Realism and romance options

What we’re talking about is a RO breaking up with you and yes if the player can do it realistically the RO should to, but what you brought up was two examples were we, the player, didn’t have a choice in if we broke up with them or not. Those games started with our character no longer with them.


Sorry if this isn’t particularly helpful and just a repeat, but again… context and, in this case, content is important. To relate this back to the realism point, I think these potential breakups would have a lot more weight, or impact, if you included the option for the MC and RO to get back together based on if the player did X, Y, and Z, for instance.

So let’s say…

Inciting incident happens.
Characters fight.
RO breaks it off with MC.
MC’s given a few options: reach out, lash out, or ignore.
RO responds accordingly.

  • Depending on the severity of the fight i.e. topic, it’d probably be more appropriate for the RO to not jump instantly back into the MC’s arms.
  • Another option for realism is if the MC decides to lash out or ignore the RO, then it’d be harder for the MC to mend the bridge between them if the player is interested in getting back together.

So, what I’m trying to say is that there’s the potential to add realism into these breakups, especially if the MC, and thereby the player, chooses to be proactive and work it out like adults. If you did X, Y, and Z - let’s say… X = send them an apology, Y = give them some space, and Z = express interest to genuinely talk it through - then it’d increase your chances of getting back together with your RO during the make it or break it conversation.

I say increase your chances because the player’s not obligated to do X, Y, and Z and could get back together with the RO if they don’t do the following, but it’d be harder and the RO might not be as receptive to them when they get back together versus if the MC did all those things.

In a nutshell, there’s a whole lot of potential for ROs to become more realistic since breaking up based on A, B or C gives them autonomy that they normally wouldn’t have, thereby making them characters instead of just ROs that exist for the purpose of being a romance device. Additionally, it grows these relationships into being portrayed as more realistic and healthy!


I would establish deal breakers. For example, if a RO is honorable and values tradition, a deal breaker could be someone that lies a lot or commits crimes. Or if a RO is a brilliant professor, they might reject someone that can’t hold a conversation with them.

I would focus more on choices and values than personality itself, because people are unpredictable and that means we don’t know what sorts of stories the players can come up with. Maybe it makes no sense to you why a king would feel attracted to an incredibly ill-mannered woman, but who knows? That’s why by establishing those deal breakers we make our lives easier. Just pay attention not to force the player to play a certain way in order to romance a character. It’s a choice game and players must feel -and be - in control of the narrative.


Now that I think about it could be an interesting change if it’s written well to see the MC “fighting” their way to get back with RO who might be annoyed with the MC at first but with the right choices might change their mind about the MC.
This kinda reminds me of Always Sometimes Monsters where the game starts with the protagonist recieving an invitiation from their ex to their wedding and so the protagonist sets out to cross the USA spending the last of their savings on the trip just to get to the wedding in time where the player can choose if the protagonist tries to win back the ex or just lets them move on with their life without the protagonist.
Edit: What would worry me though with this is that it could easily just look like the MC is only a shallow person who refuses to let other people make their own choices.

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@Cari-san That is an interesting game … i will check it out , and it is a very intriguing soul reaching game, like for our case trying to give a last attempt to win back our ex, but would our ex consider us toxic or annoying? in the sense that they try every attempt to get rid of us ? :-):joy: That’s the main reason i usually am open mind with the interaction of my ex in the story… because i always consider will one day , i am far reaching like the ex in the story …and how would i feel to be in the bad receiving end …

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Do not mistake hair and eye color as being equivalent to skin color, in any way. They are absolutely not equivalent. If I read a CSG where an RO rejects the MC based on eye color, I would assume it’s meant to telegraph that the specific RO is shallow and immature, and write the character off. An MC getting rejected based on their skin color? No. That’s not the same at all. Absolutely 100% unacceptable.


This is a very interesting topic :0 I would like a RO rejecting our MC but for their personality. For example, at the start of the game MC was this brave and impulsive person and RO liked that but if MC it’s getting more cautious and analytical throughout the game, it’s a valid excuse for RO to not like MC anymore.

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I never met anyone who actually ended up in love with someone who reflect their ideal in beauty…
My granpa liked mediterranean women, with dark hair and dark eyes. My granma was blonde with blue eyes.
My dad liked blonde feminine girls with long hair. My mom is a tomboy with short dark hair.
My friend like sportive guys. Her boyfriend is a nerdy funny guy with glasses and no muscle mass whatsoever.
Another one like dark skinned/tanned guys. Her boyfriend is blond and white as a sheet, and summer sun is his worst enemy.
And so on and so on.

So, physical appearance seem way too shallow as a reason to break up/no romance. I can see more appropriate having the RO starting the flirting themselves if the MC have the traits the RO like.

I’m fine if personality traits, but mostly actions being a problem for the RO. If it must be the RO wanting to break up with no reason, it would be reccomandable the chance to romance someone else in the same playthrought. Bonus if we can tell off the ex if they came back to us (it was very satysfing in Mass Effect dump Alenko for Garrus).


I want to give more likes for you, especially the Mass effect part :wink:

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My feeling is, it’s interesting having RO’s reject or break up with the MC…but the reasons should still be meaningful and/or narrative driven? So for example, an RO with a critical breaking point with a particular choice you make. Or say in a scifi/fantasy, a character that doesn’t date humans, etc. If the reasons seem too arbitrary or have no plot justification (they just got bored and broke up all of a sudden), it might frustrate players. Or it might just encourage readers to metagame so they can get the RO route they want anyway…

Personally, I don’t care much about hair/eye color (since I like multiple different hair/eye color combinations) so I’ll just choose something for my characters without thinking too deeply about it… I would feel frustrated if I got halfway through a long story only to find out what I thought were minor choices at the beginning of the game blocked me from a romance with a major character. On the other hand, if I got halfway through a story and found out a character hated my MC for joining the wrong faction or killing too many NPCs, it might be disappointing, and surprising, but feels justified.

