I got this ask which is great but my answer was quite long and I don’t think you can put a read-more into an ask? So I’m posting as text.
HMMM. That’s kind of interesting because I haven’t seen people compare those two explicitly. I’ve seen Amy and Reinette comparisons, but not Amy and Rose.
I think honestly what I would say is that both these instances, as well as Reinette and Rory and River, come out of the very romanticized view Steven Moffat seems to have for waiting. I slam Moffat a lot, I know, but I don’t even mean that as a slam so much as a very basic statement of fact. Based on his writing, anyway, and the way he deals with waiting in Reinette’s story, Amy’s, Rory’s and indeed briefly Rose’s, I’d say he thinks waiting for someone out of loyalty and love is one of the best things you can do, and one of the biggest demonstrations of love and faith. So, in that sense, I would say that Amy and Rose’s waiting are both coming from the same place — they wait for the Doctor in faith that he will return for them and save them, even when it seems impossible.
Personally, though, I find this constant romanticizing of “waiting” to be problematic, especially since in 3 of the 4 cases (4 of the 5 if we count River as “waiting”, but that’s debatable), it’s a woman waiting for a man. (Think princess in her tower.) I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with waiting for someone you love out of faith/etc, but I do think this has been repeated as a trope waayyyy too many times at this point and is starting to be problematic.
Waiting is a pretty passive thing, at least in most of these contexts. And I think that’s again a notable difference between these examples — Rory, the only bloke, spends 2,000 years “waiting” for Amy, but in that time he is guarding her and protecting her and he chooses to wait that time, after being offered a quicker route. By contrast, Reinette, Amy and Rose are more or less forced to wait — they don’t really have the option to go to the Doctor in any of their respective stories (GITF, TEH and TGWW). They have no real choice but to wait for him to come back, and unlike Rory they’re not protecting or guarding anything by doing so. The exception to that is Amy fighting for her life in TGWW, but that is a consequence of her waiting, not a reason for it.
It’s not that I think waiting is ALWAYS or necessarily bad, but I do think its frequency and the ways in which it tends to appear are getting to be a bit much. In Girl in the Fireplace, Rose has no choice to wait, since she and Mickey have been effectively abandoned. (Do I think we’re supposed to infer there’s an emergency programme to take them home if they’d gone into the TARDIS? Probably. Was it textual? Well, no.) Likewise, Amy in both TGWW and to a lesser extent The Eleventh Hour no choice but to wait — she’s been abandoned. This applies to Reinette as well. I would say that undercuts the romantic gesture.
If people are comparing Amy and Rose (or Reinette) in terms of time waited, I think that’s stupid, because again none of these characters had a choice and the waiting was beyond their control. Likewise, this is one of the reasons I HATE when people argue that Amy shouldn’t complain about 36 years since Rory waited two thousand. Two thousand years (as a robot!) by choice protecting someone you love is not the same as being abandoned and having to fight to survive in solitude for 36 years. I’m not going to award Amy or Rose or Reinette more brownie points because they waited more/less time than the others.
Ultimately I guess my opinion is that while waiting can be a sweet gesture when it’s done by choice (like in Rory’s case), I prefer stories to allow the characters to take action, especially when it’s a relationship between a man and a woman. That’s one of the things I like so much about Rose’s return in series 4 — that it showed that it wasn’t just Rose waiting and hoping the Doctor would come back for her, but rather Rose deciding “fuck it, I want to be with him so I’m going to make it happen”. I would like Steven Moffat to come up with a new way to show love and devotion other than “I waited for you”.