The conclusion of Naruto Shippuden brought many exciting things for the franchise, but perhaps the most memorable was discovering which characters ended up in a relationship. Unfortunately, romantic relationships have consistently been one of Naruto's weakest points, owing to the way the female cast was handled.

For example, Sasuke and Sakura have been widely chastised because there was no real reason for them to be together by the end of the series. After all, for the majority of the show, Sakura's obsessive love and one-sided affection defined their relationship. Despite the series' romantic flaws, one couple stands out as the best-written. Shikamaru and Temari's romance felt much more realistic because their chemistry had been building since the beginning.


The Relationship of Sasuke and Sakura Is Iconic for All the Wrong Reasons

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Despite being Naruto's most iconic couple, Sasuke and Sakura's romance is notoriously unhealthy and unrealistic. For the majority of the series, Sakura's entire life revolved around Sasuke; she even admitted that the majority of her hobbies were centered on him. Sakura stepped over everyone else in her path in order to catch Sasuke's attention. Several times throughout Naruto, Sakura sacrificed her life and personal principles for the sake of Sasuke. Meanwhile, he never spoke to Sakura and didn't seem to care when she was in danger the majority of the time.

Other characters, such as Rock Lee and Naruto, expressed genuine interest in Sakura while she continued to pine for Sasuke. Sakura even dumped her best friend Ino because they both had a crush on Sasuke and she was determined to make him fall in love with her. Throughout Naruto, some of Sakura's most egregious errors stemmed from her blind devotion to a man who rarely paid her any attention or affection. Because Sasuke had shown little interest in Sakura for the majority of Naruto, it didn't make sense for them to end up together at the end of Shippuden. Even after they marry, Sakura devotes the majority of her time and energy to their relationship and is the sole provider for their daughter, Sarada. For the most part, Sasuke is always too busy with his mission to be a true father to Sarada, failing to form a meaningful connection with her.


Temari and Shikamaru's Chemistry was Obvious from Their First Chunin Exam Encounter

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Temari and Shikamaru were always there for each other in Naruto. Despite the fact that they were rivals during the Chunin exams, they grew to respect one another. While Shikamaru approached their fight with his usual slacker attitude, Temari gave it her all and forced Shikamaru to exert himself during their fight. Temari was also important in Shikamaru's overall character development. Shikamaru was always a genius, but he never practiced as a shinobi. Instead, he'd whine about having to work hard and provide sarcastic commentary from the sidelines. During the Chunin exams, his fight against Temari forced him to stop wallowing in his laziness and learn to fight.  Their relationship challenged norms for shonen romance since Temari, the female half of the equation, was never the damsel in distress.

Unlike Sasuke and Sakura, Temari and Shikamaru's relationship was built on mutual respect. Though tensions were high between Konoha and the Sand Village when they met, they put aside their nations' political divide and formed a meaningful companionship. Their relationship seems much more realistic than Sasuke and Sakura's because they can speak to each other on the same level. In fact, their bantering is one of the best parts of their relationship. While Sasuke and Sakura are pushed into a relationship to resolve a storyline, Temari and Shikamaru have a well-written, healthy romance that gradually became more apparent throughout Naruto.