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I’m not sure it’s that drastic a difference. People are attracted to appearance, and your race is usually a major part of your appearance. It’s pretty inevitable that a lot of people are going to be more or less attracted to different skin colors. Shallow maybe, but not massively worse than having a preference for hair color or body shape.

Edit: Forgot a word

People are shallow, and a realistic romance can be shallow.

It just doesn’t tend to feel very good in the context of a story, reality is a sour taste.


Hair colour could work for a breakup if the mc had recently dyed it green or flourescent orange or something and the npc was a straight laced serious type who didn’t like what they perceived the mc turning into. I can’t see why skin colour could work though, if the npc wasn’t attracted to the mc in the first place, why would there even be a relationship to break? Unless it was friends or family interfering but that’s a completely different question…

As for them getting together in the first place, it’s your story, you know the characters so it’s your decision :wink:

well…I second those who said stuff about the skin color…beside , usually racist asswipe…wouldnt date someone they are racist toward y’know ?

as for the ‘dont like eye-hair- color’ ? honestly , I never seen or ever heard something like that :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

personally the exemple of ‘I dye my hair blonde , and gf or bf get mad cose of it’…equal throw worthless ass far far away . That scream control freak-beater-abuser .

it has to make sense…and make sense in the story…if the RO give me a ‘muh…you were fun but now you are boring’’…plz provide a kill button :rofl:

for me realistic break up…would have to fit the story . Like say ‘’ you choose to kill X even though you know it gonna piss off Y’’ and Y is your romance . kinda like in old BG2…where the companions had alignements , and if you were an asshole…they would warn you…and if you keep at it…they walk off with everything they are wearing AND carrying! SO priceless…I miss that system :joy:

It give them a sense of being indepandant and not just sheep and yes man! following you and agreeing with you…even if you are BBQ babies! (hey thats a Sims thing! look it up :rofl:) .

you could also add that punisher FATALITY option for those who wanna run after 2 bunnies…a La Witcher 3 :sweat_smile:


Eh, not on appearance. Even ignoring the race implications (and the idea of dating someone who would’ve rejected you of you weren’t blonde enough)… honestly my hair/eye color settings are so functionally irrelevant outside of flavor text that to go most of the way through the game only to find out I checked the wrong box during dress-up would annoy me. I’ve seen WIPs where characters have certain preferences in physical appearance that give a slight boost, and that doesn’t bother me, so long as it’s not a lock out (or all “I like conventional beauty standards so you’re always at a disadvantage if you don’t play a “pretty” character”).

Breakup is fine, but frustrating if not done well. The only ones I liked (Choice of Robots and Choice by Gaslight are the ones that come to mind) were strictly tied to the plot in a “Yeah, you have completely lost your mind” sort of way. It was less punishment for stats dropping and more a conscious choice to have my character be someone the RO couldn’t love. Not sure about a perpetual sword over my head.


For the skin tone thing, in real life it’s sometimes more complicated than being racist, a lot of times from what I read in my community it’s usually most of the time the people who have that same skin tone that isn’t interested in people with the same skin tone as theirs.
(though I don’t think it would change anything if I had put the original question: “How do you guys feel about a romance option rejecting or being able to reject the main character because of their eye color, hair color, skin tone etc and the romance option has the same eye color, hair color, skin tone as the person they rejected?” so I decided to shorten it)

I also don’t see the “no this eye or hair color” thing as often but it’s mostly common on dating sites.(Where you can put your turn offs)

But I’ll probably go with the majority and make the romance option depend on personality stats instead of appearance.

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yeah I hear you…

But is it about ‘‘I’m not interested in that skin tone’’ or an ethnic thing? like…I met a lady years ago…and she would only date guys from Haitii . She was white and he was black…and her first husband was from there…

and I know peoples from a certain ethnic (mine) , who refuse to date peoples from back home . But it isnt cose…Hey look! we got the same skin color buahahaha!

Its…something else…really . And some of those reasons I know…and get it…some are stupid reasons lol

I don’t think its about skin color…but when you think about it…some peoples attract you and some don’t . You can find someone who match your dream…and in the end…there is zero attraction there…no chemistry…no pull…no nothing .

yeah well…dating sites arent indicator for anything really…


I think we’ve about exhausted the eye/hair/skin tone part of this conversation, as this is getting circular. I move that we move the conversation on to some other aspect of the topic.

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By the way in my old post I never really meant break ups… What I wanted to say is that it’s interesting in a RO to have some fights that won’t lead to a real break up but just to some tension just to keep the relationship more interesting and less “happily everafter”. Maybe MC said something that hurted RO feelings/beliefs, maybe MC is getting too much attention from NPC and RO gets irrationally jealous, same scenario RO isn’t really bothered and MC is a bit upset expecting jealousy, maybe something bad/sad happens to RO(or MC) and MC(or RO) is dismissive, self absorbed, cold or(why not) too shy to be supportive… and while all those things could be deal breakers for some people or acceptable things for some couples, other people would want to work on the problems trying to save the relationship, hopefully coming out stronger than before(this is one thing I liked a lot about “Love at Elevation”).


Main character gets dumped for having smelly feet.

We’re treading new water here.