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Do predetermined relationships turn anyone else off from a roleplay?

I see romance being a requirement and I almost always instantly click away. Not because I dislike romance but like, what if my character just doesn't like the other character in that way? It can be really difficult to tell sometimes. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many roleplays I turned down because of this.

What does everyone else feel about this topic?
I struggle with this too, particularly when it's supposed to be central to the plot. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not. But I think, similar to you, I've drifted away from those topics that require it. More so in the last couple years as I've learned my lesson that sometimes the characters simply don't jive and forcing it for the sake of the plot makes it feel awkward.

I like when the plot setup lends itself well to the potential for romance, but doesn't dictate that it must happen.

And even better, but oh so rare, when a relationship happens by complete surprise in a plot where that wasn't the focus at all!
I hardly ever, or never, join an RP where a relationship is demanded from any of my characters.
I do agree with you that it is a total put off
I'm gonna throw in for the opposing faction, if you want to call it that. XD Almost all of my rps have romance either as a starting point or that are expected to eventually develop. Not all, but probably a disproportionate amount. I love it. I like finding two characters that match and watching the magic unfold. While I absolutely believe that this can sometimes backfire, it hasn't actually happened to me yet. I like to think that even if it did I'd still enjoy romance rps and seek them out just because when they do work it's so fun. In general if I've had to end a romance rp it's always been because we didn't match as writers rather than our characters not meshing well together.

That being said, if that's not your cup of tea, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just another way different writers write differently. That's the nature of the beast that is rp.
PorrainianPontiff Topic Starter

It's not about it being my cup or tea or not.

It's more along the lines of, what if they just don't end up liking each other in the end?
PorrainianPontiff wrote:
It's not about it being my cup or tea or not.

It's more along the lines of, what if they just don't end up liking each other in the end?

As someone who requires romance in about 99.99999% of my RPs because I am weak for it:

I tend to be extremely picky about who's RPs I accept / who I accept for my own LFRPs - I can go through anywhere from 4 - 10 character profiles / offers before I finally find a character where I go "Yeah, they would mesh perfectly with my character"- 'vetting' and being picky in this circumstance helps a lot.

That being said, the RP just ends. Out of all of the RPs I've had (and oh god it's been a lot), it's usually pretty quick to figure out if the characters are going to mesh in any way shape or form, and at that point, it's just a simple "Hey, I don't think these characters are as good for each other as I had hoped :(" and then ending the RP.

That being said, I've only had one RP that I can think of end that quickly because characters didn't mesh; Of the bajillions of RPs I've started, they usually tend to pitter out not because of lack of character chemistry, but because either the other person ghosted or because we didn't mesh as writers.

That being said, I totally understand the hesitation for this kind of thing. Getting excited for an RP only to be told "Yeah, your character doesn't fit as well as I thought" must suck, I can only imagine :/ But when it works, it's wonderful <3
Yea, I'm with Darkcrow. Like with any rp, if the characters don't mesh, then you end the rp (if romance is all you wanted out of it) and move on or agree to go in a different direction that's non-romance related if you're both still invested in the rest of the plot, if any. Open communication. Talk it out. Part ways if it comes to that.
PorrainianPontiff Topic Starter

Feels like a shame to just let a perfectly good story go to waste over that in my opinion.
Nah. If the spark ain't there, it ain't there - and we'll talk it out and find an alternate route our characters can take.
I'm open to aiming for romance, but I try to be clear that I will not force it. I also tend to be extra skeptical of it if I'm not too familiar with the player or otherwise lack confidence in their ability to not make a go at romancing me. I haven't had to deal with such things very often, fortunately, but... it's really weird when a player jumps to the assumption you're gonna date OOC just because your character was a decent person toward theirs. Without even knowing anything about you as a person. At all. o.O

Anyway... I do get a kick out of it when characters turn out to have good chemistry, especially if there's something unlikely about it (to a point). It adds some good spice to an RP. It doesn't necessarily need to be romance, but I do acknowledge that romance is an easy type of relationship to understand and presume. That kind of annoys me sometimes, because other types of deep relationships exist too ya know, but... yeah. I don't starting an rp that is meant to develop toward romance so long as it's understood that it might not work out and it almost certainly will not be immediate.
PorrainianPontiff wrote:
Feels like a shame to just let a perfectly good story go to waste over that in my opinion.

