I don't want to spoil your fun -- and I don't really think I will, since most of those participating in this thread seem to at least halfway agree with me about the...well, let's say, the complexities
of a J/C romance in the Delta Quadrant. But this is something that's really bothered me for a while (ever since Voyager first started, actually), and I've always buttoned my lip. Always. So I hope you don't mind if I unbutton to you all -- I realize I'm probably not going to tell you anything you don't already know, but bear with me, OK? This isn't directed at anybody in particular, and not even to anybody here, as far as I know, but really at all those swooning J/Cers (and you know they're out there, right?) who simply cannot imagine anything more wonderful and romantic than C sweeping J off her feet right there on the bridge and living happily ever after in the DQ, OK? Thanks.
When people speculate about J/C in the Delta Quadrant, I can't help but imagine how I'd feel if I were a member of that crew. And it would be, for most crew members (anybody except maybe those looking for surrogate parents), simply awful. If you've ever been around a work environment in which the boss is romantically involved with a subordinant, you know what I mean. And even if you haven't, you can still probably imagine how weird and uncomfortable it is.
I know, I know -- it's fiction. But if fiction is to have any value, it has to be based on real human values and behavior. And out here in the real world, if a superior and a subordinant get romantically involved, one of them has to go elsewhere because otherwise the workplace becomes unbearable for everybody else. You can't do that if you're stranded in wrong sector of the galaxy.
I think that when the Trek PTB decided to dispense with rules against fraternization (which they apparently did: I remember at least one specific reference to this in TNG -- that time Picard got involved with whatshername, the redhead who wasn't Dr. Crusher), they did so for one reason only. That is that if they followed the commonsense rules that us humans have to follow out here in the real world on real ships or in other real work environments, it would limit their potential plots too much.
Trek isn't alone in this, of course -- it happens in TV/Movie World all the time -- but it really bugs me every time. [ sarcasm ] God forbid that a fussy little rule that all decent, ethical people at least try to follow here in Reality Land bars Riker or Picard or Kirk or Troi (or any of a thousand other TV characters that have done this sort of thing) from engaging in a romance that happens to fit into a particular episode. We can't have ethics get in the way of our plot, now can we? [ / sarcasm ]
OK, I'm done. Really! You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.