So long ago I figured that the reason Amy likes Dan so much is he seems to be the only person (romantic or otherwise) that actually likes and even encourages some of her, lets call them less desirable traits. But what do you think draws Dan to Amy? I mean obviously she is beautiful and smart and a maverick in politics (if underappreciated) but Dan must come across women who are smart and beautiful all the time. So why Amy? I just love your thoughts!
Short answer: because she likes him.
Obviously, it’s more complicated than that.
Because, you’re right, Dan must have met many, many women who are smart and beautiful and ambitious and ruthless and whatever other qualities he’s attracted to. (Physically, I don’t think he’s picky, to be honest, but in terms of personality, I think he would lean towards women who are, shall we say, feisty).
But it isn’t just that. Because if ruthlessness or relentless ambition was all that attracted Dan, he would be attached to someone like Shawnee Tanz or Selina, and he isn’t.
As much as I’ve joked about it, I think it’s very telling that Reid Scott keeps describing Amy as “sweet,” and I think that lies at the heart of what really attracts him to her.
Because she is tough as nails, she is politically brilliant (notice she was right about pretty much everything in 7.01), and if Dan smiles at her the right way, she turns to jelly. To everyone else in the world she seems hard as nails (and mostly she is), but Dan alone (as far as he’s concerned) is able to make her…girlish and vulnerable and, yes, sweet.
If she wasn’t so damn tough, her vulnerability wouldn’t be such a turn-on for him – but she is. To be quite honest, I think he got a taste of it when they dated, and he’s been basically hooked ever since – it’s quite obvious, even in 1.01, that he finds her cute, and I don’t think that’s ever really changed. It’s noteworthy I think that most of the low-level aggression in their relationship comes from Amy, not from him.
Don’t get me wrong, he clearly does his best to get her riled up and irritated with him, but the vast majority of the time the root of that seems to be a desire to get her attention, to have her focused on him. It’s too playful to spring from genuine anger. (Though, because he’s a slow learner at the best of times – and someone who has to learn everything the hard way – he still hasn’t grasped that the best way to get the attention he craves is to be nice to her).