I don't disagree, but at that point that the RP gets broken up, if I love the story idea enough, I'll immediately re-open my LFRP to try for more bites; Worst comes to worst, I leave it closed and then re-open it later when I'm feeling inspired for that story line again! (Something I actually did with my most recent RP, re-opening a story idea I had last year)

Again, don't disagree, it does suck, but my main desire from my RPs is that romance aspect; If other people are down for trying to come up with a plot that doesn't need to involve romance, then credit to them because I can't do that XD
Imagine a RP an adventure RP with no romance. There's a righteous, straight-line paladin, and a questionably evil rogue. Sometimes this dynamic can work - the paladin keeps the rogue's more evil tendencies reigned in while the rogue is willing to bend the rules and use trickery to further their noble goals. It may not be a romantic relationship, but it is a travelling / journeying relationship that the players have pre-established in their "Looking for Adventuring Buddies" post.

However, there are situations where this dynamic doesn't work. The paladin is too straight edge. Even a minor theft is grounds for arrest and justice. Or the rogue is just too evil, murdering with absolutely no human empathy. And although the relationship was set up before hand, it just doesn't work out. Now the RP will either just fetter out and die, or the players can make a more conscious decision to stop it.

But what I'm saying is that most RPs have established relationships prior to the game starting - they may just not be romantic ones, and they may not always work. So it's not such a strange concept!
Hi! Long-term, primarily romance exclusive RPer here.

Typically pairings are matched before the RP even starters. I put up an LFRP with romance as a core theme and requirement. Meaning there are other big plot points and genre's mixed in but the romance and relationship between two or more characters is the heaviest or the main genre and point of the RP.

People who believe their character would mesh well with mine message me. I talk and look at their character, talk with them about starter-ideas and plot points, and determine if their character and mine would in fact fit well together and are likely to have chemistry. If not, then we both move on before the RP has even started, if so, we continue.

It's only happened two times out of over 100 RP's I've had in the last almost 5 years where the characters ended up not having chemistry and we ended the RP. More often than not my RPs only end prematurely because someone fell off the face off the earth for valid reasons, or our writing styles didn't mesh. Only twice was it our characters not having chemistry.

I prefer romance in 99% of my RPs, I prefer the romance genre in general when it comes not only to RP's but the books I write, read, and almost all media I take in. It's simply what I enjoy - so I look for other people who enjoy it as much as I do and want to write an RP with that as a primary theme. If someone isn't that person, then we simply are not well matched as partners and I don't take it as any kind of loss. It's just simply how it is.

Now, a lot of my romance rps are very slow burn, which means there's upwards of 100k+ words of plot and other interactions with growing emotional connections and bonds before even a kiss or sometimes even a thought of romance comes up. By the time half of the RP pairings I have even Do The Do, they've been in each others lives as enemies to friends to lovers to partners or best friends to partners over a course of months and even years, for hundreds of thousands of words. So there's a lot of time for chemistry and connection to happen, and 99.99% of the time, it does; because we already know they at least sound good together on paper before the RP even starts. So that + many many pages of RP later, gives a lot of time for the characters connection to form naturally. So it almost always works out.

Example! I write with both DarkCrow and Dndmama actually, and have for about three years, strictly romance rps with other themes and plot tossed in.

