How do I introduce romance to a story?

Alright, I feel like romance is a thing that can either make or break a story. I love a good romance story, where you can’t wait to read the next episode to see how the relationship between two characters unfold. The only problem is, I have no clue how to write romantic encounters :sweat_smile:

So for you romance-junkies out there who somewhat have a bit of expertise on this subject, I have a few questions:

  • When you introduce the love interest, how do you write about the first encounter? Is it more exciting to read about “love at first eyesight” or can the first meeting be a more casual encounter? Maybe a passionate and very random kiss that leaves the MC wanting more? Please tell me what kind of encounter you are the most intrigued by, what leaves a mark on you and makes you want to know what is about to happen next in the relationship.

  • After the first encounter, what happens next? Is it best to leave the reader hanging for a while to build up more excitement towards the next encounter? How do you portray the MC falling in love? How do you write in a way that makes the reader also “fall in love”?

  • Finally, when the MC and LI have something like a relationship going on, how do you keep the flame burning? Unfortunately, I think all of the excitement is in the thrill of the chase when the MC is trying to get the LI and vice versa - so when they’ve finally got each other how do you keep things interesting? Do you add lots of drama so that the MC and LI never get to a point where the relationship that is stable?

Oh dear god, as usual in my posts things are MESSY. I do hope that whoever is reading this gets my point and I’ll be very grateful if anyone takes their time to answer my many questions :smile: Thanks in advance!

X Puma :revolving_hearts:


For the first encounter, I like when I read stories that have a hot kiss between the characters. Then, the MC can’t find the LI and he/she goes and looks for them.

Maybe to keep the flame burning, you can have dates, kisses, and just a little bit of drama.

But I’m not good at romance at all. I’d advice you not to listen to me, but these are my thoughts.


Oh, your opinion is just as important as everyone elses dear and I’ll make sure to take your helpful thoughts into consideration. So the love interest is just some person the MC bumps into and shares a brief intimate moment with him/her, and then the LI leaves with an air of mystery and the MC can’t stop thinking about them? Haha I’m just spawning ideas, but is that a romance that would intrigue you? :sweat_smile: Thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts and opinions with me, it’s much appreciated! :revolving_hearts:

I’m not the best at writing romance, but for your last point… I conveniently time my characters relationships to officially start in the last episode. They’ll have romantic moments throughout, but not get together until the end. That way I don’t have to worry about keeping the flame alive.


Hmm, that’s smart! Thank you for sharing your advice :revolving_hearts:

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Same @amberose :yellow_heart:

I would do this SO MUCH when I was a kid. I’d just set up couples and they would only end up together at the very last end (last chapter) and maybe have a few “romantic” scenes throughout the story. In one of my stories I set up a couple, and totally forgot about the guy so my end included no love…when I went to read my story I’m like “oh man, I introduced him and then just wiped him off the grid by completely forgetting him” :sweat_smile:


That post was awesome, and I completely understand what you were trying to say, so no, that post is not messy. I also drift off when I write.
I’d just want to introduce you to many cliches I don’t like, but this is just my opinion, so you’re free to add them.
These are mostly presented in High School/College scenarios
Also, I’m focusing on GIRL MC loves BOY LI, sorry if this isn’t it, but I read more of those stories and I’m assuming that’s what you mean.

