Two of the most serious romantic relationships in Leonard’s life on The Big Bang Theory were with Priya and Penny. On one hand, Leonard had been in love with Penny since he saw her unpacking boxes in her apartment. On the other hand, his connection with Priya was off-the-charts and couldn’t be denied either.
As TBBT fans know, Leonard ended up marrying Penny. However, some fans couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if Leonard and Priya had worked out. Both women were completely different in every way and offered Leonard different positives in a relationship. But did the writers make the right choice by going down the path they did?
Penny Got Along With Sheldon
Whether Leonard admitted it or not, Sheldon was a huge priority in his life and whoever he dated had to get along with him. If a potential girlfriend didn’t get along with Sheldon, Leonard’s life would become complicated. Luckily for him, Penny loved Sheldon, and Sheldon loved Penny. The three were able to live together with mutual respect for each other.
When Leonard dated Priya, Sheldon loathed Priya. What’s worse is that Leonard didn’t even try to bring the two together. A divide in the group soon began (especially with Priya being Raj’s sister).
Priya & Leonard Had Similar Interests
Priya and Leonard weren’t just attracted to each other physically, it was emotional too. The two had multiple things in common and agreed on most topics. From literature, history, culture, and philosophy, the two always managed to find something to talk about.
They learned from each other, which helped to strengthen the bond between them. Penny and Leonard learned from each other as well, but their relationship is based more on friendship and their physical connection.
Penny & Leonard Were Always Going To Long For Each Other
When Priya and Leonard became serious, Penny realized what she gave up. She was going to compare every potential boyfriend to the one that got away. Leonard felt similarly whenever Penny dated someone else.
When Priya asked Leonard to end his friendship with Penny, he couldn’t do it. He loved Penny and wasn’t ready for their complicated bond to end. Even if Leonard and Priya got engaged, it’s safe to say they would have broken up once he noticed that Penny still had feelings for him.
Priya Had The Education & Career That Leonard Always Wanted For Penny
As soon as Leonard and Penny started dating, she worried that their differences were going to break them up as soon as they started. Her fears came to life when Leonard suggested she got a college degree. She was happy with her life choices at this time and didn’t appreciate Leonard’s expectations (and rightfully so).
However, if intelligence was an important factor for Leonard, then it was likely that his relationship with Priya would have been more successful. Priya had the ability to practice law in three countries. She also worked for an incredible firm in India and traveled the world for work. It was an impressive resume.
Penny & Leonard Were Proof That Opposites Attract
Penny grew up on a farm in Nebraska and never graduated from college. She was also just starting out as an actor (which never really came to fruition). Contrastingly, Leonard grew up in a high-achieving family, attended an Ivy League university, and had an amazing job at Caltech.
Looking at them, they didn’t have one thing in common. In fact, they didn’t always understand each other when they spoke about their chosen passions. But at the end of the day, these two couldn’t stay away from each other. They were proof that opposites attract.
Priya Would Have Fit In With His Family
Everyone in Leonard’s family is accomplished to some degree. His mother was a renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist, his dad was an anthropologist, his sister was a medical researcher, and his brother was a law professor at Harvard. Leonard joined the family’s success by becoming an experimental physicist. With Priya being an international lawyer, she would have fit right in with this famously brilliant family.
Penny And Leonard Would Have Called Pasadena Home
Priya has always told Leonard that her time in California was short. She worked in India, traveled often, and couldn’t see herself in California for multiple reasons. Leonard told her he would move to India with her but he didn’t think that through. His bond to Sheldon, Howard, and Raj was far too great.
Moving from his friends would have been a harder reality than he could have imagined. By ending up with Penny, his life wouldn’t have changed. He would keep his job, friends, and the life they all created.
Priya & Leonard Would Always Have Raj
If Leonard moved to India with Priya, he would still keep his friendship with the gang because of Raj. With Raj being Priya’s brother, they were always going to be in each other’s lives.
As potential brothers-in-law, this would have made Raj and Leonard closer. Instead of only having Howard to turn to, Raj would have had Leonard to turn to when Howard and Bernadette’s relationship became more serious.
Penny Vs. Priya (Reaction To Leonard’s “Geeky” Side)
Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj are all self-described nerds and geeks. They love comics, sci-fi TV shows and movies, games, etc. For them, going home and vegging out with board games and comic books was a fun way to reunite and unwind after work.
In the beginning, Penny judged their passions and thought that they should grow up. This profoundly upset Leonard, which led to Penny apologizing and accepting the group’s love of comics. Priya also hated Leonard’s love of fandoms but never came around to accepting it as Penny did. She tried changing Leonard’s clothes and habits after work; it was hard for Leonard to be seen as not “cool” enough.
Priya Could Have Helped Leonard Career-Wise
Priya wasn’t just educated. She was driven, serious, and had a good head on her shoulders. She didn’t have time to deal with nonsensical things like Leonard’s interests. She wanted them to grow together as a couple.
If they lasted, they could have been built an empire together. Leonard loved his job but didn’t have the same success as Howard, Raj, and Sheldon did. With Priya by his side, who’s to say what he could have accomplished career-wise. Her success and skill would have inspired Leonard to do the same.