What makes you feel attracted to a person/RO?

Last night, I was playing one of these games and when I was going to choose which RO I was going to pursue, I asked myself “Why this one and not the others? What makes them different?”
So I wanted to ask this question to you, the people on the forum: Why do you choose a RO over the other? What personality traits are you looking for? Or how should their (Mc and RO) relationship be?

Also, What does a person need for you to have a crush on them? Is it any different of what does a RO need? Or are you looking for the same type of people on both (interactive fiction and real life)? And last but not least: Do you think these characteristics vary based on gender? (For example, a bisexual person is attracted to shy guys but is not to shy girls)

I know that was a lot of questions haha, thank you for reading all of this :heart:

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I mean, I think this is going to be a deeply unsatisfying answer, but I’m not sure a list of traits can ever really be the source of affection. Asking why you love a person is a bit like asking why your favorite color is green. The temptation is to say something like “Because trees,” but I think it’s mostly just “Because.”

Case in point, I’ve been with my partner for 5 1/2 years. She’s funny, empathetic, incredibly wise, she’s an active listener and she’s amazing at communicating her feelings. She prefers reading non-fiction to fiction, and whenever she gets flowers with faces (sunflowers, pansies, etc.) she always makes sure she turns their faces towards the window. When I told her that the only positive memory I had of my mother was that she used to brush and braid my hair before bed, Keri (my partner) started brushing and braiding my hair that very night, and she’s continued to do so every night for the past four years. Now, would I stop loving her if you took one of those traits away? Absolutely not. What about half of them? Still a hard no. She isn’t just a list of characteristics – no one is – we are who we are in conjunction with our traits, not necessarily because of them.

Sorry, I know that’s not helpful. But when it comes to fictional characters, I’ve crushed on everyone from Max in Life is Strange to Villanelle in Killing Eve. I romanced Liara in Mass Effect and Sera in Dragon Age: Inquisition. For me at least, it’s not as simple as “Because trees.”

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For me, personally, it all depends on the personality. I talk about people’s physical traits, like a shallow person, but the reality is that I don’t date people for their physical features. I never have.

I’m very seriously dating someone I met at work, and it is 100% based on personality. We just click. This person has the exact same sense of humor I do, as well as many of the same interests (even in lesser-known things, like Neverwinter Nights). He has a bit of a checkered past, but he is doing everything he can to make a good life for himself and provide for his kids.

There’s even this sense I get that he is “it” for me.

I get a similar feeling when I choose an RO in a game. I’ve always cared more about personality than appearance - and I feel that that’s honestly the case for most people. Look at Shep and Garrus, from Mass Effect.

I think most people tend to prefer the jokesters. The Joker (Mass Effect), the Garrus (ME), the Varric (DA), the Anders (DA), the Alistair (DA), the Gann (NWN). People who don’t take themselves too seriously, who are complex and have a backstory. Non-static characters.

People like to RO “real” people far moreso than they do “pretty” people, in my experience.

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First, what buys or sells a character is always going to vary from person to person.

Personally, tsundere characters need to kind of disappear. I’m not interested in the companion that’s constantly mouthing off to the protag because “It’s not like I care or anything! Baka!” It’s not cute. It’s annoying. They are almost always writer’s pets as well that it’s constantly assumed that you will like them back even when you make it clear that their chances are 0%.

Which is probably the biggest thing. The easiest way to repel people from being attracted to a character, is to tell the player how attracted they must be to the character.

I’m more interested in mature types. Ones that aren’t about trying to play mind games and can own up to their feelings. I have no interest in children or people who want to act like it. I’m too old for things like pulling on a girl’s pigtails in the playground to show her that you like her.

What I find attractive is people who aren’t afraid of making the first move and being direct without being too aggressive.

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How do you know? It seems like hindsight to me. Sure you wouldn’t feel differently if you took those traits away, but that’s because you were aware of them.

It varies and it’s kind of hard to put in words. Honestly, it would be easier for me to point out specific examples and then widdle it down from there.

For instance, I loved all four romance options from Dragon Age: Origins. Alistair was especially sweet and I loved his sense of humor and how he could banter with a female Warden all day long. Honestly, it’s harder to pinpoint why I didn’t find them to be attractive characters.

