Love is a compromise. Real love and fictional love share this important factor. When infatuation and passion evolve into something deeper, unsaid bargaining begins (heck sometimes it is screamed.) From a writing perspective it is pretty fun for me to write people that have one of two perspectives on falling in love: Those that want things by their terms, and those that want their beloved to be happy.
Obviously something as complex as love cannot be summarized to two categories. This is really just a catch all to sort out the initial hurdle of two people being called a ‘couple’. Conflict can arise from all three variations. Having one of each may seem a match made in heaven, but under the cooperation their lies oppression. One of the pair may be left with unfulfilled or begin to harbor spite against their significant other. There is a veritable mountain of frustrations and trials that can arise from that.
Let’s face it. What makes love stories interesting is their trials. When love is brought into a story that it is not the primary theme, it usually provides a mixture of conflict and release
The submissive partner may even base their spite around the fact that the dominant partner isn’t running the show well enough. Tension might build further when the one being ‘blamed’ accuses the other of being apathetic.
When both partners are focused on each other’s well being a danger rears its ugly head. This can quickly cascade into a brand of tooth rotting puppy love. It can also mean a balanced and healthy relationship where the conflicts are routinely resolved by calm consensus. This type of ‘true’ love can be mitigated by situations that require a snap decision by one party. The agreement is weakened conflict can trickle in.
I personally find this sort of conflict interesting. When the honeymoon ends and the harsh realities of life are presented to them, it allows a great deal of room for character growth. The relationship can be bettered (or broken) too. This pours much needed substance into a ‘junk food’ romance.
When both parties need to have their way… hoo boy. This is my favorite type of romance. The conflict is front and center and the relationship becomes sink and swim. Sure, relationships like this don’t take off very often, but the sparks that fly during the attempt makes it worth the reader’s while.
That sort of romance can lack substance too though. Specifically they are high in passion and low on romance. This is probably the reason action packed favor this sort of romance it gives the -illusion- that the ‘win the girl’ aspect at the end is completely founded. Here’s an interesting fun fact for you. In sequels, the hero rarely is with the same partner again… I wonder why,
I stand by the fact that romance can add volumes to the substance of the story but love is a tricky thing. Love is something that takes a long time to blossom and is a production of building a strong connection with someone you feel strongly about. The pursuit of love breathes life into characters in fiction and in life.