  • MC goes to a party
    Breakdown of scenarios:
    ~MC goes to a party because of her best friend
    Breakdown of best friend:
  1. She is rebellious, after “Hot” guys, flirts, and likes to go to parties.
    IN THIS SCENARIO, the Best friend/ friends decide to drag her to a party, and MC says, in the laughing pose, “Alright,” In which you get a choice of what to wear.
  2. They are both introverts, in which they decided to go together to finally- how do I say it-“body tangle” or find a boyfriend/ girlfriend if the best friend is lesbian. This case is presented less often, but still, often.
    ~MC goes to a party because she’s lonely, sad, and her best friend just ditched her/ she had a fight with her parents and decided to rebel against them
    Breakdown of this case:
    ~MC gets noticed by the hottest guy in school/town because for the whole time he thought she was pretty and he finally got to approach her
    ~ MC just wanders around for a bit and the Narrator explains who the hot people are, and she does a flirt-shy like animation. She then gets drunk.
    Possible scenarios in this case:
    1 . She gets drunk and some guy in the past somehow comes in and she’s shaken, and runs into the bathroom and cries/ gasps (and I feel like this is where they end the story or when the guy from the past walks in)
    2 . She gets a little tipsy but someone else had a more than a few cheeky drinks, and in consequence, they end up at the point where MC pushes the guy away (who might end up being the annoying guy that keeps trying to date MC)
  • MC and her animations:
    I don’t even need to explain this, it’s not needed to melt when they see a boy in a leather jacket.
    This one: “FAINT”
    “IDLE_TERRIFIED”- this is used when she sees the boy from her past or someone like that.
    “LISTEN_PHONE_EXCITED_LOOP” - this is used when MC sees the boy from her past and is frantic and calls her best friend, in which ner best friend is:
    = Oh my god!
    = Kissing someone else or doing something supposedly funny in which MC is left to deal with her own problems (In which MC does “LISTEN_PHONE_EYEROLL” In this scenario, when MC is waiting for her best friend’s reply, “LISTEN_PHONE_SAD_LOOP” and “LISTEN_PHONE_SIGH” is also very frequently used.
    They are used in scenarios where the best friend is next to the MC and she says, “you’ll never guess what I saw!”
    “MORTIFIED”- this is when she sees the boy of her past (also used)
    “READ_PHONE_SHOCKED” When MC reads about some bad news that happened to her beau which she somehow always finds out through her phone (or if he cheated but it’s revealed he did it for her/ he had to/ some random reason but anyways, they end up back together.)
    “RUN_ATHLETIC” somehow this is never used for the sole purpose of running, and because MC is running to her beau, running from the boy from her past, and yes, a lot when running away from bad guys (I will not shame this scenario because it’s appropriate) “RUN_ATHLETIC_OFFSET” is also used in this scenario
    “RUN_CRY” Can be used when she’s running away from the boy she thinks cheated on her.
    “SEARCH” Finding her beau, running from a guy who wants to be with her but is kind of creepy, running from her beau who cheated-
    “RUN_FALL” This happens afterwards and she gets caught by the beau who gives her an explanation which is heartbreaking, from the creepy guy in which the beau saves her.
    “SLEEP_SITTING” There are some great scenarios, but the cliche scenario is: She falls asleep on the beau, and the Narrator starts talking a lot about the “soft delicate face” “mouth parted” “looked so peaceful” etc. Actually, this would work really well in heartbreak, touching stories, but for normal ones, it usually doesn’t.
    “TALK_AFRAID” again, the boy from the past. Why are they always so determined to get MC back?
    “TALK_AWKWARD” IN which MC and her beau have the first encounter and she’s all shy and other animations from this list can be used here
    “TALK_CONFUSED_MIND_BLOWN” In which the MC is confiding in her best friend, “WHy is the boy from my past back? How?”
    “TALK_DOUBTFUL” In which when the Best friend says something along the lines of, “Approach him”.
    "TALK_EXHAUSTED: The beau surprises MC by being in her house and she goes, “I can’t deal with this right now” but she gets stopped and it’s alright after some explanation of “why he was gone” which is heartbreaking,
    “TALK_MINDBLOWN” MC getting bad at her Beau for cheating, MC and the best friend discussing her crush, MC and the best friend discussing the boy from her past.
    “TALK_NEUTRAL_DENY” WHen best friend tells MC, “You like him, don’t you?” And she goes, “What are you talking about?” But then she admits it, obviously.
    “TALK_PHONE_SAD_LOOP” Also works for when MC is trying to ask where her beau isa and what happened to him. Sorry for going overboard with these phone animations.
    “TALK_REASSURE” This one is the best friend telling the MC it’ll be fine.
    “TALK_REPULSED”-in the (I guess) fewer cliche stories, MC says, “The bad boy? I’’’ never date him, ever!” Guess what happens.
    “TALK_SHEEPISH” When she has the first encounter with the hot guy / bad boy.
    “TALK_STARTLED” The bad boy is talking to me?
    “TALK_UNSURE” WHat if the bad boy doesn’t like me? (Sorry, I understand this one might be real for someone worrying about if their crush likes them back, so I won’t point this one out much)

For the mean girl: (And they all mean basically the same)

Alright, the end!

