Common Reasons People Hate Relationships In Fiction
Putting characters into a relationship can be risky business - nothing makes audiences angry like a relationship they despise. So to avoid enraging your audience with your own work, here are some common reasons that people end up hating on relationships. (And while some of these may not be entirely avoidable, you can often still minimize them at least a little with some forethought and effort.)
They're apathetic about one of the characters. They might not really dislike this character, but they don't really like the character, either. Thus they might feel iffy about the characters getting together. A common reason for this kind of apathy is that a character was never shown in a way that made audiences sympathetic enough to actually care about what happened to the character.
They don't understand why the characters would want each other. Maybe one hates a fundamental trait or quirk of the other. Maybe one is always putting the other down. Maybe they've just shown no real chemistry up to this point, or maybe the chemistry is clearly one-sided. Whatever the reason, if people can't figure out why the characters would be together, they won't be able to support the relationship.
They see one half as useless or worse. People tend not to be too fond of useless tagalongs, and they often resent characters who always seem to be messing things up. Putting the character into a relationship will just make it worse, because they'll see this character getting yet another undeserved treat and/or cry foul at the other character making such an ostensibly terrible choice in a partner.
They see one half as too good to be true. On the other hand, if one of the characters is too good - IE, never makes any mistakes ever (or at least, none so far as the narrative is concerned) and/or always knows just what to do or say - that can be just as bad as it cam still shatter people's willing suspension of disbelief.
They see the other half as boring. Nobody wants to be stuck with a boring person, so if one half of your ship is perceived as such people are going to cry foul. Plus, a boring character tends to make the story boring. For an in-depth look at what often makes characters boring, check out Reasons Your Character Might Be Boring.
They were already invested one or both characters having a different relationship. For example, there might be somebody that one of the characters simply has better chemistry with, and thus feels like the most natural choice. Or one of them seemed to have been building up a relationship with someone else already. In any case, if they're already bent on at least one of these characters having a different relationship, they're not going to be pleased with one of the characters getting something else.
They feel like the relationship came out of nowhere. For example, the characters showed no sign of chemistry or interest in each other in the first installment, but in the second installment they're ready to run away with each other with little to no buildup or development shown. Or a main character who was never so much as hinted as being in a relationship for a long period of time is suddenly revealed to have had a long-term partner all along. Things like these can make a relationship feel forced or tacked on, and audiences hate that.
They feel like at least one of the characters was derailed for its sake. For example, a character who was always shown to be smart and resourceful beforehand suddenly seems to be unable to figure anything out without the help of the love interest. Or a character who has been working long and hard to accomplish a dream seems to forget all about it at the sight of the love interest. This also makes a relationship feel forced, and besides that nobody likes seeing their favorite characters derailed thus.
They feel the relationship ruined the best traits of at least one of the characters. For example, a character who was known for being opinionated and outspoken turns quiet and demure after getting into a relationship. Or a character who was known for being a go-getter warrior type turns into a homebody. Or a character who was always up to all kinds of entertaining shenanigans turns boringly responsible. Again, nobody likes seeing their favorite characters derailed.
They feel like the romance pushes the main plot to the side. If your characters' relationship gets a lot of focus while little to nothing happens that moves the main plot forward, people are going to feel like the romance has taken over the story. It'll be even worse if there's something your characters could be doing to advance the main plot, but aren't because they're suddenly too occupied with each other.
And you might also be interested in:
Tips to Write & Roleplay Believable Successful Long-Term Relationships
Basic Tips To Write Healthy Relationships
How To Avoid Creating Shallow Love Interests & Shallow Best Friends
Reasons Your RP Characters Might Be Bad Friends Or Love Interests
So You Want To Have An Attractive Character?