Chuck.  Dan claims that he loves Blair in Season 5 Episode 22, but in the Season 5 finale, he cheats on her with her best friend.  Though it’s true that he was beginning to doubt whether Blair cared about him, she never told him anything.  Dan never even waited to hear what Blair had to say, despite the fact that he himself had asked her to come and share her feelings.  This shows his lack of faith in both Blair and their relationship as a whole.  And when Blair finds out about Dan’s cheating in Season 6 Episode 5, Dan never once apologizes for his actions.  In his mind, his cheating was somewhat justified because Blair ended up choosing Chuck in the end anyway.  But regardless of Blair’s decision, it was completely wrong for Dan to do what he did, especially since he had no knowledge of Blair choosing Chuck at the time.  In Season 5 Episode 6, Chuck wholeheartedly apologizes for all the terrible things he’s done to Blair.

Some Dair supporters think that Chuck seemed fairly happy with Eva and Raina, which shows that he didn’t really love Blair as much as he claimed.  But if you look back at his relationship with Eva, you can see that the whole thing was his desperate attempt at being the complete opposite of his old self.  He wanted to burn all bridges with his old self because of all the pain and regret he felt at the mistakes he had made in the Season 3 finale.  Dating Eva and developing a sudden interest in philanthropy was all part of this phase.  Eva never really changed him, because as soon as she was gone, Chuck was back to his old self.  And he didn’t attempt to chase after Eva.  When he lost Blair, he put all his effort into convincing her to give him a second chance.  After he lost Eva, the most important thing on his mind was going to ask Blair why she did what she did.  He says to her, “I need to know why.  Is it possible…you still love me?”  Through everything, he was still holding onto the hope of Blair.  He even got shot because he wouldn’t let go of the ring he wanted to propose to Blair with.  That is a loyalty and deep-rooted love that Dair never possessed.  As for Raina, their relationship was never particularly significant.  It was mostly just them sleeping together, and even after Nate and Raina got together, Chuck wasn’t drastically upset because he knew he didn’t love Raina like he loved Blair.  Even Russel Thorpe knew that nothing is more important to Chuck than Blair, which is why he kidnapped her in an attempt to hurt Chuck.  Chuck has clearly always loved Blair more than anyone else, which is something you can’t say about Dan.  

Dair shippers claim that Dair is better than Chair because Chuck and Blair bring out the worst in each other.  That’s completely untrue.  All his life, Chuck has suffered from low self-esteem and extreme trust issues.  His father constantly belittled him, never trusted him, and always reminded him of how weak he was.  Chuck also spent his whole childhood believing he had killed his own mother.  When he finally had a spark of hope after meeting his mother, Elizabeth, she completely crushed his trust.  He had worked so hard to open up his heart to her yet she basically told him to his face that pursuing a relationship with Jack Bass was more important to her than caring about her own son.  Besides Lily, Blair has been the only person to ever really believe in Chuck.  When Bart Bass “died,” Blair hugged Chuck to sleep and never left his side the days following Bart’s death.  Nate even told Blair, “You’re really sweet with him.”  In Season 3 Episode 3, Blair chooses to give the picture to Chuck.  Her exact reasons for doing so were that she loved him and believed in him.  It was Blair’s belief in him that caused his confidence to soar and his determination to increase.  He only bought The Empire because of her continuous love and support of him.  It is Chuck’s absolute love for Blair that drives him to work towards becoming a better person throughout Season 5.  He lets Blair go in the Season 4 finale for the sake of her happiness and he becomes a better person.  Just like Blair has made Chuck a better person, Chuck has made Blair a better person as well.  He tells Blair in Season 4 Episode 22, “Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not powerful.  You’re the most powerful woman I know.”  Blair has always lacked confidence in herself too.  Despite the fact that she puts up a façade of being the overconfident queen, she spent her life living in the shadow of her best friend and living with a mother who hardly paid attention to her throughout her childhood.  Blair has always said that what she wants is to be a powerful woman.  Chuck provides Blair with the confidence and support she needs to be just that.  When Blair is ready to give up on NYU in Season 3 Episode 4, it is Chuck’s turn to tell her that he believes in her.  The two of them have always pushed each other to be better.  Their relationship has resulted in them becoming more independent, confident, and powerful people.

Dair supporters claim that when Blair is with Dan, she is more “mature” and that being with Chuck causes her to be “manipulative and scheming.”  While it’s true that Blair and Chuck originally bonded over a mutual love of scheming in the beginning of their relationship, it grew into something more as GG went on.  Ultimately, it was their ability to fully understand each other like no one else could that brought them together.  Chuck was the one who saw that Blair had too much pride to admit that she didn’t belong at NYU, so he applied to get her into Columbia.  He was the one who fixed her relationship with Serena because he knew how much she valued and needed her best friend despite the fight they were having at the time.  He was the one who was willing to wait for her because he understood when she told him that she didn’t want to just be “Chuck Bass’ girlfriend.”  Likewise, Blair has always understood Chuck more than anyone else.  When Chuck is ready to jump off the roof after his father dies, it is Blair who convinces him not to.  When Chuck is struggling thinking that his father lied to him about killing Raina’s mother, he tells Serena, “I need to talk to Blair.  She’s the only one who will understand.”

Chair has so much more depth and passion than Dair, and it’s built on the basis of an equal relationship.  Blair puts it perfectly in Season 6 Episode 5 when she tells Chuck, “No one’s better for me than you.”

“He understands her like nobody else does,”–Leighton Meester