Common Problems with Real Relationships

Online Peeps, Welcome!

Today is a fun topic, kind of. Here we are learning what are the most common problems with real relationships that will help the conflict and the tension in your story. So here we go!

  1. Fear of Intimacy (being vulnerable) – “Oh, I like this guy! But what if he’s like _____ and hurts me! I can’t let that happen!” This creates a tension between partners, thus causing one or both parties to withhold their feelings and draw back from the relationship and communication. No communication = No trust = No relationship. We don’t like being vulnerable to heartbreak, may it be from experience or lessons we’re taught.
  2. Shutting Down – We use our natural defense in order to just stop. We fully are giving up here and refusing to even try. We’re literally pushing the other person away. This may because of what we’ve been through previously in relationships or seeing a relationship while we were really young that we want to avoid. This makes us still want to guard ourselves, not get too close, scaring ourselves into self-preservation mode. This, however, not only hurts them, but us too. We begin to limit our relationships, and our lives in the fear of what might happen instead of what could.
  3. Overly Critical – Hey, ladies I’m primarily talking to you here. I admit I have done it. “His nose is too big!” or “He’s short!” Any excuse to get out of it. This is a way to halt the relationship without reversing it. Here we are hearing our inner voice that will attack and belittle one or both of you. You could be hearing how you’re not good enough for him or how he’s not good enough. Another self-preservation technique. This brings your mind to look at the relationship in more of a mathematical problem than it being personal, natural progression of your life.
  4. Form Over Substance – This one will surprise you a bit, it sure did me. This is pretty much you’re not getting the kindness or the respect that you should, but you’re progression through the relationship is moving at a good speed. This is where you feel as though you have this bond with your significant other that isn’t there. It’s a fantasy created in your mind how they’re “the one.” This doesn’t let your love or admiration flourish together and it becomes more of a habit than a necessity.
  5. Picking Fights – Guilty as Charged – This is where one or both begin to nag and provoke your partner all of the time or just randomly. They’re wearing a blue and a black sock, must fight! It’s a ridiculous way to make the other one give up that way you don’t hurt them. Make it their idea, in a way. This isn’t about resolving the underlying issues, can be caused by shutting down, instead you’re creating more. You have no reason to do it, you’re just provoking a negative response to push your partner away.

So, how does this tie into writing? Well, everyone has dealt with at least one of these. This also brings the techniques I’ve previously mentioned in a previous post into question. This is for more of the Technique application where you’re using your own experiences to fuel what’s going on. This also makes your characters more real and creates more conflict and tension. This does not mean that for every scene they are together that they have to be fighting or exhibiting any of these factors. It means that this stuff happens and you need to show how to work your characters through it.

Moreover, explain why. I cannot stress that word enough. WHY! You want to know why your character is afraid of the relationship. We want to know what they’ve been through. This creates not only the tension and conflict you need to progress your story and keep your reader hooked, but it also allows for a quick flash into a back story or how to explain a goal they want. This shows your motivation, the inner conflict of your characters, of the relationship. It makes us care.

So why are they going through it? Why are they putting up with each other still? How does your character show these problems? What is your characters kryponite?

We want to understand, we want to care. Show us why we should. The more we care, the more we talk, the more you sell.

That’s it for today,



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