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  1. AManWithAShovel
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    AManWithAShovel New Member

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    Can a close but Strictly none-sexual/romantic relationship exist?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by AManWithAShovel, Feb 25, 2016.

    I'm currently writing Fanfiction about two(maybe adding a third) characters. Both are of undefined gender. Both faces depression, which will be a big part of the story. I want the two to develope a both physically and mentally intimate relationship but it must be strictly kept non-sexual or romantic. The two go through a lot of tough times together. One of the characters is way underage, around twelve or so, facing problems such as neglect and bullying. The other is undefined but most likely around legal adult age (18), facing self-loathing and nihilism. I want to stay away from parent-children relationships. They meet after running from home and failing suicide.

    So is something like this possible? Does a relationship like this even exist? If so, can I get some tips to keep romance out of the story?
     
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  2. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes
    /thread

    In all some seriousness :cool: maybe try describing their relationship as "big sibling, little sibling" even though they're not biologically related?
     
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  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    You'll need to work at making the relationship believable by making both characters' thoughts available to the reader. Either via POV or via carefully-considered dialogue and action. How do other characters view the relationship?

    If one of the characters (presumably the older one) is in a romantic relationship already ...one that is convincingly solid ...this will also help.

    Do you have an idea how this will end? That will help you direct your writing to develop the characters the way you want them to go.

    The fact that there is such an age gap would certainly suggest big/little sibling, or even parent/child substitute. Or mentor/learner relationship.

    If the 12-year old is mentally or emotionally precocious this might make a true friendship of equals between them more believable. However, there is usually quite a development gap between the ages of 12 and 18, so that gap will probably figure in. The gap won't matter so much as they both get older, so that's also something to play around with. Perhaps the older one is more aware of this, or maybe a third party can point it out.

    The 18-year-old is probably interested in sex and possibly romance (not with this other character, but in general) while the 12-year-old may be preoccupied with other concerns. Perhaps the 18-year-0ld's search for a sexual mate could cause friction between the two. The 12-year-old wants attention 24/7 from what they see as a parental substitute, a teacher or an older sibling, and don't want that relationship threatened by a third party. The 18-year-old, on the other hand, might want freedom to explore the possibilities of other kinds of relationships.

    Just some thoughts.
     
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  4. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    My five cents - YES!

    I have a very close friend of the other sex. We never were romantically involved nor did we wish it. Yet there is a ease when you don't have to hide, because the other understands and does not judge, which is hard to find. As long as this ease is there the gender does not matter at all. I have found this ease with both genders in my close circle of friends.

    Romantic relationships are something else entirely.
     
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  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I have had (and still have) several very close friends of the opposite sex who were close to me in age, and this certainly works beautifully—provided it is well understood by both parties that a sexual relationship between them is not what either one wants.

    If the two people get along really well, it can be tempting to think ...well, why not? One of my best male friends and I did actually discuss the issue. We get along so so well, we really clicked when we first met and have had such a good time since ...maybe a relationship is what we should be pursuing? Are we missing out on something? And we both looked at each other for a few moments, and together, went ...nah. It wouldn't work! And had a great laugh, followed by a few beers. We were comfortable enough in our relationship to actually live together as roommates for a couple of years, till our lives took us in separate directions. We're still in close contact. Tomorrow is actually his birthday and I've just sent him an e-card and a letter. So there you go.

    I've also been involved in two other opposite sex friendships where one of the two of us did have hopes for more, which ultimately could have soured the friendships. Fortunately in our cases, the person (one time me, and the other time it was him) who had the hopes let them go, and things were fine after that.

    A few other friendships were such that the issue never arose. One was a man whom I already knew was gay, and another one was happily married. So the issue never came up. And still another couple of guys were always just friends and we knew it. No hassles.

    However, @AManWithAShovel 's situation is slightly different, in that there is a large age gap between his characters at a time when age gaps really do matter. I'm more concerned about the age gap than anything else here. The possibilities for misunderstanding, either between the two characters or between them and the world at large, could be daunting.
     
