The Dark Knight Rises is finally here, so of course I have Batman on the brain. And with Batman juggling two potential love interests in this movie (Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman and whoever Marion Cotillard is playing), it dawned on me that Bruce Wayne/Batman is one of cinema’s most perpetual bachelors.
Seven movies, multiple TV shows and thousands of comics to his name, and what does Batman have to show for it in the love department? Sure, he gets his share of action (Vicki Vale, Catwoman) and he has a son from Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul. But he’s ever had a relationship that lasted longer than a few comic book issues or the running time of the movie. Across seven movies, Batman/Bruce has had SIX love interests. (Remember Nicole Kidman’s Dr. Chase Meridan from Batman Forever? Nope? Neither does Kidman.) Six love interests?? That’s some James Bond-ian levels of love ’em and leave ’em. (Or, in Rachel Dawes’ case, love ’em and then accidentally leave ’em to die in a warehouse explosion after being tricked by The Joker.)
Spider-Man, Superman, Green Lantern….they’re all married or have been married at one point or another. While he’s single now, Spider-Man stayed with Mary Jane for over two decades. Heck, even The Punisher had a wife and family at one point. But Batman remains a loner. No wonder women love him and men want to be him — he’s James Bond without the drinking problem and air of dated sexism. Also, the people he’s closest too are all men (Alfred, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, Lucius Fox). Is it any wonder there have been more rumors about his sexuality over the years than there have been about Tom Cruise?
In many ways, Bruce Wayne is the ultimate stunted man child. He never moved past his parents death. If all of a sudden he went to therapy and got past his youthful trauma, there would be no Batman. All of the women in Bruce’s life — from Vicki Vale to whoever Elle MacPherson played in Batman & Robin to Rachel Dawes in the Christopher Nolan movies — have seen him as the ultimate fixer-upper and tried to change him. And every time, they’ve failed. Women will always lose out to his quest. You may go home with Batman or Bruce Wayne, but he won’t be cuddling you the next morning. (The most you’ll get is Alfred showing you the door as you pick up your shirt and bra off the marble floors of stately Wayne Manor.) You will always be second to his quest; always second to his love for justice and Gotham City.
Is it any wonder than men love Batman? Particularly those who are afraid to be tied down. Just like Batman puts crimefighting ahead of committed relationships, the guy with a fear of commitment can hide behind his career as an excuse for why he hasn’t settled down. As much as I like Batman solo (never been a huge Robin fan), I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if he followed Peter Parker and Clark Kent’s marital lead and got hitched in the comics. Would he give up his life of crimetfighting? Or would he balance his passion (busting criminal heads) with his lovelife? Forget Nolan’s movies — imagine if comic book writers told the story of a married Batman who finally accepted adult responsibility and was able to truly let someone into his life. Now that would be edgy.
Alex Wise is a dating consultant and blog contributor for Loveawake dating site. He has been covering online dating, relationships, online and marriage niche since 2008. He loves sharing meaningful content that educates and inspires people to bring their dreams into reality.