Superheroes don't need love interests. But if you're a superhero on a CW show—the network well-known for teen dramas—chances are good that you'll have one (or more) at some point. Oliver had Felicity, Barry has Iris, Mick has his beer. Kara Danvers has had more than one, but none of them have stuck…yet.
But this fact begs the question: Do any of them need to?
When Kara first joined CatCo as Cat Grant's personal assistant, she was immediately smitten with then CatCo Art Director James Olsen. (I can't blame her!) Although it wasn't an easy road to anything more than friends, and James' relationship with Lucy Lane nearly ended their chances before they began, James and Kara were good together...until they weren't. The end of their relationship was hard, but their very adult decision to remain friends and teammates after the dissolution proved to be an extremely smart one, too. (Not to get sidetracked, but I've really missed James this season.)
Kara's second major love interest was Mon-El, former prince of Daxam, who experienced something similar to Kara's travels from Krypton to Earth. At first, the two hated each other, an emotion that stemmed from their people's hatred of each other, but they eventually learned to work together and their feelings blossomed into something more. Kara helped Mon-El realize that he was more than just a pretty playboy and helped him figure out all the nuances of living on Earth. Most important, she led him to discovering that he could be a hero if he put his mind to it. She taught him the value of being good and true and helping those in need without expecting anything as thanks. In return, Mon-El helped Kara realize that she was worthy of having it all: career, love and the ability to save the world.
Mon-El's eventual exile from Earth was one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in all of Supergirl. And when he returned—a married man—it was terribly hard to watch Kara's heart get broken all over again. Although Mon-El comes to realize that he'll never love another as he loves her (and maybe vice-versa?), he leaves yet again, but with the best of intentions—all thanks to Kara's early guidance in leading him toward being the heroic man she knew he could be. (I don't know if this is clear, but Mon-El's by far my favorite of Kara's guys, even if their early relationship and the secrets he kept from her weren't exactly non-problematic. He learned! And listened! And loved!)
Kara also had brief romances with Adam Foster, Cat Grant's son who Kara goes on a date with after playing mediator between him and his mother. And also Mr. Mxyzptlk, a fifth-dimensional being whose arrival in National City to woo Kara had somewhat unintentional consequences. Neither infatuation lasted very long—thankfully, in the case of the latter. Truth be told, I wouldn't have minded seeing more from Kara and Mxy, as I am a huge fan of the enemies-to-lover trope. But his reappearance and new appearance in Supergirl’s just-wrapped season had a completely different vibe.
Most recently, there’s CatCo’s award-winning reporter/investigative journalist William Dey. It was a bit obvious from the start that he was being set up as a love interest—yes, even when he was being painted as a possible villain or rival—but things haven't progressed much further than William’s expression of interest and a bit of excited/nervous butterflies about the possibility on Kara's part. Kara's been through a lot in a short amount of time, however, so I can't write him off completely yet. Do I want them to go there? At this point, after five seasons, I'm actually not so sure.
Kara's been through times both good and bad with the love interests in her life. Her relationships have been part of her character's growth, and being in those relationships has helped her see that she can do it all on her own (or, more accurately, with the help of a strong group of talented friends). Whomever Kara ends up with—or doesn't—it's clear to see that she doesn't need a love interest to be the hero that National City needs. Supergirl's definitely no damsel in distress.
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW. Visit our official Supergirl page for more news, announcements and articles about National City's Girl of Steel.
Mandy Curtis writes about comics, specifically DC’s Young Adult line, and TV for DCComics.com. You can find her on Twitter at @mandyannecurtis.