Romance Option Tropes

Soulmates, reborn lovers are my favorites honestly.

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I have to say that I am not really a fan of soulmates as a trope. As a gay guy, I am very much against anything which feels too much like “the universe telling me who I am and am not allowed to love.” :sweat_smile: And if two people are only in love because the universe tells them to be… well, that doesn’t sound like true love to me. I guess you could get away with it by not saying that the partners are soulmates until they’re already together, but do they really need that extra validation?

Although now I kinda want to write an interactive fiction game where the MC has a soulmate who’s really obnoxious, but there are much better non-soulmate ROs as well. :sweat_smile: It would be interesting to see how many people choose the soulmate just because they’re told to. :thinking:

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That’s definitely fair, I just really love the vibe of “not even time can destroy our love” type of deal. Won’t lie it’s definitely gonna be incorporated in my game. But yeah I just love the vibe.

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Well, that part does sound very sweet, yes. :blush: I guess it more depends on the definition of “soulmate” really… :sweat_smile:

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Oh definitely. Best thing about the soulmate trope is you can shift it and incorporate it into whatever way suits you or your story best.

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Huh, I’ve always assumed that soulmate means ”a person who is similar to me and thus understands me very deeply” (which can even be not-romantic!) instead of ”a person the universe wants me to love”… but that may partially be due to the fact that I know the term pretty much only from Ann of Green Gables :sweat_smile: (and also partially from the fact that the Finnish translation of the term… is not a literal translation).

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I think the point of soulmates is, they are perfect for each other, so they are soulmates, not vice versa. If you think someone is obnoxious, it only means you are not soulmates. Milan Kundera said in the unbearable lightness of being “He was filled with a feeling of unutterable bliss at the thought that he had found her at last and could be there with her”. That’s what I thought soulmates should feel like.
But I’m not a fan of soulmates story, because “I am eternally, devastatingly romantic, and I thought people would see it because ‘romantic’ doesn’t mean ‘sugary.’ It’s dark and tormented”. Soulmates trope is too idealistic for my taste. Also samsara lovers is also a no for me, because I believe we are products of our environment and our choices, not of our premade souls, so are our soulmates (if they are out there somewhere)

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I think that would have been the original meaning (and it can still mean that), but it has evolved since then. I don’t know exactly, but I think it went from “someone who is very similar and would make a good partner” (which I’m fine with as a concept) to “the best possible partner” to “the one uniquely good person for me”. And, especially in (mostly fantasy) fiction, it’s essentially overlapped with the concept of destiny to mean the person who you’re destined to be with. I’ve certainly seen a lot of stories – including some on this site – using this concept of “soulmates” even if they don’t necessarily use the term itself. :sweat_smile:

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I like a variety of romance options: friend to lovers, enemy to lovers, friend with benefit who develop true romantic feeling, forbidden romance, pining characters that actually have feeling returned (though in this case, I prefer that it’s an option for MC instead of a potential RO pining for MC), as long as there is some conflict.

I only like soulmate trope when it adds conflict and problem. For example, you have no foolproof way to identify a soulmate. You know who they are but you can’t get together with them. You are already in love when you meet said soulmate. Your soulmate is the only one who can kill you, etc. It bores me If it guarantees instant romance and true love.

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A stoic knight?? Who’s also a milf?? swoons

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The romantic scholar: Nate/Nat, Wayhaven. Straasa, The Soulstone War.

The aloof solider: The lead female character, The Golden Rose. The General, A Tale of Crowns. Blade, Shepard’s of Haven.

The affluent snob who learns that the world doesn’t revolve around them: Mr. Darcy, the Courting of Miss. Bennet.

The charismatic playboy growing fond for one person: Xelef, A Tale of Crowns.

The overly possessive ‘friend’: Kell, In Space and In Stasis. Jun, Samurai of Hyuga.

The best friend you pine over: Chris, Superstition. Sally, Mind Blind.

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One thing you may have overlooked is romance beyond the development stage – all of these are tropes about how romance forms, but that’s such a small part of what romance actually is.

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I got a couple I love

  • Enemies to lovers

  • Forced proximity

  • Age gaped romances

  • I’m an absolute sucker for recuse romances

  • Forbidden Love( I have boundaries with this trope though)

  • Slow burn is my top love

  • Fatal attraction

  • Rich royal or celebrity is in love with a commoner mc

  • Kuudere, people really on this type of dere

  • Himbos

The ones I hate with a passion

  • Love at first sight aka Insta Love: get that trash outta my face :japanese_goblin: some of the best romance stories I have ever read had plots that took it’s time to explore the characters, romance came afterwards. Being attracted to someone makes sense but saying you’re in love when you just met that mf a second ago and want to die for said person is bizarre.

  • I agree with the first post, childhood romances have never been my thing. Unless an author can make it interesting, which I have yet to see. It’s simple to me either confess or you don’t, but don’t cry when 3 other people pull up and try to snag MC, ya had almost two decades.

  • Miscommunication, can’t stand it, I know it’s tough to make up drama but it can be done. I hate when some MCs and co just make up random ass conclusions in their head when they can go easily talk to one another. That isn’t good storytelling that just a pain in the ass and drags the plot.

*Surprise baby/ pregnancy, ew no

*Bad boys, so damn cringy

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I am fine with how the romance develops, as long as the writer make it believable. I can enjoy the Jun/MC route in Samurai of Hyuga 4 and A/MC in Wayhaven Chronicles, as the writer put effort into showing how they can work for certain MC

For some reason, I love that trope but mostly and specifically in fantasy games. Like the himbo fighter, for instance. No macho man bullshit, but an actual kind-hearted, well-intentioned warrior who just needs a little support sometimes, haha. And is therefore touching and funny, even if unintentionally. In an outline I have for an HG game of my own I wrote years ago, I have a character just like this. One version of him has the muscles, the other has a dad bod. Still can’t decide to this day what makes a cuter himbo.

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Anyone remember Dave the Barbarian?

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Yep yep, top tier himbo

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