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It Takes Time: Love in Steven Universe

It Takes Time: Love in Steven Universe

Since writing an article about Steven Universe last year, I’m still keeping up with the series and still enjoying it.  What I love about the show is how well-done the morals are while at the same time not talking down to its target audience. Whether about family, relationships, identity, it’s hard not to find something deeper to get out of the show.  One thing that I appreciate about the series is how it handles the topic of love and romantic relationships.   

In “Love Letters”, Steven’s mailman Jamie comes by and sees Garnet.  He instantly falls in love with her (I don’t blame him).  Seeing that Garnet is a literal embodiment of a relationship, she is clearly not interested in him.  After a series of awkward and unfortunate events, Garnet talks to Jamie and tells him this: “Love at first sight doesn’t exist. Love takes time, and love takes work. At the very least you have to know the other person… And you literally have no idea who or what I am.”  

Love at first sight doesn’t exist. Love takes time, and love takes work. At the very least you have to know the other person… And you literally have no idea who or what I am.

What makes this episode and quote interesting is that it aired two episodes after “Story For Steven” where Greg tells Steven the story of how he and Steven’s mother, Rose Quartz, met.  Greg is shown to be quickly enamored by Rose when she attended his rock concert.  He became so head over heels that he drops his chance to become a rockstar and stays in Beach City so that he can be with her. “Story” creates discourse for Garnet’s quote.  If love really does take time, what’s the deal with Greg and Rose?  

“We Need To Talk” continued to prove Garnet’s belief to be right.  In this episode, Greg tells Steven and Connie about the time he tried to fuse with Rose.  As I briefly explained in my other article, fusion is when two gems morph together and become one new being.  Greg had his work cut out for him: until this moment, a human and a gem have never made a fusion together.  He really wanted it to work because dating Rose for a few months left Greg unsure if Rose felt the same way about him as he did her (and to prove Pearl wrong, who was really rubbing in the fact that she can fuse with Rose).  

After a failed attempt at fusing (and Rose, with innocent insensitivity, laughing at Greg’s attempt), Greg confronts Rose and asks her to talk to him like a person, to which Rose replies by saying that she’s not a person at all.  It’s here that Greg realizes that he’s dealing with an alien and has a mini breakdown.  

In one of my favorite moments from the episode (and the series), Greg and Rose have a one-on-one talk.  They discuss how they probably rushed into their relationship, and how they feel about each other.  Before their talk, Rose would call Greg “Mr. Universe,” but after their talk, Rose begins calling Greg by his first name and thus their relationship takes a turn for the better.

Seeing Garnet’s very first form in “The Answer” also shows how a relationship doesn’t start out perfectly. Before Garnet came to be and joined Rose and Pearl, Sapphire was a member of Blue Diamond’s royal court while Ruby was one of Sapphire’s bodyguards.  When Ruby did an impromptu fuse with Sapphire to protect her from Pearl’s blow, Garnet was created.  Garnet’s form was quite a mess when Ruby and Sapphire fused.  She’s missing a shoe, her hair’s a mish-mash of Ruby and Sapphire’s colors, and she has holes in her dress.  Being a representation of a relationship, Garnet’s first form and her current form is a great metaphor for a budding relationship versus a long and stable one.  

During Greg and Rose’s talk, Rose asks Greg what it feels like to love someone, and he describes it as “torture.”  On the outside, that statement probably sounds cynical and harsh, but his remark has a point.  Starting a relationship with someone can be a little scary at first.  As Steven Universe shows, with patience, work, and communication, that relationship can grow into something special.  

Janelle Smith is a TV & Film Writer at Girls in Capes and covers in films from the U.S. and Japan.  She recently graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in film studies.

Janelle Smith
TV & Film Writer at Girls in Capes
Janelle Smith is a TV & Film Writer at Girls in Capes and covers in films from the U.S. and Japan. She recently graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in film studies.
Janelle Smith
Written by Janelle Smith

Janelle Smith is a TV & Film Writer at Girls in Capes and covers in films from the U.S. and Japan. She recently graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in film studies.