What are some ways to increase the romance between two stubborn, but very different characters?

Thank you!

  • 1
    Hi, and welcome to Writers. Stack Exchange is not like other sites. We are not a discussion board or an online workshop. We require clear, answerable questions which have the potential to help others. As it stands now, your question is too specific to your story, and is a "what to write" question, which is off-topic for us. If you can edit it to be less about your story and more broadly applicable to others, the community may be able to help. Please take our tour and see our help center writers.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic to see what kinds of questions we answer here. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 3:04
  • 1
    By having them move much more slowly than in the pre-edited question. So much lust, developed so quickly, can interfere with romance. Look at the empathy in the Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn film, "Funny Face." Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 6:07
  • 2
    I think this could turn out to be a good question. It seems to me many romance writers fail to graps how two 'stubborn, but very different characters' could ever even be emotionally attracted (let's not mention physical attaction just yet), much less fall in love or increase any romance. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


The best advice I've ever heard about building romantic/sexual tension is to start it from the get-go. The moment your characters meet, there should be a certain je ne sais quoi that unconsciously pulls them towards each other. Even if they are stubborn or in denial about their feelings, people in general have a way of revealing their true emotions without even realizing it. A touch here, a teasing comment there, a moment of absolute forgetfulness when your heroine stops to notice the hero's hair blowing in the wind... Little things like this should snowball throughout the story until neither character can deny their attraction any longer. Just be sure to take it at your characters' pace, and remember that a good love story is one that grows organically between your hero and heroine :)

  • 1
    This general tip actually sounds a lot like what I am going through in my personal love life! This answer hits it pretty dead on. Many anime stories that include a love usually have it where a very spazzy and dense guy meets a very emotionless and stubborn girl. Through evolution of the story and character, it is usually ended with confession or the cliff hanger favorite, they are about to kiss and someone interrupts, the end.
    – ggiaquin16
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 23:38

Romance in books is as diverse as real life, there's no one way about it.

Try imagining your question in terms of a vacation, you can go on a lot of vacations, all vacations are different, you can go to the same vacation but experience it differently, and you can have different ways of experiencing or going to that vacation in the first place.

Character bonding typically occurs when there's a reason for it however, I would highly suggest against just throwing two characters together just for the hell of it - unless you're writing fanfiction or a romance - however even in these cases, romance has an objective that leads the story.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the end goal of the protagonist? Do they want to save the world like James Bond? Do they want to rediscover themselves? Or is the objective just to 'get the girl/guy'?
  • How would these two characters being in a relationship help the protagonist in reaching their goal? Remember that the story you're writing needs to be focused on this goal, not following it leads to tangents or confusion with the audience, if the romance doesn't add anything, it might be better off not having it.

Typically by answering these two, you will find that you can come up with a reason to have a romance in the first place, which is something a lot of authors forget - plugging romance 'just because'. If the character is looking to save the world, the reasoning behind having that relationship is that she has some secret key to solving his problem. If the character is struggling with anxiety, then perhaps the romance revolves around trying to break this anxiety.

Once you solve the core root of the romance, you will be able to figure out a path. When writing, I find its better to pick two points and draw a line (that can go everywhere as long as they meet up) rather than draw a single point, and try to find a point to stop at.


They could tease each other, and outside people, and maybe the characters themselves, might think they don't fit well together. Behind the unfriendliness and envy they could feel some devotion. They try to compete with each other. After a while they start to copy behavior. Later, one of the persons can solve a mishap only with the help from the other person. Now the teasing changes to open devotion.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.