Eleanor, Fabiola, and Devi in 'Never Have I Ever'

‘Never Have I Ever’…Loved Two Different Men: 3 Reasons Devi Belongs With Paxton and 3 Reasons She Belongs With Ben

‘Never Have I Ever’ presents Devi with two primary love interests: Ben and Paxton.  The two couldn’t be more different, and they bring polar attributes to the table. Who’s better for Devi?

Devi boasts quite the whirlwind romantic journey in Never Have I Ever. Though she has a brief, adrenaline-boosting fling with resident bad boy Ethan in season 4, her primary love interests are Paxton and Ben. The two boys couldn’t be more different. One is laid back (maybe a bit too much) and confident. The other is anxious and ambitious to a fault. One is a smooth-talking heartthrob with far too much swagger for a high schooler. The other is a tryhard who cares deeply, yet buries his true sentiments under quippy remarks and competitive impulses. 

At the end of the day, Paxton and Ben both possess qualities that work for Devi, and it’s easy to imagine a relationship between her and either boy. The relationships would merely look drastically different. So, here are three reasons Devi belongs with Paxton and three reasons she belongs with Ben. You decide which qualities suit our primary protagonist better. Did she choose correctly? 

Spoiler warning for Season 4 of Never Have I Ever

If you have already binged Never Have I Ever in its entirety, then you’re well aware that Devi and Ben decide to give dating a shot in the series finale. He’ll visit her at Princeton, and she will visit him at Columbia. New Jersey and New York aren’t too far, so this is sustainable (theoretically). (We’ll suspend our disbelief regarding the rates of success for high school romances continuing into college.) Yet, viewers have taken to the internet to express their feelings regarding Benvi, and the responses are mixed. So, let’s break down each character’s strongest attributes when it comes to being a match for Devi. 

Paxton is the tranquility to Devi’s turbulence 

Devi’s emotions are all over the place. At one moment, she’s stressed about school and her social life. In the next, she’s pining over the hottest guy in town. Later, she’s spewing insults without hesitance. And then, regretting her decisions — paralyzed by her own tempestuous doings. It goes without saying that a calm, consistent, and grounded presence in life would do Devi good. Paxton is serene. He’s level-headed. He speaks slowly and sternly. He never babbles. He says what he means, and the words seem to fall from his lips like butter. If anyone needs such a soothing presence— to remind her of what matters and what is trivial — it is Devi.

Devi and Paxton Never Have I Ever
Devi and Paxton in ‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 3 | Netflix

Ben and Devi’s personalities are more similar

While Paxton and Devi are more of an opposites-attract situation, Devi and Ben are more birds of a feather flock together. And, at the end day, studies show that having commonalities is a significant predictor of relationship success. They are both ambitious and competitive. They understand the importance of academic success and the need to give school their all to attain the lifestyles they desire. When it comes to connecting — communicating such feelings without the need to say a single word — Ben and Devi are a strong match. They’re both high-strung. They’re both quick-talking, fast-thinking, analytical thinkers who can fall into mental traps of their own creation. And, it’s nice to be with someone who simply “gets it.”

Paxton’s emotional intelligence is arguably superior to Ben’s 

Though Paxton may not be as academic as Devi and Ben, his emotional intelligence is quite high for a teenager. Throughout the series, he is able to listen to Devi. He is a shoulder to cry on, as well as a source of advice. When his presence is crucial, he’s not only there, he’s instrumental. He operates from a different wavelength than Ben and Devi, meaning he can present alternative routes that the two overthinkers would bypass during their mental gymnastics. 

On the other hand, Ben seems to heighten Devi’s anxiety. They bicker all the time (as if they’ve been married for decades). They easily anger one another, and they often wind up in avoidable situations as a result of miscommunication and festering competitiveness. They’re so similar in how they confront challenges and awkward tension that it can be destructive. 

Ben and Devi boast intellectual compatibility (and overlapping collegiate futures)

While Paxton has a higher EQ than Ben, Ben and Devi’s IQs are more aligned. And, Devi’s intellectual nature is a major part of her identity. She is an academic. She is a proud nerd. And so is Ben. Naturally, as time goes on, their conversational topics of interest are going to overlap more often. 

Devi and Ben in 'Never Have I Ever'
Devi and Ben in ‘Never Have I Ever’ | Netflix

Not to mention, once at their respective elite institutions, they are going to tread through very similar obstacles. From realizing they’re no longer big fishes in a small sea to coming to terms with coursework that is harder than they’ve grown accustomed to, they will be able to support one another via mutual strife.

Paxton has been Devi’s dream boy since the start 

For the sake of wish fulfillment, seeing Devi and Paxton together at the end would be a strong way to prove that Devi finally accepts herself as worthy of Paxton’s affection. Earlier in the series, she felt she didn’t bring enough to the table to deserve Paxton’s interest. By the series finale, she has come into her own. She is becoming a more confident woman who owns her intelligence, beauty, sense of humor, and emotional maturity. Their relationship would have finally stood a chance. 

Darren Barnet as Paxton and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi in 'Never Have I Ever'
Darren Barnet as Paxton and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi in ‘Never Have I Ever’ | Netflix


Ben represents Devi relinquishing her fantasy in favor of her truth 

A great deal of Never Have I Ever focuses on Devi growing up. She matures. She learns to see the importance of family. She fights with her mom a whole lot less as the series progresses. She learns that having the “perfect boyfriend” — the one all those around you will envy — is not the secret to happiness. Paxton, no matter how wonderful he may be, will always represent an unfinished Devi.

Ben and Devi Season 4 'Never Have I Ever'
Ben and Devi in Season 4 of ‘Never Have I Ever’ | Netflix

Paxton is the adolescent fantasy. He’s the hotty with a body. And, yes, he’s so much more than that. However, Ben is not the school heartthrob. He’s not the boy you date to make everyone jealous. He’s not the one with girls fawning over him. He’s simply the one for Devi (or so Never Have I Ever yearns to argue in its closing moments). Choosing Ben is not only about which boy is better for Devi but also about Devi’s growth on an individual level.

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.