Limelight (they just have different names, so I won’t point them out this time)
Note that Limelight animations are elss exaggerated
“TALK_GOSSP / ATCAMERA” (Also works for mean girls)
“TALK_PRIMP_NEUTRAL” (Also works for mean girls)

Mean girl:

Animations are done. Please note I did not add the sitting ones because I’m way too lazy.
Alright, so now you know a bit of what not to add, I’d recommend the setting not in high school. Even with a pure romance story, the high school theme is overused and can’t go well for relationships. If you do, please remember there is something called homework.
The love interest should not be introduced at first encounter by (see above) which means I think the “crush for a long time” works. I also think that you should stray from love triangles/ whatever number it is. Try to make it as realistic as possible. Think of real-life situations. Would you, as a boy, for example, stay and continuously battle against two other boys for her love? You might love her, but ultimately, she can’t decide, then, you can’t really bother, can you? PLus she hops from one to another and that seems exactly like cheating.
Real life situations:
Immigration, racial differences, wealth, (depending on which time period) education- these topics should also be thoroughly researched, as a story should be accurate to not offend and also be more touching.
Passionate kiss at first? (First of all, nobody will do that, ever) I don’t really think that’s a good idea.
NO, I don’t feel as motivated to read stories when the first episode talks about her crush, what she’s going to do, discuss her crush with her best friend, etc. Either bring it to a point you know something’s going to happen that is not going to be at a party or those scenes.
Portraying a character falling in love: I think, watch a lot of romance movies. How does the character react? Do they just flirt and smile coyly?
I’m guessing no unless it’s a comedy.
Usually, at the first few encounters, I don’t think the main character has such an impact and such, but it’s through discussion and knowing each other better. I feel like the main character would be not to think, “Oh my god, he’s hot”, after these encounters, but more of, “I like him”.
Also, to show the MC and LI’s love, the mistake author’s make, in my opinion, is narration. This is suitable in many occasions, but there are different types of narration:
Sometimes, describing is good, after a sad scene and all.
The one I’m talking about when the narration is a mistake is, “I love him so much. I didn’t even know…” Yes, this might work sometimes, but actions speak louder. I’m trying to say, instead of saying and narrating the story, there should be actions to show it. It’s more emotionally compelling.
Also, think symbols. What makes a scene more touching? more heartbreaking?
In the outdoors:
Rain, Snow
Silence, sad music.
These can all be applied to movies.
How to keep things interesting:
For example, if you’re talking about wealth or racial differences:
Remember there are background characters, or there must be characters that impact the two main character’s decisions.
Family and friends are very important. Instead of having them around to only choose outfits for you, or brign them to parties, they should give meaningful advice and be more well rounded as a character.
Family: They are usually quite important to the main characters. Their upbringing, the way they’re taught, whether their respect them, etc.
So, After their relationship comes to a good point, how does either’s family accept it?
Book: The lady of camellias, 1848.
When their family accepts it, what troubles await? Is their status lowered? Does other family relations get troubled or stuck in some sort of frenzy because of the relationship of the main characters? How does society react? These all impact the character’s decisions.
(I’d advise you not to add the cliche drama. Instead, Focus on the effects of their relationship on their situation, and everyone else’s situation. This makes a relationship truer, as these obstacles come across more often. )
Will the main character sacrifice their relationship for other people? In the end, are their misunderstandings, or family who affect it? Is it for the greater good?

This is what I think makes a good romance story.

Obviously, I’m not an expert, but anyways, there are some movies you can look for reference that are very emotionally compelling:
The Light between oceans
And the book I referenced earlier

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Cinnamon Toast
(Oh my god, I’m off track and I have to do my homework now)


First of all, I laughed so hard at the first part. There you go, that’s the recipe of writing a cliche romance story everybody! Preach.

Second, your advice in the “other part” of the text was great. I think you are portraying a realistic romance for a more mature audience, which I’m all about. Sadly though it feels like I’m guilty of a few of the things. The story I’m currently writing is definitely not your typical highschool, love-drama… But now I’m paranoid and think that I might’ve moved to fast with some things :joy: Anyways, I couldn’t agree more with the things you said. Showing instead of telling, including the setting to create a certain “vibe” and taking family members (and the MC’s background with family members) opinions into consideration. Brilliant.

Thank you for taking your time to read my post and write this fantastic answer! :revolving_hearts:


No problem! I enjoy helping people and thank you for being patient enough to read through, and Thank you, again.

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How long did it take you to write that? :joy:


Oh lord, 2 hours. That is the longest, most detailed, most researched reply I have ever written on the forums.


