Long and elaborate headcanon about master-padawan relationships
Master-Padawan relationships are the ONE personal relationship Jedi are allowed, right? In the communal life of the Jedi, it is the only time they are explicitly, officially linked with one person over others.
But the Code is inflexible and says, no attachment, no exception. So they are supposed to conduct said relationship with the appropriate level of detachment.
Of course the padawans usually do get attached, sometimes *hard*, but that’s kinda expected. They’re young, they are only beginning their journey in the ways of the Force, of course they will get attached to the first adult to give them sustained individual attention.
It’s a rite of passage almost, a sort of developmental stage that much in the vein of the terrible two isn’t *desired* but is rarely avoidable. But with gentle guidance and their master’s good example, they will gradually learn to let go of that attachment, until they, by the end of their apprenticeship, don’t fell anything verboten for their master anymore.*
What is never said in public, what is certainly never said in front of the kids, but is pretty much an open secret among adult Jedi, is that 95% of the time, the master gets attached right back.
…..and that’s not *okay* per se, but it’s tolerated in a “we’re none of us perfect, what can you do? *shrug*” way
As long as:
A/ You feel properly sheepish about it keep it from affecting your actions unduly
B/ You never EVER let your padawan catch on, you’re supposed to be a role model, you could completely screw up their life. They. Must. Not. Know.
And like of course, sentient beings being sentient beings, there is a myriad of ways individuals both on the master and padawan sides can and do react to those circumstances.
And there ARE master-padawan pairs who end up on the same page either because the master is particularly demonstrative and/or the padawan is particularly perceptive or doesn’t need to have the words “I Love You” said to feel loved or a mixture of those.
But there are also a LOT of pairs where both halves are angsty mess. Pairs where it’s killing the master to have to let the padawan think they don’t care for them, pairs where the padawan is heartbroken the adult that is at the center of their universe don’t love them back, pairs where the padawan just plain doesn’t know if the master loves them or not**, because sometimes it fells as if maybe they do, but that’s probably just wishful thinking, and their master would never break the code that way, and it’s really bad that they wish their master would break the code that way, and so on and so forth.
The common wisdom, hinted at, implied and shared by old wise masters to younger out-of-their-depth masters, is that yes it sucks in the present, and seem very dire, but you’ll see. You’ll both laughing about it in a few years***, after the padawan is knighted (and most likely has a padawan of their own, and has realized/learned all of this by living it, because who talks about important emotional stuff?)
* Or at least the padawan can fake the proper level of detachment. See Jedi’s love affaire with fake it ‘till you make it.
** Anakin is a splendid example of that type.
*** Obi-Wan basically spends most of ROTS thinking they’re at the stage where they’re laughing about it.