In Dragon Age II, I ended up only romancing Fenris because I loved seeing him come to terms with his past and then grow from it (without relying entirely on Hawke’s influence). He’s particularly noticeable because he starts out as the stereotypical brooding characters (bonus irony points because he’s male) and then gets less broody over time. Like the previous ROs in DAO, he’s got that dry humor that I love seeing in people.

This. Partially.

I like characters - and not just as romance options - who are more than what they appear to be after your first encounter with them.

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Because I do. I know our story and I know myself. Granted, the empathy I mentioned is one trait that was mandatory simply due to the way in which we first met, but the other stuff? I love the bits and pieces of her, but they aren’t why I love her.

I mean, I mentioned I crushed on Villanelle, and that character is completely devoid of empathy. Would I want a real life relationship with her? No, because I like being not dead, but I still find the character incredibly compelling. She works wonderfully within the safety of a fantasy.

Really, though, what I believe and what I’ve experienced can be reduced to an unfortunately trite phrase: greater than the sum of our parts. I think that tends to be true. I’m not arguing that our traits are unimportant, just that they’re not the whole story. I’ve met lots of physically attractive queer women with great qualities without ever being drawn to them. I’ve been with the same person for most of my twenties, though, and it’s not because she’s quirky with flowers or brushes my hair before bed. Do I love that she does those things? Yes. Do I love her because she does those things? No.

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A strong interest in insects!?! Both entomological and otherwise. :heart_eyes:

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(As a reader) I tend to like the stoic, cerebral, emotionally stumped assholes. :upside_down_face:

Nah seriously though, I like complicated and multifaceted characters with lots of inner demons.

Real life much the same, people with high intuition and analytical preferences.

Edit: As an author though, I have made sure that I am attracted to all of my romanceable characters. If I don’t, I won’t be able to pull it off, so it’s very important for me.

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Like everyone above has said, it all depends on everyone’s tastes.

A lot of people go for ROs they picture as attractive, and others go for ROs whose personality matches theirs or their characters.

I personally factor in sexuality (I’m gay, and usually exclusively play as gay males). I gravitate to ROs that have a specified sexuality, and have never liked the “everyone’s bi and pining for your love” trope that a lot of COGs have used.

Personality is the next factor. How do they act, how do they receive and reciprocate advances, and how do they handle themselves in certain situations.

Backstory also plays a big role in my choice. If you have a fleshed out backstory and tells me why you are the way you are then :ok_hand:t2:.

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Hmm, I was gonna say “it depends” on the particular story, game, or characters… but I’ve probably played enough games with ROs by now to figure out a pattern in what I tend to always pick.

And it’s this: The RO usually has to have some sort of opposite and/or complementary personality traits from the character I’m playing. This holds true, whether I’m playing a sort of self inserty protagonist similar to me…or roleplaying a totally different character. No matter the gender combinations.

So well written ROs, to me, would ideally have some diverse personalities to play off the different personality types the protagonist can potentially have.

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I think we all here should be real, and sincere 90% people choose romances in the base of sex appearance I watched a doc. That shows an experiment with a hidden camera put Sexy models guys in speed dates acting like ASS and even racists. And a more normal-looking man with a very good personality and gentle.

The results after hundreds of tests are in all orientations Physical sells. People pick bad personality in the base of looks alone.

as in blind dates, nobody picks the ugly bad personalities.

It is sad, but as mass media shows is true.

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I like someone with a little drama and spice in their attitude, and someone who isn’t afraid to be bold and speak their mind. Now and then I’ll dip into the comfortable waters of what I deem a “plain” RO (someone who is confident but not 100% out there), but usually the bolder and more opinionated an RO is, the more likely I am to date them.

I also love ROs that are 100% flirty all the time. Give me all the tease and sensuality. I’m here for it 24/7.

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The strongest feelings I’ve personally had for a someone arose from a mishmash of reasons. Appearance did have something to do with it, in that his seemed to suggest traits I’m attracted to - gentleness, thoughtfulness, those sorts of things. I think the greatest <3 factors were shared interests and experiences, and acceptance. I fell because he was on the same page as me, and we could do things together without me feeling as though I was only putting on a show.

