Returned from the Void
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- Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Quest, Sci-Fi, Time Travel and World Hopping, Steampunk, Action/Adventure, Modern Drama, Mystery, Slice of Life, Romance, and many more.
AAAH, Romance~ <3
Romance is what draws a lot of people to roleplay; we love the tension, the will-they-won't-they, and exploring the deepest parts of a character's personality.
The trouble is, flirting is often written in such a way that, if it were real life, would result in either rejection, a drink to the face, or a restraining order!
I could go on for quite a while on this subject, so let's just lay out some do's and don't's for flirting. These apply to all roleplays, whether it's highschool setting, or a strip club's champagne room!
For simplicity, these will be written as if addressing a character.
- Brag, and don't be down on yourself, either!
Nobody likes someone who is always one-upping them, or rubbing their skills in another person's face. A great quote I heard for making friends and talking to people is "Never say you're great at bowling. Say you like to bowl, and when they go bowling with you THEY can tell you you're good at it". Meeting people isn't a competition; you don't have to be impressive to be likeable!
Likewise, while a romantic partner should try to be a good listener, nobody wants to play grief counsellor 24/7! Confidence is attractive, this is a generally known fact. Even if your character is insecure or has mental issues to overcome, if they are trying to impress someone they should try to focus on the positive elements of themselves, instead of constantly saying how they're not good enough, or worse, fishing for compliments.
- Overuse the words 'lightly', 'quietly', 'slightly', etc.You may want to check out Diana's Exercise for Using Stronger Verbs. It can be tempting to downplay a lot of what your character does so that they don't come on too strong, but in reality, if someone was constantly talking so you could hardly hear them, avoiding eye contact, and half-assing most of their gestures, you'd get the impression they weren't too interested in talking to you! Your character probably has a great personality, don't be afraid to let it show with strong actions
- Clear your scheduleFor some reason, in roleplays, once a character has found a love interest, they have nothing else to do with their time. When you schedule your life around one person, that is not a healthy relationship, that is called being clingy, or (if you're not in a relationship yet), stalking! Your character should have other things to do; give them hobbies, club activities, a job, an exercise regimen, time with friends! Being the centre of someone's social life is pressure no one would put on someone they cared about.
- Ignore their wishesIf a character asks yours to leave them alone, give them space and do something else awhile. If a character wants to see a movie with a friend over the weekend, don't insist they cancel to hang with you, or get insulted that they want to be with their friends. Pay attention to what makes your love interest happy, instead of concentrating on just getting together with them.
- Mack on their bed on the first dateI know, I know, dem hormones! But in real life, people who are looking for more than a one-night-stand with someone tend to get red flags when things go too fast. If your character is looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend, and not a quick lay, take the time to invest in getting to know each other before you advance to the more steamy scenes. likewise, intimate gestures like staring into someone's eyes for prolonged time, telling them how soft their skin is, etcetera, is not something you should do until you're already IN an intimate relationship; it's creepy from people you're still getting to know!
- Talk more about them than you
It's a general rule of conversation that if someone wants to know something about you, they'll ask. It's okay to respond with a relatable story about yourself when someone tells you something, but keep asking questions about the other person. Ask them to elaborate and let them tell you stories; if you spend more time pushing out your proverbial tatas than listening to their stories, it's a sign you're not interested in them as a person, just them as a hook-up.
- Give them some space
It's not necessary to approach your love interest every single time you are in a scene together; especially if you JUST met. Let them get to know other characters, and hang out with their friends sometimes, and let your character have a life, too!
- Brain, not bootyIn general, concentrate on getting to know the other character; ask questions about them, explore activities together, and spend more time exploring the other's personality than you do focusing on getting a romance going. If your characters can be comfortable around each other as friends, the makeouts will come. If you concentrate on the makeouts before you even know what their favourite colour is and how many siblings they have... that relationship is going to be kind of flimsy.