I feel honoured :exploding_head:

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:wink: Don’t worry about it. :rofl: It gave me the chance to practice my writing skills anyhow.

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I try to avoid all cliches and still end up with some… :woman_shrugging:
To answer your question… I have never experienced love at first sight, only attraction/ desire at first sight. I don’t believe you can love someone just looking at him/ her. I like reading about specific details at these first moments, what stands out, a perfume/ smell, maybe a loose curl on the woman’s neck, a certain way he looks at her or at the world around him. Then, when they speak, they must have a connection, he/ she must (both) be funny and smart/ witty, not just doing ohhh’s and ahhh’s and laughing for no reason. Or the horror when someone is only talking about exterior (oehhh he has such great abs, yeah, he’d be great for an evening but that’s not romance) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: .
It is absolutely not necessary to have sex or kissing right away, I like my lovers to come across some problems before they get to be together. That adds to the suspense. But then again I’m quite prudish. :laughing:
Sometimes I tend to throw too many problems at my couple and it’s a bit dramatic, but most people have luggage from their past they need to sort out…
Right now I’m writing a story (about adults) where gaslighting is involved, this is a challenge for me because it means my male character has to be a very smart and smooth guy to pull off this mental game. Of course there will be another guy at some point who will be better for her, because I do like a positive ending :wink:
Okay, drifting off myself now.


By the way, just one thing to add… I have a problem ENDING my romantic stories.
Does it end when they finally get to be together?
Does it end after they get married?
Ugh… :roll_eyes:


Fairytale ending lol, they get married and have babies and live happily ever after :heart_eyes: Hehe no, the ending will surely also be a big obstacle for me - but I’ve kinda just ignored the fact that I have to come up with an ending for now since I’m still stuck at the first episode :joy:

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Thank you for taking your time to help me, you made some really valid points. Can you give examples on how to use descriptive language to portray the characters noting specific details about each other? I think it’s really hard to do this without having it sound mushy or forced hehe. I’d also love if you have some examples of problems the lovers may face. It’s not good to have them be unfaithful to one another, right?

Well, thanks to @CinnamonToast I’ve kinda figured out how to write the first encounter between the MC and the LI in my story. Spoiler, the scene ended up not being romantic at all - but since the MC and LI are both very strong persons with noticable personalities they might leave a mark on one anoter either way.

Well, again, thank you! :revolving_hearts:


I LOVE the fairytale ending but that means you have to either skip a couple of years or write a very long couple of episodes where they are being boring. Or do it Hollywood style :laughing:
Oh… or the currently popular betrothal-stuff… :wink:


I don’t know why but whenever I think of fairytale endings I think about shrek and fiona, how they get married despite all of the odds and then have babies and live in the svamp together :rofl:


I’m incapable of being mushy, it makes me nauseous :laughing:
I’m Dutch and English is not my first language so it’s actually very hard for me to describe feelings well. I read some good examples of romantic/ sexy scenes is in the story Fake love, True love by AKA Clover White.
I’d also like to invite you to read my story because I used in there every idea I had :heart:
It’s called “Through his eyes”. It has both her AND his point of view. A little example:

A few loose curls flowed down her neck. She was wearing high heels. Scotts’ heart stopped for a second. She seemed even further from his reach. She fitted the picture of a multi-millionaire life. “Oh Liv." he had lost his voice. "You look stunning. My god.” She was blushing. It made her even more attractive.
Then she looked down at his guitar. “Are you performing somewhere tonight?”
Scott nodded and cleared his throat. “Starks.” Liv came a little closer.
“No way! Scott, why didn’t you tell me! I would give anything to see you play.”
He smelled her perfume, rising from her warm skin. Suddenly he felt flushed. His heart was pounding and the blood whizzed in his ears. There was just one step between them. Her body was so close. Her lips. If he would let her walk away now, there wouldn’t be another chance.
“Are you okay?” she asked. He thought she was teasing him, but when he looked up into her eyes he saw she looked worried.
“Yes, sure. Just nervous.”
She smiled and put her hand on his shoulder. It felt cool on his burning skin. “You are gonna be great.” Before he knew what happened, she put a tiny kiss on his cheek. He was frozen to the hallway floor and couldn’t say anything until she was already halfway down the stairs. His half-hearted “Bye” died mid-air.

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