In IFs and VNs, appearance honestly does influence my opinion on the ROs to some extent, though as a reader actions that seem to clash with the expectations their description/sprites set up will certainly intrigue me. I’m always looking for scenes that give my MC a chance to be theirselves around a RO and have that be embraced, and vice versa.

Some thoughts on often-used types of ROs out there: hear, hear, @Hex. Especially asshats tsun-heavy ROs that only show their ‘soft side’ for the MC, I sure ain’t buying that.

ROs that start off having feelings for the MC… hoo boy. Maybe the MC won’t ever find out in the story, but as a player I know, and I am pained. Greatly. Examples? Asra-frickin-Alnazar. More than just pained, because those kinds of ROs tended to be my kind of gentle, familiar nice guys. It makes going for other ROs… difficult. Off on a tangent, Asra’s example is just tragic to me because the entire story of the Arcana wouldn’t kick off without him having strong feelings for the Apprentice in the first place, but the setup just doesn’t feel fair for him or for the MC. And heartwarming but uncomfortable for me as a player.

For works with multiple ROs I really, really prefer not to have anybody confess first as part of a plot or anything. Oscar does that in Asteroid Run and I am sad on his behalf each time I go to explore other RO scenes. I guess one could argue why that would matter when we can assume all the ROs have some fondness for MC to kick off all them romance plots, but actually having one RO walk up and bare themselves to my MC rather than the MC making a choice first still gives some pressure.

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What a beautiful answer! I’ve always struggled to describe why I love my partner, and it never occurred to me that just “because” is enough. Sure, I love that he makes me laugh and plays piano and takes care of me when I’m sick and so much more, but no combination of those singular traits could be put together to accurately describe who he is or what I feel when I’m with him. People are so complex, made up of everything we’ve ever been through, all that we’ve lost and mourned and loved, it’s simply too much to accurately describe in words the essence of what makes our character.

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No offense but that’s such bullshit. I mean, do looks matter? Yes. Unfortunately they still kinda do, but I’ve seen it matter less and less as the years go on. Maybe there’s a certain demographic to it, people between 30-40 might give it a lot of thought but the younger generations like my friends and myself (18-25) care far more about someone being a decent human being than being hot.

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I don’t think looks matter much in a Choicescript game lol. Let’s be real, even if the author describes them as ‘average’, we’re still going to imagine them as ‘Hollywood average’ aka ‘really good looking but with maybe questionable hair, at worst’. And we will modulate their internal image to be close to what we find aesthetically pleasing.

The perks of using the unlimited power of your imagination, and all that.

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While looks do play a part in my case, it’s all about depth, realistic/consistent personality or morales (depending which genre of game) and the little touches the writer adds.
Like, maybe the character has a way of talking that stands out more, like, expressions specific to that character or something? Or looks, or quirk that isnt too in your face? I’m not sure.

Personally, I like a slower paced “getting to know then flirt” rather than flirt the first/second time I meet em to not get locked out or ignored on the romantic front. The dialogue your character is offered to talk to them can also be a turnoff or a turnon so to speak.
I do not want to either blush like a maiden or be super flirty. Subtly is more endearing. Not really about ROs, but yeah, that can make me not enjoy the actual romance.

And if already know the said RO, like a best bud or something a bio about what we’ve been through is cool, cuz the reader doesnt know them. Or something like that. I usually ignore those ROs, cuz were often imposed a dynamic or somethin. So maybe be able to set the said dynamic so it doesn’t clash your MC? Just an idea.

Also, broody characters that arent just BroodyMcOnlyBroods. (or stray up tsundere clichés. Cryptic ones draw me in as well, or direct/aloof ones. But any strongly written ones are pretty neat regardless of personality. I like depth and consistency/realism. ( I’m repeating that a lot aren’t I?)

I have no problems with sexuality/romantically exclusive ones, its might suck, but it makes them feel more real if that makes sense. Oh, and genderlocked is good too.

