Amourshipping hints towards Ash scare me. I was a bit worried about it at first.
Shipping Situation Update 2/12
The Shipping Situation Update:
After Serena's loss in her recent performance debut, Serena decides to cut her hair and take on a completely new outfit. Ash then compliments Serena's new looks and says that it suits her in response to Bonnie, who doesn't like what Serena has done.
Just like with the gift, many know that this is a first for Ash. With both the ribbon and the compliment, it can seem that it is no longer one-sided, but that Ash has hints from his side as well. In addition, Serena's blue ribbon from Ash is the centerpiece of her new outfit, creating even more Amour symbolism. This is definitely the appeal of Amourshipping: hints, compliments, Serena, gifts, ribbons, handkerchiefs, hurt ankle/knees, giving a hat or backpack back, blushing, you name it. All of these are tangible, visible hints that people can see, touch, grasp, see, and feel.
Even with Ash hints, however, their relationship does not yet match the level of bonding that Pearlshippers would like and prefer. One thing that Ash and Serena definitely are not yet: a team. It will probably change in the future, but so far Ash and Serena have barely worked together. Ash on his own has helped Serena, Serena on her own has helped Ash, but when have they worked as a duo to get something done for the both of them? They should have a tag battle or something if they even want to begin such teamwork. Pearlshipping, on the other hand, is a pairing focused on mutual support, bonding, and a close relationship. Those are the characteristics we like to see in a pairing. No matter how many superficial or surface level hints Amour has, Pearlshippers may not like it because the two do not have the right bonding. Just watch the scene where Ash and Serena are window shopping in the beginning of the date episode. Ash and Serena had no interest of getting to know each other more, and they are not on the same page when one tried to show the other a cool product. Eventually, Ash ends up ditching up Serena to do his own thing for the rest of the day! This the type of "quality bonding" they have; only you can choose whether you support such a relationship. They also need to communicate and trust in each other more. Communication is vital to any relationship and SatoSere has that at a minimum. So what if Ash gave a gift and a compliment? Their hearts are still far from being truly one.
With all of the hype surrounding Ash's gift/compliment and Serena's new haircut, just remember this. We ship based on the relationship, not just what is visible on the surface. It's your choice of which one you would prefer to have more weight; the tip of the iceberg, or everything underneath.