Stella broke Ted’s heart when she left him at the altar, but fans could have told him from the start that it wasn’t going to work.
She Told Him Upfront She Had No Time
Clearly the biggest warning sign was that she repeatedly turned him down from the start. Initially, it was for a legitimate reason: legally, she could not date a patient. It was played as cute at the time, but really, if Stella and Ted were meant to be, she would have made a point of finding time, not repeatedly telling him she didn’t have any.
The New Jersey Problem
Ted may have eventually wanted a house in the suburbs, but when they met, he was still loving city life. Add in the fact that she refused to move to the city for him, but moved there for Tony, it was clear that this was too big a divide to really cross.
Ted Would Struggle With The Step-Dad Dynamic
Ted makes it painfully obvious from the start of the show that he wants to find a woman, fall in love, get married, and have kids. However, Stella doesn’t really fit with this: she already has a house and a daughter, and this is a relationship that involves Ted joining her established life and family, not the two of them building a new life together from the ground up. For a lot of people, this would be perfectly fine, but Ted was always going to struggle with it.
Stella Didn’t Fit With Ted’s Friends
Especially with a friend group as close as the HIMYM gang, it’s incredibly important that a romantic partner fit in – in the show, Lily even calls it the ‘front porch test’. And Stella simply didn’t fit in. They were even going to stage an intervention for Ted over Stella, which shows just how much they didn’t think it would work.
Stella Was Reluctant From The Start…
She didn’t want him to stay over, or to meet her daughter – and while holding back for a while makes some sense, especially when kids are involved, this was clearly more than that. She just wasn’t all in with Ted.
… And Ted Was Moving Way Too Fast
While Stella wanted to take things slow, Ted was already convinced he had found ‘the one’ and was moving at high speed. He proposed at a point where he still barely knew her! Moving fast might not always be a problem, but this felt entirely like it was driven by Ted’s desperation to be with someone (anyone), not like it was because Ted was truly in love with Stella.
They Have Totally Different Interests
At one point, it comes to light that Stella has never seen Star Wars, and when she does, she hates it. She pretends that she likes it, for Ted, and this is played up as a sweet moment – but in essence, it was still her lying to her partner because they just didn’t have the same passions.
Stella Always Looked Down On Ted
Maybe it’s because they met when Ted came in to have a butterfly ‘tramp stamp’ removed, or that he was struggling in his career while she was a successful doctor and deputy mayor of her area, but she always seemed to pity him a little bit. In the end, when her perspective shone through with ‘The Wedding Bride’, it became even clearer: Stella always looked down on him.
She Wasn’t Over Tony…
Stella’s unresolved feelings may only have become clear in the lead-up to the wedding, but they were always there. And when the right person showed up, she was suddenly willing to find time, take big leaps without waiting, and move to the city… all the things she wouldn’t do for Ted.
…And He Wasn’t Over Robin
In some ways, Stella was a rebound – and in typical Ted style, he was so desperate to be in love he managed to pretend that Stella was ‘the one’. Clearly, this should have been a shorter, less intense fling for both of them, and all the signs were there.