Dndmama and I have a pairing, Chanda and Seraphina, that started out with Chanda kidnapping Seraphina to hand her over to Lucifer. We knew from the very beginning the goal was to bring them together romantically. Over the course of the last two years of real life time and a handful of months of in RP time, Chanda ended up helping Seraphina escape, trying to track her down, Seraphina was almost kidnapped by woodland fae, found by Chanda, forced to run with him to escape Lucifer's grasp, regained memories and almost remembered who she actually was, almost killed Chanda, became sick and started dying so they needed to find a cure, remembered who she is whilst almost drowning in a magical lake under ice, Chanda was kidnapped and taken by Lucifer and tortured for weeks, Seraphina saved him and killed Lucifer, and probably another two handful of things in between all that, and they only just now at this very moment in the RP are taking a step further in their intimacy together.


Nothing is ever forced, but, myself and other people who enjoy this style of RP, tend to make sure it will succeed before the RP has even started. If the RP has to end due to lack of chemistry, we don't see it as a shame because to us it would be disappointing to continue an RP that we specifically want to be romance themed, without any romance. (Imagine continuing an Pirate Adventure RP with no Adventure! Not fun.)

Instead we part ways respectfully and understanding not everything works out, just as we would for any other reason an RP can end, and attempt to find another partner. I mean hell, sometimes it's the same partner, but a different character of theirs.

In the end, RP is meant to be fun and we have these requirements in our LFRP ads because it's what we want and need for the RP to be fun. If it's not what someone else wants or needs, that's okay! We all find our writing partners and all have fun one way or the other. The important thing is not to try and force someone to change their strict preferences so that you can write with them, and don't let anyone do that to you either.
Personally, I too tend to turn away from any roleplays that make romance a requirement. If I find the storyline interesting enough then I might make a character specifically for that roleplay but it has backfired every time I attempted this. In the few situations where I felt it could've worked out, I personally lost interest because I do not enjoy storylines that have romance as a main focus. Therefor, I now tend to avoid them as they usually become a waste of time to me and the other player and the roleplay itself might become dreading to me to the point where it makes me turn away from the player too, which is a shame.

I like it when romance is optional and characters mesh well together but the last thing I want is for my characters to be forced into something that does not feel right. This happened to me too many times to make me willing to take big risks when it comes to romance in roleplays. Therefor, whenever I do include romance in any of my roleplays it'ss usually because I trust the player behind the other character and I know they won't push my character into a role that doesn't feel natural for them. The sole exception to this is when it makes sense for the characters to actually be forced into a relationship because the plot demands it (like a forced marriage or fake relationship), but even then I won't fake romantic feelings if they simply aren't there.

Lastly, I agree with some others on this thread when it comes to unexpected romance. Many of my characters are set up to be uncapable of love or are in a situation where love is the last thing on their mind. If they then fall in love with another character after all, I won't stop them and if the feeling is mutual it can become a beautiful (and sometimes tragic) love story. My most cherished character ships are those that involve one of my characters of whom I never expected or intended to find love.

As a sidenote, a lot of my characters are either paired off with my own characters or NPC's. While this is often done as a part of their backstory, it has also saved me from getting numerous requests to romance them. Whenever I do get a request to romance them and they do not respect the "Never: Romance" on their profiles, it really frustrates and annoys me.
I like the way Claine put this. Romance is just like any other relationship in an rp. I won't even say it's more intimate because a surrogate father/son or best friends that would die for each other can be just as intimate, just in different ways.

I think it depends on what the writer is looking to get out of the rp though. If you're more interested in plot and story progression, world building and such, then yea, jumping into a romance heavy rp isn't for you. But if you're more interested in character building and character growth and relationship dynamics and such, then you're more likely to be interested in romance (or other relationship heavy rps, see examples above) and vet characters who will fill the necessary roles.

