Simply put, she rushes things. She doesn’t get to know the guy before she decides she’s meant to be with him forever. Worse, she becomes obsessed with him and will give up anything for him: her friends, her education, her desires, even the traits that make her unique. All that matters is her beau.
The worst part is she only gets like this with guys who aren’t right for her.
In Winx comic #30, “Un Ragazzo Per Aisha” (A Boyfriend for Aisha, a.k.a. “Love for Layla”), she fell in love with a Specialist named Jordan after one afternoon with him. The Pixies tried to warn her he was a player, but she didn’t believe them:
AMORE: Jordan is having you on! Don’t fall in love with him! CHATTA: He has lots of other girlfriends! We heard him! AISHA: What? What do you know about Jordan? AMORE: Emm, well, actually…a friend told us who had heard it from… AISHA: Ha ha ha! And you believe this gossip? Jordan is a wonderful guy, I know it! And I’m going to have him all to myself!
This shows another of Aisha’s weaknesses: when she’s gaga for a guy, she ignores any red flags. That’s typical in a new relationship, but it also gets her into troubling situations like in comic #71: “Il Coraggio di Aisha” (Aisha’s/Layla’s Courage).
Desperate not to lose her boyfriend Silvan, she left Alfea and moved into an apartment near the airbase where he worked. She even found a job there to maximize the time she could spend with him. But it was all for nothing. Not only did he keep standing her up (which he was already doing before she rearranged her life for him), but he was also a misogynist.
AISHA: You didn’t tell him what you really happened! SILVAN: Aisha*, child, you don’t want to show me up! Actually, it’s a good thing you came with me…but you’re a woman, and we’re talking about my career here! Get on with it, okay?
Turns out Aisha may not just be impatient. She may also be too stubborn or afraid to leave an unhappy relationship. Even though Silvan kept skipping dates, she stayed. Even though her boss and her coworker shared their concerns about him, she stayed. It wasn’t until he started degrading her that she finally dumped him.
(Side note: for the Winx fans who think that Nex is a womanizer and a misogynist, here‘s a post that compares him to Jordan and Silvan and explains how he’s different.)
What About Nabu?
Okay, Jordan and Silvan were jerks, but Nabu wasn’t. He was perfect. There was nothing wrong with Aisha’s relationship with him, right?
I beg to differ. Not only did she act impatient and immature with him as well, but she also lost herself.
First, her personality changed. She turned into an easily impressed fangirl who talked like a Shakespeare character (“Nabu, my sweet!”). Even Stella noticed the change and told her, “Aisha, don’t be a baby!” Role reversal much?
Second, Aisha neglected her friends to be with Nabu. In “Winx Club Forever!” (Winx season 4, episode 11), we learned she had been leaving often to go on dates. She even missed Tecna’s presentation about their mission. Stella called Aisha out on it when she came home:
…if you spent a little time with us instead of your Nabu, you might know what’s going on!
The other characters sided with Aisha and wrote Stella off as jealous and judgmental, but she was actually right. The Winx and their boyfriends weren’t on vacation. They were on Earth for two reasons: to protect Roxy and defeat the Wizards of the Black Circle. That didn’t mean they couldn’t have fun on their downtime, but it sounds like Aisha’s priorities were askew.
The other Winx couples weren’t going out as often. That’s not because Aisha and Nabu loved each other more — it’s because the other couples had a better sense of moderation, which develops after a couple grows out of the honeymoon phase. Couples who are still in that phase feel like they need to be together all the time. So while the Winx fandom thinks Aisha and Nabu were a mature couple, their behavior showed otherwise.
Finally, Aisha gave up her own desires in order to stay with Nabu. As GermanSirenix wrote on Instagram:
Neither do I. When she debuted in Winx season two, did you expect her to end up living in a condo on Earth with a wizard her parents forced her to marry? (Yes, “forced”. We’ll talk about that in a moment.)
I think the Nabu chapter of her story was a consequence of her lack of a character goal. Without one, it’s hard to tell what she wants and what types of characters can help her get it. But we know what she wanted for her love life, and as I’ll talk about in a moment, Nabu didn’t fit the bill.
By the way, what happened after he died? She threw herself at Roy (and Silvan in the comics) while she was still grieving. Think she was ready for another relationship yet? Definitely not. (I won’t talk about Aisha and Roy because I have an entire series about why I don’t support them. More posts are coming, by the way.)
