There are two types of romances: Freindmance and rivalmance. The terms were coined from the Bioware game Dragon Age II, which is you know is my favorite game series ever. In the series there is conflict between mages and those charged with keeping them under lock and key, Templars. Like most jailers there are abuses of power. At the end of this game the conflict really polarizes, and the main character, YOU, make a number of choices that affect the outcome. And your companions either love or hate your choices. And you can romance almost all your companions, and even if they hate your choices, you can still romance them.
Friendmances are easy. The couple are friends, they like each other, they each other’s choices, they like each other’s personalities.
What keeps freindmances apart is never lack of attraction or lack of friendship. Outside circumstances keep them apart. Inside conflict keep them apart, usually a past hurt. Most romances novels are friendmances, even BDSM ones. In my books Second Chance Romance, Love in the Wild, Don’t Count Out Love, to name a few. And my fave Where She Belongs where the romance is borne out of their friendship.
Freindmances are easy to find in books, but harder to find in movies and TV. Ever After: A Cinderella story is a great example. 10 Things I Hate about You, Titanic, Pretty Woman, 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight. Serendipity. I could keep going.
On the other side, rivalmances are full of conflict between the couple. As an outsider, you wonder if they even like each other. They bicker, they fight. If it’s a romance novel, they have a lot of REALLY HOT SEX. Burning, lava, hot sex that melts my panties and leaves me in a puddle. Ahem. Where was I?
But they sort of treat each other like crap. And often we as observers are left wondering “why would you keep fucking someone who treats you like this? Even if it’s the best sex EVER.”
My favorite rivalmance is Reasonable Doubt by Whitney G. Oh god, I don’t even care that Andrew is an ass ALL THE TIME. He treats Aubrey like shit. I’d still climb him like a tree and bang him like a screen door in a hurricane. He has his reasons for being a jerk, but even after that’s resolved, he’s still … ugh, mean sometimes.
Ryan and Alex in Quantico are in a rivalmance. They spend the entire first season not trusting each other. They are both spies so they kind of have to act this way. But their entire realtionship is built on lies, have truths, and hidden secrets. And, yet, they can’t keep away from each other. Lucifer and Chloe are mostly rivals, that’s more on Chloe’s end because she’s a little skeptical of his claim of being The Devil. The more I look at TV and movies, the more examples I can find. The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
Being conflict averse I tend to write friendmances. Scott and Amy, Libby and Adam had some rival aspects, but I don’t think they fit. I can’t imagine writing a hero who is a jerk and imagine the heroine would fall in love.
But I’d still ride Andrew Hamilton like a bull!
Do you have a favorite friendmance or rivalmance I didn’t mention? Which is your favorite to read/watch/be in? Have you ever been in a rivalmance?
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