My husband and my best friend/cousin vs me is a good example of this. There's a lot of times they will find shows or movies they really like that I can't stand or get bored watching. This is because I can only get invested if I like the characters and the way they interact and if I see potential for growth. They're much more interested in the world building and the over arching story being told. There's nothing wrong with either approach and there's something out there for everyone. It all just comes down to your preferences and how you write/relate to a work of art,
I have to say one thing I really do not like about this discussion is that it's already coming off way more like having romance be required is wrong, when it's simply just a preference people have that they enjoy. Other people not enjoying it does not make it inherently wrong. The tone of this being on the lines of 'yeah I avoid it too' being as though it's something inherently bad; when in reality not enjoying those types of RP's is simply your preference just like enjoying those types of RP's is someone elses preference.

Of course you and others avoid 'required romance' LFRP's because that's not what you enjoy!

I really don't like that this seems more like a debate of whether it's a valid preference or should be judged. It reads as though people are less just saying their preference but are rather defending their preference of predetermined relationships; and I don't believe anyone should have to defend that.

This feels very 'nose turned up' and it's a little discouraging, with all respect.
IDK for me it's a mix, like...generally I tryyy to find stuff where I can explore platonic relationships because those are really rare and interesting for me, and scratch an extremely persistent itch. If I see someone is looking primarily for romance, I'll tend to float away and look elsewhere because generally I know what I want isn't gonna be their cuppa, and vice versa. I don't want to disappoint someone.

Although, at the same time if there's a lf romance vibe to the whole thing, or someone is explicit about requiring it, and I really like the character and think I have someone that can play well to what they want...eh! I'll try it? I'll talk it out and plan it with my partner? Like, everyone has their itches, and romantic relationships is just a really popular itch. I don't mind going in with a goal in mind, even if sometimes it just doesn't pan out like we'd planned.

In the end, though, that depends a LOT on the player and their character if it's a required element. I'll sit there and vet someone for hours, maybe DAYS before I reach out. I'm more cautious in those situations and want to make sure it's a good experience for both of us, because something like that requires a lot of trust and work.

Real talk though, catch me making huge eyes at this topic though, like I'd thought y'all were mentioning like an RP where the characters are already in an established relationship, like romantic or something-- partners, spouses, etc that'd been together like YEEEARS, and I was like YOOO that's a jam I never ever ever see but I would jump on at the first chance. I had a platonic soulmates RP like that and...uugh, yes! It was good fun not having to do the meet and greet, just yeet the characters in with those big feels already there and driving their actions with the story. Chef's kiss. Never seen anything like it since.
Hey y'all, THIS
MercyInReach wrote:
I have to say one thing I really do not like about this discussion is that it's already coming off way more like having romance be required is wrong, when it's simply just a preference people have that they enjoy. Other people not enjoying it does not make it inherently wrong. The tone of this being on the lines of 'yeah I avoid it too' being as though it's something inherently bad; when in reality not enjoying those types of RP's is simply your preference just like enjoying those types of RP's is someone elses preference.

Of course you and others avoid 'required romance' LFRP's because that's not what you enjoy!

I really don't like that this seems more like a debate of whether it's a valid preference or should be judged. It reads as though people are less just saying their preference but are rather defending their preference of predetermined relationships; and I don't believe anyone should have to defend that.

This feels very 'nose turned up' and it's a little discouraging, with all respect.


I've been eyeing this topic for a couple of days, trying to decide if I was going to respond, and if so, with what. I think that it's been sufficiently answered by this point that yes other people get turned off by romance-required RPs. But on the flip side of that, there's nothing wrong with discussion and debate, especially if both sides can come away with a better understanding.

