Last night it occurred to me just before I fell asleep that Neelix actually reminds me of an almost-boyfriend I had once. I also had a dream last night that Farrah Fawcett was asking my advice about the shot for her poster (that
poster) but I don't think these things are related.
The almost-boyfriend had the same sweetness, pedestal tendencies, blurring of lines between stalker and protector, genial warm heartedness and can-do practicality. He even looked like Neelix. If I didn't have a fondness for the almost-boyfriend that never quite left me I might actually hate Neelix because of the too similar negatives in their characters.
While Neelix did seem to grow up some in later seasons he was also without the trigger for his emotional immaturity, a woman. He does get in a pout about Naomi at one point. I suspect this all reared it's ugly head again when he hooked up with the asteroid boy's mom. She's hardly the "naive sheltered young woman" he described Kes as and she's probably not going to need him as much as he wants to be needed.