When you start a new relationship, you’re usually so caught up in the excitement of learning about someone, telling them about yourself and revelling in those first kisses, caresses and… all the rest. You don’t think about it like a writer would, wondering how flirty is too flirty, and how realistic is it to sleep with someone on a first date? As always, I wonder sometimes about getting it right when I write it down for the readers.
I do know what it’s like to be in that exciting new relationship place. 🙂 Who doesn’t? Whether or not it lasts is something different altogether but today, I’m wondering about getting new relationship feelings just right.
I’ve touched on the love at first sight thing before. As you know, I don’t much believe in that and so, I rarely have that element in my stories. I did have it – in a low-key manner – in my story “A Pair of Ice Skates,” but that was a sappy, sweet Christmastime romance. To be honest, I thought the sentiment fit with that story but there’s no way I would allow my other characters to feel that. Instant attraction is one thing but love at first sight isn’t part of my repertoire.
But then, that’s just one method of introducing attraction and emotion between a couple. There are a few other options. There’s the always popular, ‘I’ve always loved you as a friend.’ That’s a tough one to suss out after the physical attraction is introduced. You can’t have all the same self-conscious concerns and the couple doesn’t need to go through the whole getting to know each other part. There are other firsts to be nervous about in that situation though and just wondering whether or not it’ll work out brings enough anxiety to deal with.
Another favourite way to start a relationship is with the ‘I-hate-you’ angle. Not real hate, mind you. Think Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. The couple starts out antagonistic and then they grow to respect and love each other. That’s a fun one that I’ve never really tried out before. The closest I suppose I’d have come to that is Jack and Grimm in “Undercover.” But they had a healthy respect for each other before falling in love at least.
I find it difficult sometimes just matching the personalities and getting all those firsts and honest anxieties right. With some of my female leads, they have a higher level of shyness around men – this I add a lot of the time because it’s how I used to be. When writing new relationships, this was something I could easily relate to; blushing every time he so much as looked in my direction, trying not to stammer when we’d talk and wondering if he’d call the next day.
With the “Ice” stories, navigating the beginnings of those relationships is tough. It’s not easy to date someone who travels away from home for half of every month, for six months of the year – longer, if they’re lucky. 🙂 Any woman would be understandably insecure at the beginning of a relationship like that. Then again, some women might not mind if he’s away that often. Maybe she likes doing things on her own and treating every time she sees him like something new and exciting. It’s so easy to take someone for granted when they’re right there with you all the time. So perhaps the early relationship perk in that situation is the ‘honeymoon’ phase every time the guy returns to town.
However, back to the anxiety over your partner being away: how insecure is too insecure? I don’t think I’ve ever made it an issue in my stories, come to think of it, except for Hilary in “Keeping Ice on the Wound” and “Back on the Ice.” How realistic is it for the woman to be just fine with the man in her life being gone for almost half the season? Should I add more anxiety or would that be less realistic?
Always questions, always wondering if I’m ever getting it right. *sigh* I suppose it just means I care. 😉
In other news, I’ve just submitted a new short story to Literotica. It’s very short, and not an “Ice” story but I like it. It’s short and sweet and sometimes, that’s all we need, right? It should be on-line by Thursday at the latest, depending on wait times at the website right now.
Oh, and who is watching the NFL playoffs? Anyone cheering hard for someone still in the running? Any predictions for the Superbowl match-up? It’s been an exciting couple of weeks, I will say that much.
As always, take care and happy reading.