Something that has been confusing me ever since I joined sites completely devoted to roleplaying is just how insanely popular pairings are as the main theme of an rp. When viewing the 1 on 1 interest check you'l notice that almost all the request posted there are either plots based on certain pairings or in more extreme cases just a list of pairings. Am I the only one who thinks that is a rather flawed way to build a plot? Call me old fashioned but I always believed the plot should be the main focus of any story. Romance can easily be part of that of the plot, a beneficial part of the plot, but in the end it remains that....a part, a tool in the toolbox but in most requests its mentioned as THE core aspect of the plot, the thing the whole roleplay revolves around. I just find this a weird concept, after all how can you decide such a thing beforehand? What if the two characters just don't have that ''click'' required for a romance to form? If that's the case you either have to drop the rp or go on with a forced romance between two incompatible characters. Would it not be smarter to first create an overall plot, then fill it with characters and only THEN start paring them based on who gets along the best with whom. I also find it highly restrictive when you have to come up with the events that make up the plot because since the romance is the core aspect that will be the aspect that stand in the spotlight before all others. Other cast members can be introduced but in the end it still all resolves around the couple. The evil king can plot to destroy the world as many times as he likes but in the end he's just the background noise compared to the blossoming romance, his actions are designed to bring them closer, a villains scheme is mere background and stopping it isn't as important as the main two growing closer together. Supporting cast members are also somewhat handicapped when you base the world around just two people. Sometimes you create a side character both you and your partner like and ''promote'' him to the status of main character but even then he will not a real mean character but a lesser one, obviously inferior in status to the couple. It was honestly kind of a ''culture shock'' to see all those request like ''Templar x mage'' ''assasin x target'' ''Princess x commoner'' when I was used to things like: Playing out the events of different fire emblem games through the eyes of certain characters What if Pit crashed in Hyrule during the events of Ocarina of time? Lets have Etna overthrow Laharl! Would Caesar have been a Tempar or an Assasin? Did that last bit come across a bit elitist? I hope not, I'm actually casual in every sense of the world, I just find the great focus on pairings rather restrictive instead of adding to the freedom you should preferably have in an rp.