The relationship between Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly is often thought of as one of the most romantic that’s ever been shown on television. Seeing as how The Office focuses on their relationship as one of the main elements of the show, it’s not a surprise that viewers rooted for this couple. The other main relationship that Jim had was with Karen Filippelli. While Jim and Pam were obviously always planned to be together on the show, there are some ways in which Jim and Karen would have been the better match.
Here are the five reasons why Jim should have ended up with Karen and five why Pam was the one for him.
One of the main reasons why Jim and Pam were a bit of a mess for quite some time is because Pam wouldn’t own up to her own feelings and take a risk. She refused to leave a horrible relationship and wouldn't admit she cared about Jim, too. Karen never had any hang-ups like this. She clearly had a crush on Jim and wanted to date him, and she was open and honest about her feelings from the beginning.
While there were many moments that showed Jim and Karen were good together, the fact is that it was hard to notice these moments. This is because Jim was obviously still in love with Pam the entire time. While this might not have been the best thing, it’s clear that he really did love Pam. He definitely had stronger feelings for her, and even if he liked Karen, he couldn’t put aside the fact that his heart wanted Pam.
While this article isn’t meant to put two women against each other as they both have strengths and weaknesses, Karen seemed more matched to Jim in terms of ambition. Karen seemed to have goals to move up in the company with her career in similar ways that Jim did. While this doesn’t make Pam any less than Karen, it is one area where Karen and Jim seem more equally matched. They would likely have pushed each other to meet more of their goals.
Because Pam and Jim had known each other for so long and gotten along so well, they had a lot of shared history. They both worked at Dunder Mifflin for many years, so they had a lot of similar friends and shared situations. They also seemed to get along well as far as their sense of humor is concerned. Jim and Pam had a good foundation of life experiences and shared interests that can help carry a relationship a long way.
In some ways, the relationship on The Office between Pam and Jim seemed a bit unequal and even codependent. Since they also worked together and seemed to have all of the same acquaintances, there wasn’t a lot of balance in their lives. This seemed especially true for Pam who seemed to fit herself into what Jim wanted for his life a lot of the time. Karen, on the other hand, clearly had other goals and friendships completely unrelated to her relationship with Jim which seems a lot healthier.
When dating someone who you want to spend your life with, making sure you’re on the same page about major life goals is important. While career-wise Karen and Jim might have been a better match, it seems like Jim and Pam wanted the same things as far as family is concerned.
They both clearly wanted a more settled family life with kids and a house, and in this way, they were very well-matched.
Pam often struggled with her own self-esteem and self-confidence. Because of this, she often didn’t stick up for herself, and she had to learn how to do so. Karen was more secure in herself and what she wanted. While Jim didn’t really steamroller Pam by any means, he did sometimes make decisions without her input. Karen seems like someone who wouldn’t have put up with this as much and would have reminded Jim to respect her more than that.
While there are many things that make two people compatible or not, your feelings for someone also go a long way. Two people can seem like they are perfect for each other on paper, but if they aren’t in love, this might not really matter.
The fact is that Jim and Pam both loved each other. They were close friends, and, as time went on, they grew to love each other more and more in a romantic way.
In many ways, Pam often seemed to just go along with what Jim wanted. While she did have moments where she got upset with him, especially in the final season when he tried to plan a new life for them, it’s clear Jim kind of thought he could just get his way. With Karen, she likely would have challenged him a lot more. She would have insisted to be on a more equal footing and likely would have pushed him to be better. In many ways, he probably could have done the same for her.
One great way to ensure you have a healthy and long-lasting relationship is to make sure that you're close friends, too. Jim and Pam were good friends before they started dating. While they might have had some feelings for each other during this time, they interacted as close friends. This allowed them to get to know each other and make a lot of good memories. They knew how to have fun with each other.