“When the Right Time Comes…”
Remember what Aisha told her mother in “The Red Tower” (Winx season 3, episode 21)?
…I don’t care about tradition. Anyway, I’m too young to think about marriage, and when the right time comes, I’ll choose my guy.
She wanted to marry when she was ready, not when her parents wanted her to.
She wanted to choose her own husband instead of her parents choosing him for her (as was tradition).
I’ll say it again: doesn’t this sound reasonable? It showed despite her impatience, she had the right idea about relationships. She knew she needed time to mature, and then she could find the right guy for herself.
But Rainbow didn’t give her that chance in Winx season three. Instead, they looked for loopholes to bypass her convictions so she’d end up with Nabu, anyway. After all, she couldn’t end the series single.
The two of them were still teenagers when they met (about 17 or 18). Yes, some people get married that young, but as Aisha said, she wasn’t ready yet. How did Rainbow get around this? They had her and Nabu’s parents delay the arranged marriage. Why the sudden change of heart after spending most of the season pressuring the kids? Who knows! Rainbow didn’t explain it.
What about Aisha choosing her own guy? That loophole is the point of the Perfectly Arranged Marriage trope. It creates the illusion that the partners chose each other instead of being forced into a relationship. As TV Tropes put it:
It’s not a violation of free will if [they] both want to get married, after all.
Of course, it ignores the fact that if they had gotten to choose their own partners, they may not have chosen each other. In fact, they may not have even met! So the arranged marriage still influenced their decision. We know that was true of Aisha and Nabu since he stalked her to get to know her after his parents told him about her. (How do you get to know someone through a telescope in the bushes?)
So at the end of Winx season three, Aisha gave in to a centuries-old tradition she didn’t agree with and was about to marry a guy she didn’t choose before she was ready for a relationship. What kind of happily ever after is that?
Nex will be very impressed by Aisha’s strong attitude and gradually fall in love with her, trying to impress her in every way. Only when Nex is in mortal danger and needs help will Aisha discover she really loves him.
The keyword is “gradually”. Nex has been attracted to Aisha since the moment they met, but it took time for his feelings to blossom into love. Yes, Winx fandom, he fell in love with her, too. Maybe that’s why at their date in “A Friend From The Past” (Winx season 7, episode 5), he said she conquered his heart, not the other way around.
As for Aisha, look what the description says about her feelings: “Only when Nex is in mortal danger and needs help will Aisha discover she really loves him.” This line refers to “Legendary Duel” (Winx season 6, episode 24), when Icy almost sealed Nex in an ice coffin. Aisha freaked out.
But instead of dodging it, he whacked the ice beam back at Icy with his halberd. The impact knocked her out of Aisha’s way so that the couple could fly to Gloomy Wood. You remember the rest. She freed the Pixies from the Legendarium World, and during their celebration, she confessed to Nex how scared she was when Icy attacked him.
AISHA: You know, Nex…when Icy hurled that magic against you…well, I…
So for the first time, Aisha didn’t fall in love with her boyfriend right away or in a couple of days. It took months in-universe, during which she got to know him and formed a bond with him.
As for the number of episodes, Nex debuted in episode 3: “The Flying School”. They became a couple in episode 24, so their relationship developed over 21 episodes. Did they interact in every episode? No. But he appeared in several of them with no long gaps (only two or three episodes in a row), and he and Aisha shared enough moments together to justify their relationship.
The weird thing is the Winx fandom is so used to Aisha rushing things now, they think she’s supposed to! She meets a guy and dashes to the altar with him. If not, she either doesn’t love him, or, according to one fan I met on Instagram, she’s still in love with the last guy (Nabu, not Roy). That’s how it works, right?
No. She did that because of her impulsiveness and her inexperience with love, but she’s more mature now. Besides, what’s the hurry? To quote Friar Lawrence from Romeo and Juliet (the modern translation):
Therefore, love each other in moderation. That is the key to long-lasting love. Too fast is as bad as too slow.
Aisha and Nex have known each other for three years and have dated for two. They’re on the right track. When they’re ready to get married, they’ll know.
3 More Ways Aisha and Nex’s Relationship is Different
1. They met unexpectedly.
Aisha and Nex met by chance, another first for her and her boyfriend.
“Nuh-uh!” you say. “She met Nabu unexpectedly, too!”
She did, but he didn’t. He stalked her. No, I’m not using that word to make it sound worse than it was. In “Valtor’s Box” (Winx season 3, episode 18), Stella called him “an adorable stalker”. So there was nothing unexpected about it.