That said, I'm in the 'neutral' column. For me, romance is neither required nor prohibited. To me, it's all about the story itself. In a lot of cases, I find that the romance IS the story. In an equal number of cases, it's secondary if at all.
Shameless plug and shoutout to Dndmama, whom I've actually played both sides of that fence with. In the past, her character was something like a surrogate mother to mine. At current, a totally different matchup has the meeting and development of a romantic relationship as the central idea, with other plots acting as a structure for that particular vine to grow. (Seriously, give Dndmama a hollar if you're looking for a good time.)
I also have RPs where the characters are "robustly physical" and deeply in love, but in a purely platonic sense (yes you can be in love platonically fite me). In others they're just as physical but can barely tolerate each other. It really just depends on the story being told, and how it is told. This is also where I'm going to repeat that OOC communication is imperative to the health of any RP.
There's a lot of possibilities out there that can be discussed about any situation, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with talking about them. Maybe it's age, maybe it's just experience, but getting an idea shot down isn't a big deal. Best case, your idea is praised and accepted, worst case the person is rude and mean, and if they're rude and mean, do you really want to be getting into anything with them anyway?

I guess I'm just saying to do what makes you happy, and don't be afraid of taking a stab at something that you might normally avoid. Suggest romantic plots on platonic stories. Suggest platonic on romantic. Be excellent to each other and see what you can build.
PorrainianPontiff wrote:
Do predetermined relationships turn anyone else off from a roleplay?

I see romance being a requirement and I almost always instantly click away. Not because I dislike romance but like, what if my character just doesn't like the other character in that way?

Excuse. We give our characters direction. If YOU avoid "that way" that's your CHOICE as a person.

My character does what they do because I DECIDE that. I CHOOSE to pursue those outcomes or/and otherwise "feel like it" (choice is more important then blind emotions though. Actions create feelings). People do things for me. I do things for them. Actions for actions. etc. "Winging it" can be fine but it boils down to "wants and needs". Both as people as well as characters.

As for what is "romantic", well, that can get subjective. I'm more wary of people that seek out romance myself (in fact I just attempted to engage with someone like that and they showed a complete lack of understanding. flags raised). But it's because they tend to fixate on the "mushy" aspects. Instead of things like "Firm, harsh and tense flirting". I prefer to let the "romance" speak for itself through the actions the characters make. CONTEXT of a situation is always more important then safe labels. I very much enjoy both me and my characters being closer, but I of course have my own wants and needs. Others will also have theirs. I can adapt quite easily, provided my character is accepted for what they are. Just as I have to be.

Only a few people will truly accept that. They're easy to spot though. Will give quickly. Won't hold back with your happiness. If someone does that make them feel special. Appreciated. Wherever you do that with your character can depend. But with enough plot/ideas it's very possible (and easy) to make it happen. If YOU hesitate then so will your character. If who you engage with doesn't feel appreciated chances are they're not going to stick around. Simple enough logic. So don't hold back with them if they make you happy, eh?

I would like to give people the benefit of the doubt when they're looking for romance. But in my experience they seem to be looking for something they're not ready for. Maybe that is why they often seek it out? Only got theories at this point.
Taramafor wrote:
PorrainianPontiff wrote:
Do predetermined relationships turn anyone else off from a roleplay?

I see romance being a requirement and I almost always instantly click away. Not because I dislike romance but like, what if my character just doesn't like the other character in that way?

Excuse. We give our characters direction. If YOU avoid "that way" that's your CHOICE as a person.

My character does what they do because I DECIDE that. I CHOOSE to pursue those outcomes or/and otherwise "feel like it"

I personally would somewhat disagree with this statement; Personally, my characters are very distinct in their personalities, wants, desires, likes / dislikes, etc. And sure, I could make them go into a relationship that's a complete 180 from what they'd usually go for / enjoy, but then at that point, it feels less like them as their own personality, y'know?

Sure, some of the smaller actions I make my characters do, usually in relation to other characters and how they interact, can be me pushing towards my own OOC preferences for mush / angst / whatever, but if a person, regardless of their OOC preference for / against a type of RP genre, says "My character doesn't want this thing", that's not necessarily an excuse - they're just being true to how their character acts in certain situations / relation to other characters / etc.


Idk, maybe I just put too much stock (Wrong word? O.o) into my characters being their own people / personalities (up to a point, so long as OOC boundaries aren't getting crossed, etc. etc.)

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