So I didn't answer the original question. Time to rectify that.
If Gus got engaged to someone other than Felicity, I think it would depend a lot on how said engagement were written, and what the fiancée was like (was she likeable, were she and Gus compatible, that sort of thing), for it to be even remotely palatable; and even then, there would still be fans in a tizzy because -- to them -- Gus should be with no one but Felicity, and vice versa. I think a big reason why so many of us were not fans of Stuart -- aside from him being a virtual outsider, being portrayed by the same actor who played Harmon Andrews in the first season, the age difference between both actors and
characters (even though an older man marrying a much-younger woman was true to the period), etc. -- was because of his personality ("What about me
?" / "If you were any kind of gentleman, you'd leave."), especially in regards to Felicity's connection to Gus.
I also agree it would have to be a long-term storyline; this is something that can't be resolved well in one episode.
Miss Lewis wrote:Maybe I should say I see it as the Avonlea Fairy tale ending. The plotline goes like this. Boy meets girl. Falls in love with her, always loves her—no matter what. Girl dislikes him at first but in the end realizes that the boy is what she always wanted. This pattern can be seen in Anne of Green Gables between Anne and Gilbert and in the Gus and Felicity relationship.
I think, in an indirect way, you've nailed why I prefer Anne and Gil's storyline and relationship over Gus and Felicity's. The way Anne and Gil's relationship was developed -- both on-screen and in the books -- was brilliant. When I first saw RTA, I was never really captivated or drawn into the Gus/Felicity saga that much -- partly because I prefered Felix and Izzy's relationship (still do), but I think in hindsight it was also because it was already done with Anne and Gil...and (IMO) beautifully so.
I think I can expand on the Avonlea Fairy Tale storyline...
1) Girl and boy meet under very embarrassing circumstances.
-- Anne & Gil = He calls her "carrots", pulls her hair, she retaliates by breaking a slate over his head and is promptly punished for it by Mr. Phillips. Even after apologizing, she won't forgive him. Not for a long while, anyway.
-- Gus & Felicity = She's chasing Felix around the yard, wanting her diary back, whilst her fake breasts are slipping out of her dress (and her bun is falling apart). Felix sees Gus working with Alec, and introduces Gus to Felicity ("Meet my sister, or, should I say, "my peerless flower", Felicity.").
2) He always loves her, no matter what.
(Pretty self-explanatory either way.)
3) She dislikes him, at first.
-- Anne & Gil = She took forever (it seemed) to forgive him for the "Carrots" incident. But even after she did so, Gil was still not her romantic ideal, only a friend.
-- Gus & Felicity = Even though they did become friends... "I intend to set my sights higher than a dirt-covered boy who lives in an old lighthouse!" proclaimed Felicity.
4) She finds her romantic ideal in someone else.
-- Anne & Gil = She meets Roy Gardiner (books)/Morgan Harris (movies).
-- Gus & Felicity = She meets Arthur Pettibone and enjoys having two men "fight" for her affection, akin to her mum having five beaux (including Alec) swooning over her. While Gus is presumed dead, she meets Stuart McRae and (IMO, reluctantly) accept his ring.
5) Something happens to boy as a start to getting her to "see the light".
-- Anne & Gil = Gil becomes engaged to Christine Stuart. Ultimately, she ends up rejecting Morgan. (movies).
-- Gus & Felicity = Gus and Arthur have a fight. Felicity turns Arthur down, as Gus is willing to court her properly et al (even though she turned down his proposal, she was willing to give courtship a go). Later, Gus goes back out to sea (twice). Both times, she accepts his ring. When the Maid of Calais goes down, and Gus is presumed dead, she goes into major mourning.
6) Something traumatic happens to really drive the point home that boy is, and was, the only one for girl from the start.
-- Anne & Gil = He becomes ill with scarlet fever. She becomes concerned that the worst will happen and he'll never know how much she cared for him. (movies)
-- Gus & Felicity = Where do I start?
7) Boy and Girl tie the knot.