Same with Jordan, Silvan, and Roy. In those cases, she was looking for them, or someone else arranged for them to meet.
The Pixies set up her date with Jordan.
The night before Aisha met Silvan (again), she saw a vision of his plane crashing in a river. The next day, she and the Winx found him and rescued him. Also, she and Silvan were childhood friends, so they already knew each other.
Aisha’s father sent Roy to give the Winx a pink yacht. Also, he worked her father, so he at least knew about her.
But when Aisha and Nex went to Lynphea College in “The Flying School”, they were just living their lives. Neither one expected to meet the person they’ll likely marry one day.
He made a bad first impression, though, which brings me to Point #2…
2. Rainbow designed Nex to mature alongside her.
In “Was Nabu a Mary Sue? Pt. II” (on the other blog), I shared Tokio Fiction’s tips for writing a love interest who’s not a “Soul Mate Sue” (their name for a Relationship Sue). One tip was, “Give the love interest flaws.” Why does a love interest, or any character, need flaws? The obvious answer is, “Because no one’s perfect.” To quote Timmy in “The Crystal Labyrinth” (Winx season 3, episode 22):
Everyone has a dark side to their character. Vanity, pride…
But there’s also a narrative reason to give a character flaws: so they can lose them. Flaws, especially major and fatal ones, exist so the characters have something to change about themselves, which usually happens through their stories. Characters need flaws so that they can grow.
For a love interest, their relationship inspires them to grow. That’s why Rainbow made Nex arrogant. Do you think they did it for the fun of it? Or because they wanted to create a so-called unlikeable character? Of course not! They wanted Aisha to influence him and help him curb his flaws.
His character description even hinted at this:
He thinks every girl is bound to fall in love with him: this won’t work with Aisha, who will not only be annoyed by his arrogance but will challenge him and beat him.
His Winx Guide profile also says that “sometimes, he thinks he’s the best at everything”. Aisha proved that he’s not, which knocked him down a few pegs. That was the point all along.
Of course, she has flaws, too, and Nex has strengths to help her grow. We saw an example of this in the first Sirenix arc in Winx season eight. He’s more social than her, so when she withdrew in her time of need, he helped her understand she doesn’t have to fix her problems by herself.
That’s another reason to give a love interest flaws: to create a balanced couple. Aisha and Nex complement each other and bring out the best in each other.
3. Aisha and Nex have a unique couple dynamic.
About four years ago, Rainbow released a DVD/activity book combo called “Magico Amore” (Magical Love). The book gave each of the couples an unofficial title:
Bloom and Sky, The Invincible Couple (La Coppia Invincibile): Because they’re the couple who will never, ever, ever break up…even if it might be for the best. ?
Stella and Brandon, The Bickering Couple (La Coppia Litigarella): Um… isn’t that Musa and Riven?
Flora and Helia, The Romantic Couple (La Coppia Romantica): Kinda plain, but it fits.
Tecna and Timmy, The Timid Couple (La Coppia Timida): Sure. This works, too.
Musa and…Orlando, The Impossible Couple (La Coppia Impossibile): Oh, c’mon, Rainbow! ? (Yeah, this was during season seven.)
What about Aisha and Nex? They were “The Tenacious Couple” (La Coppia Tenace), the couple who never gives up. It fits them, but I think I’ll stick with their new title from season eight: “The Power Couple”. We’ve never had a couple like that in Winx Club before.
It might seem weird that I’m saying this since I complained about it several months ago. I said Rainbow needs to inject more romance into their love story. Do I still think so? Yes. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized being a battle couple suits their personalities better.
My question is why didn’t Rainbow think of this for Aisha before? She and Nabu were cute and all, but sappy couples are a dime a dozen. Don’t me get wrong. They’re wonderful to watch, but not all couples are like that. Plus, we already had Flora and Helia (and arguably, Bloom and Sky).
Aisha’s relationship with Nex feels more natural for her than a mushy one. Maybe that’s why it feels like she’s acting like herself this time, as opposed to how out of character she acted with Nabu. That doesn’t mean she and Nex aren’t romantic; they’ve had lots of beautiful moments throughout the series, especially in season eight.
But I think an unconventional girl like her deserves an unconventional relationship. Any couple can be lovey-dovey, but not just any can be a power couple.
This is it. This is the relationship that best fits Aisha’s story and character. It took Rainbow six seasons to figure it out, but I think she’d agree it was worth the wait.