Today is the commercialized day of love, so I thought I'd write about one of the best (and worst) things in media:
Now, personally, I am not a shipper. I mean, occasionally I'll be like: "aww, these two would make a great couple...!" but it usually doesn't go farther than that. I don't get a lot of joy writing (or heck, even reading) romantic interactions, and it takes a very special kind of story to make me care about two people getting together.
I know that I can't stand
love "triangles." They're more like love angles--two people love the same guy/girl/other, or vice versa. I haven't seen any love story to date about a true love triangle, where all individuals involved create a true closed triangle (if you know of one, let me know!
Also, the chase of a romance story, the "will they? Won't they?", is something I can't stand either. We know
they're going to get together at the end. WE ALL KNOW IT. Any story that tries to inorganically delay the inevitable or insert drama in an attempt to stave it off instantly loses me.
Now, here's what I do
love about reading/writing romances and pairings: the actual relationship
See, romance is like a cake. I'm sure someone has used this analogy before, but I'm going with it anyway. "The chase" is the icing, while the actual relationship is the cake itself. Icing can be great on a cake! I love icing! Just don't put too much of it on. If you do, you won't have a cake, you'll just have a pile of sugar with no substance.
The relationship itself is the actual cake beneath the icing. The color[s] and flavor[s] of the cake is only as relevant as your personal taste as a consumer. But, buy in large, the cake is the reason we...well...eat cake
. Ever heard of a naked cake? They're cakes with little to no icing. I've seen several weddings where the wedding cake is naked. There's no icing, or just a thin layer of glaze, and the inside of the cake is displayed in all its delicious glory.
So, applying that, you don't need
"the chase" (the icing) to have a good romance story. You can start a story with a naked cake, and it'll still be awesome--because it's cake
! If you like cake, odds are you'll eat it icing or no! (I know I will!)
My favorite love stories usually spend little time on the actual "chase" of the romance. Sometimes, they're already in a relationship when the story starts, be it romantic or platonic at the start. These stories are about what love really is: getting to know the other person, accepting his/her/their flaws, and sometimes both parties changing for the better, and because they want
to change for the other person.
"You make me want to be a better person" is one of the highest compliments I've ever heard. You know what's equally high praise? "I love you just the way you are."
Any love story with either or both of these phrases acting as their core has a good chance of keeping me hooked until the end. Any love story that focuses on the actual relationship as opposed to the "getting together," or one that manages to integrate the two seamlessly, has an even higher
chance of keeping me hooked until the end.
But, failing that, I suppose I can always read or write fanfiction...
There's a lot of fanfiction about characters actually engaging in a true relationship! Sure, there's more fanfiction about "the chase," but more often than not when you read a fanfiction, you'll read about some pairing of characters in an actual
the "will they? Won't they?" This is my favorite part about fandoms; how creators can elevate their favorite story by expanding upon it in ways the original did not, and if done well, they're the best part about fandoms!
I could care less about whether the ship is canon or non-canon, straight or gay, young (but not too young
) or old, whatever
--if it's written well, I'm sold! This doesn't just apply to fanfiction, either. There's a lot of potentially great love stories out there if there's more focus on the relationship rather than just "the chase."
So on this day of love, here's to all the well-written love stories out there: keep loving!