Why is it, that when people write a ship, they like to pretend that the characters previous relationships were meaningless?
I'm not singling out any ship in regards to this. In fact, I've seen it in just about any ship I've ever read. For some reason, it really really bugs me.
Yes I'm a B/S shipper, have been since s5 of Buffy, but... and this is a big but, I hate to pretend that Buffy never loved Angel. Sure it might have been a childhood love. But in her eyes, it was still love. To make it otherwise would demean Buffy and I like to think she's better than that. In the same manner, I won't ignore Spike/Drusilla, even though I've never gotten any real kind of fondness for Dru, nor the Spike/Dru relationship. Not for Dru's sake, but for Spike's.
When I write Spike, I write him as someone who loves, totally, utterly, completely. Possibly to a point of obsession, but never halfheartedly. Once he falls in love, he's there all the way, for the duration, till the other person kicks him out. He might move on. But those feelings are still there.
So even though in my fics, he might be with Buffy (or Angel), he'd still love Dru (and Buffy). Not in the same way, but still love. Because that's who Spike is. To do any less would be an insult to Spike.
And it's not just because these two are my fave chars. I might not like Willow, but if I wrote a fic where Tara's moving on, part of her would still love Willow, because she did. (no matter how much Willow hurt her) If I wrote a fic with Angel and say... Cordy (or Wes or even Spike), he'd still have those lingering feelings for Buffy, no matter that B/A is probably the ship I hate most on any show. (even more than Willow/Kennedy, so that should be saying something)
Remember, the way a character talks about a previous relationship shines over on the new relationship.
If Spike acts as if he's never loved before he met Buffy, Angel, Xander, Wes, Gunn, Giles, ... whomever you want to put him with, even if it's some random oc.. then the only one diminished by this is Spike and the current relationship he's in. Because what is his love worth, if it's this easily ignored in favor of a new romance.
Please guys, when your char mentions a previous relationship. Keep in mind how they treated that char onscreen, and don't make them liars, unless the series did. Cause in the end... the only one hurt will be the char you claim to love.