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Sure. There are lots of relationships that can evolve under circumstances outside the norm, which create deeply intimate relationships that don't answer to the words we use in regular, every-day life. In war soldiers develop bonds with one another that tend to end up being called "brothers", but that's a pale, unsatisfactory word for it. An intimacy can develop that is the kind of thing usually reserved for lovers and spouses, but that's not what's going on either in war (though, it can be that, and history says that this line gets crossed all the time in war).

    In a similar vein, look at Frodo and Samwise, and also Pippin and Merry. Nothing sexual there, but the things they went through, the trials they faced together... We don't have a good word in English for that kind of being in love, but I think Frodo and Samwise were very much in love and also Pippin and Merry. The fact that we lack a word to describe being in love with someone that doesn't answer to being lovers doesn't mean that this kind of being in love doesn't exist. The failure is in the language, not the emotion.
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I feel that way about my best friend, who has been my best friend for nearly 50 years now, more or less from the first day we met. I love her, and would be devastated if something happened to her. One of the things that gives me the greatest sorrow, is that because I'm now living in another country that's thousands of miles (and one big ocean) away, we don't get to see each other any more. I haven't seen her since 2004, and that was the first time I'd seen her since 1986. We're still on the phone to each other at least once a week, and our friendship has never wavered. We each have very full separate lives, but our connection is as strong as ever.

    The odd thing is, we are very different from one another. We have almost no interests in common and our personalities are very different. Strange. Yet we have never had a disagreement or anything approaching a falling-out, over anything. I feel incredibly lucky in all my friends, but her in particular. She made me look at myself from a different angle than what I'd done before, and it's made me much more self-confident. I think I've done the same for her. We're both more effective people from having known each other.
     
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  8. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    I have a few great friends of the opposite gender, and like jannert had two guys as roommates. Even though I moved far away for work, we still text each other a few times a week, have good laughs, and reunite when we're close in location to each other. Not once did we contemplate having a relationship that went beyond close friendship. In fact, all of us were in romantic relationships at some point with other people.

    I know that if I needed help, they'd hop on a plane ASAP and fly on over to assist, and I'd do the same for them.

    If you need some examples of platonic relationships in novels or stories, I can give some.
     
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  9. AManWithAShovel
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    AManWithAShovel New Member

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    Thanks for the elaborated feedback, everyone!
    The story is a crossover between game universes, so the characters don't exactly come from normal backgrounds. The younger character has very vague backstory in the game he/she's from, but depression is heavily implied canoically. The older character is original but heavily inspired by the game Fallout. He/she survived in a post-nuclear war wasteland. The setting forced him/her to commit many immoral acts like theft and murder, which is the source of their depression, along with PTSD. The older character is not sexually active nor did they have experience of romantic relationships, as they were too young before the nuclear war.
     
  10. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    It's called platonic romance. It's like your best, best, best, best friend/s. So close you're like good family. It happens with some people you get to know, if you know them long enough and the platonic chemistry is there.
    I have yet to experience it myself, so this comes from older people I know.
     
  11. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    It's like your soulmate, but in a friend way.

    My best friend is male and we're both straight, and we've never had romantic feelings for each other. It's not even a sibling-type relationship, we're just really good friends.

    I skipped over the above posts because I'm too lazy to read, so if no one has mentioned empathy yet, that plays a HUGE part in what keeps me and my best friend so close. We don't share all of each other's worldviews or hobbies, but we do make the effort to understand why we each like what we like (or don't like), and that sort of mutual respect forms a really solid foundation of trust. We can and do tell each other anything, because we know the other person is always going to try to understand.
     
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  12. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Yeah, I don't see any issue. You're just talking about a close platonic relationship - those happen all the time. I do think with your age difference it's pretty likely the older one would feel protective of the younger one in a big sibling sort of way, so if you're having a hard time avoiding thinking in terms of romance for some reason, just make yourself start thinking of them as siblings. I don't know how many times I've heard people talk about close friends like "oh yeah, she's like my sister". It's very common.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
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