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Initially, Howard was trying to impress the lovely doctor, Stephanie. But it soon became obvious that Stephanie was way into Leonard. But let’s be honest here, Leonard is much dreamier than Howard. When you look at it on paper and ignore the fact that Penny is obviously meant to be end game for Leonard, Stephanie and Leonard could have worked. She was really into him and she was the only girlfriend of Leonard’s that Sheldon approved of (at the time). So what went wrong? A mistake that many couples make, they rushed into it. So, at least the storyline was relatable. Were you a Stephanie fan? Should she have ended up with Leonard instead of Penny? Let’s look at their, honestly, short history. You can draw your own conclusions.
In the episode, “The Lizard-Spock Expansion,” Leonard is able to meet Stephanie because he and the rest of the boys were called by Howard to help with the Mars Rover incident. Howard introduces them to Stephanie, as Howard is trying to woo her. Once the two of them are out of Howard’s line of vision, Stephanie passionately makes out with Leonard. Later, Leonard meets Stephanie again and the two end up sleeping together. Leonard tries to tell Howard, but Stephanie managed to get to him first. This makes Howard angry at both of them, but he eventually forgives them when Stephanie sets him up with her roommate, Lisa.
In “The White Asparagus Triangulation,” Sheldon comes to the conclusion that Stephanie is an important part of their social group. He is pleased by this and inserts himself into their relationship as a third wheel. At the time of the episode, she is the only girlfriend of Leonard’s that he ever approved of especially since she is a doctor and is able to check his hypochondriac symptoms. Sheldon is eventually able to get Stephanie to change her Facebook relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship with Leonard Hofstadter.”
Stephanie’s final appearance is in the episode, “The Vartabedian Conundrum.” Leonard realizes that he and Stephanie are virtually living together after Penny points out that all of her stuff is in his bedroom and his Bat Signal is missing. Seriously, who trashes the Bat Signal? Leonard feels they have been moving too fast and tries to slow things down, but always fails to express it because she always cries, and then they have sex. Manipulation, much? Leonard ultimately asks her to move out via text.
Looking back at the history, I can see some issues. I still think it could have worked if they had chosen to really give it a genuine commitment. But really it was treated as more of a hook up. The pros are that Stephanie honestly seemed to like Leonard and she wanted to be with him. Sheldon approved of her. Though, this could be both a pro and con. Sheldon inserting himself into the relationship could drive anyone away. However, the two were also both very intelligent.
Stephanie was very manipulative though. The crying and sex was obviously a ploy to keep Leonard. If they could have both cut the crap, Leonard should have talked to her about a relationship while living separately, they could have had a relationship for a while at least. Who knows? She could have been major competition for Penny.