But yeah, it mostly depend on the realism (taking into account the writing style of course) and/or quality of the interactions and/or dynamic and the author’s hardwork into the character. If the author doesnt like their characters enough to make them feel real and behaviorally consistent, I probably won’t like them either. ^^’

(edit) Oh,and characters that can take my MC being direct/aloof without being upset. Though that seems like the coding behind that might be annoying xd So maybe choosing internally/with body language/tone if you just rude or joking or serious, etc…? I dunnooo. Might be the different dynamic thing I like lots more than the personality?

(edit2) And I would say irl its more about a mix of body language, looks and personality (and openess/ability to put up with my sharp tongue and generally not get triggered at everything without self awareness),

while in games, its more about looks (not bearded (stubble works and other similar facial hair, but not mustaches or beards) or really muscular or fat (thick could work though I guess xd)) and dynamic with the MC, since cant always have a complitely custom MC to an extent. They mostly always a bit of a pre determined personality (not much, but you know what I mean).

As for female /male difference, well I usually do not romance chicks in any game, but I prefer woman that more variety than either motherly/shy or badass/strong, which is kinda too bland for me to even consider. Though buf chicks are pretty cool when they have nuance.
But I did romance one [sort of spoiler ahead] from the Lawless ones (swift), only one I felt compelled to romance so far.
And I guess NB ones it really depends if they are preachy or too in your face about it. Like, know its a place of posivity, but I want my character to have more nuance about that fact. And trans, well, no issues unless preachy af about it. (no offense meant btw, just how I talk)
For reference, the ones that caught my interest (and stood out more) in some games.

COG ones:
-Haze from Tally Ho
-Shader Ausley from Dragon Racer
-Manson from Wayhaven (Though I always ignore the flirting xd)
-Rheylo from Shadow Society
-Jonny (Jonathan) from uh… a WIP I forgot the name of rn… He’s a movie buff though
Tanno from Narci… something Necromancer
-Herald from Fallen Hero 2. I think?

Non-COG
-Solas from Dragon Age Inquisition I mean, damn, I dont like playing a chick, but I cant not romance him
-Fenris from Dragon Age 2

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Idk for me it’s weird because on the one hand there’s people like Silas from Vampire and Ghazal from AotW as well as Dena from Werewolves and Balesh from CotPT not to mention my personal favorites Lamuel from Evertree and Prince Travan from CotG.

I think I loved Ghazel, Balesh, and Travan the most because they were spouses instead of traveling companions, they weren’t big and boisterous but rather clever and loving not to mention incredibly sophisticated. They stood by the main character through all of it which is honestly what I aspire to do. I never really felt like the MC, more the supporting cast which is honestly fine by me. I think I resonated with these RO’s the most because I aspire to be like them.

Then there’s the other side with the bad boys like Jun but that’s a problem for another day.

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I think it’s because physical appearance is the quickest way to “know and understand” people, much like the phrase “judge the book by cover.” A healthy person also has well-proportioned build, which definition also brushes of being sexy.


A bit of mine secret

I have my own archetype preference: short hair (somewhere above shoulder), lithe build, kinda bratty or tomboy (tsundere? :grimacing:), but there’s this one girl in my class which is totally that opposite, yet I feel like she’s the closest to me. She is plump, acts motherly, and actually speaks in hi-pitched voice (in personal environment).

What makes me have a feeling with her, however, is that she doesn’t give up during my hardest times. You guys might not remember it, but I mentioned that I’ve been through tough stuff and became a totally different person than before (I was rather chatty and kinda too meme-y). She would “contact” me by contacting other boys to come and get me in my apartment. I was a pretty downer that time, so getting such treatmemt made me feel special (although later reveal shows her actually doing that for all the “missing bois” of our class).

Anyway, my point is appearance is the first thing that hook us with another person, especially when we never heard of them. However, what makes relationship lasts is something beyond appearance. Dating site is good in that first regard, but the rest is up to the couple to find and learn about each other.

Given time, I can love any ROs no matter their appearance/personality (granted, I’m straight, there’s that). Just give them enought screen time and development window.
I do have preference as bonus point, but what I’m looking for is something that can lasts for long time.

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