'Criminal Minds' Discussion: Romance and the BAU - Can it Work?
'Criminal Minds' Discussion: Romance and the BAU - Can it Work?
There are a lot of great perks that come with a job at the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. You get to take down the bad guys, work with some of the most talented people in the bureau and do the kind of work very few people are capable of. But there are also some downsides to joining the BAU and one of them is the impact the job has on your personal relationships - or, more specifically, your love life.

The Job Takes a Personal Toll: Hotch and J.J.
The audience watched as the marriage between Aaron (Thomas Gibson) and Haley Hotchner fell apart, due in large part to Hotch's dedication to his job. We saw first-hand the strain it put on their marriage and how Haley's decision to leave Hotch came when he had the chance to take another, less time-consuming position at the bureau and he turned it down to stay with his team.

We have recently seen J.J. (A.J. Cook) and her partner go through similar troubles. When J.J. returned to the BAU and became a full-time profiler in season 7 and Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) asked her how Will was dealing with her long hours, J.J. simply said it was a long story, implying there were struggles on the home front. We saw evidence of that in the season 7 episode "There's No Place Like Home," when Will became upset that J.J. had to leave their ailing son to head out with the rest of the team for their latest case. Though the two seemingly worked things out, the audience was left wondering if J.J.'s relationship would eventually go the way of Hotch's failed marriage.

The Rest of the BAU
On the other hand, Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) lucked out when she fell for Kevin Lynch, another technical analyst with the FBI, who was able to understand the grueling hours and complications that came with Garcia's job. But what if their relationship ended? Would Garcia be fortunate enough to find another understanding partner who could respect her commitment to such a challenging job? And what about the rest of the team? We know David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) has three failed marriages under his belt, though it appears that his first marriage may have ended for reasons other than his demanding career. We have never seen Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), or Prentiss in any long-term relationships during their time with the unit.

Looking to the Future
What does this collective lukewarm history mean for the future of Hotch's relationship with the lovely Beth? So far, Beth has been very understanding about Hotch's unpredictable schedule, but if the two become closer, will Beth begin to have the same concerns about Hotch's job that Haley once had or will she accept the sacrifices that come with Hotch's job? Is it really impossible for any of these agents to have successful long-term relationships? What do you all think?

Megan Cole
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)