I Love You Because I Can't Control You
"You are a hateful woman. You oppose me to the very end. But I shall forgive you. Some things are beautiful because they cannot be obtained."A person who, by intense charisma, magic, science, or mundane methods of seduction, is able to make everyone throw themselves at their feet; absolutely anyone they want. Then they find a true challenge when they meet another character who, for whatever reason, is immune to their charms. In other words, this person has the power to choose the seducer of their own free will, and love them for who they are on the inside. Forbidden Fruit is also a factor, since something unattainable is naturally more desirable. If The Casanova gets a Love Interest, he will often fall for her because of this trope. This is often an explanation behind Ladykiller in Love and implied in The Love Slap of Epiphany. Contrast All Take and No Give. Sub-Trope of Forbidden Fruit and No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction. When the uncontrollable object is not flattered by the attention, she may be dealing with a Prince Charming Wannabe.
— Gilgamesh, Fate/stay night
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Anime & Manga
- A very large amount of shoujo is based on this trope, where the extremely handsome and cynical male lead falls for the honest, down-to-earth female lead because he can't wrap her around his finger as easily as he can everyone else.
- Code Geass
- Mao became a Yandere because of this trope, as C.C. is the only person he could have extended contact with that wouldn't fill up his head with the white noise created by his uncontrollable Geass power.
- Lelouch has a case similar to Mao. C.C is the only person he can't geass into submission and she once notes that he's becoming obsessed with her. There's also the fact that she's too experienced to be in awe of him (like some of his other admirers in the series). It is less a lack of control, as much as it is an independent streak and dependency on each other that make them partners, and not merely a subordinate.
- Shin from Fist of the North Star, who loves Yuria because she is an emotionally strong-willed woman whom he sees as a challenge to make willingly fall in love with him. It keeps failing, since she will only love Kenshirou.
- A mostly mundane version of this seems to be what attracts most of the suitors of Shuurei in Saiunkoku Monogatari. Being a confident, outspoken, and blindingly intelligent woman in an otherwise male-dominated society, she doesn't let ANY level of authority or nobility intimidate her, up to and including the Emperor himself. As a result, several of the most powerful men in the Empire become enamoured with her straightforward and willful personality, whether it be a fatherly concern or outright true love.
- In One Piece, part of the reason why Boa Hancock falls in love with Luffy if due to the fact that he's the only one who can resist her charms, while everyone else she comes in contact falls head over heels for her.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena: Touga falls in love with Utena because she seems to be the one girl who doesn't immediately fall under his charm.
- The protagonist of B Gata H Kei brushes off the flirtations of her rival's stupidly attractive older brother. Apparently she is the first one to ever do that. He immediately decides he must have her.
- Akako Koizumi of Magic Kaito. A mix of Hot Witch and Dark Magical Girl with the power to make men fall in love with her just by looking at her, she's put off by the discovery that Kaito Kuroba/Kaitou Kid is somehow the only person immune to her spell. After two failed attempts to force him under her control (and another attempt to just kill him when that doesn't work), she ends up falling in love with him and spends the rest of the series helping him out in her own way, via dropping cryptic warnings and disguising herself as Kid on one occasion to stop Hakuba from proving Kaito and Kid are the same person.
- One of the reasons Iason is so attracted to Riki in Ai no Kusabi is the latter's rebellious nature and defiant pride. The more Riki fights and resists him, Iason becomes more excited and determined to get Riki to submit willingly.
- Sailor Moon:
- Ali Filler Villain of the "Makaiju/Doom Tree arc" in the anime specifically states to himself after Usagi runs away after he failed in his attempt at wooing her that "Every time she runs away it only heightens my determination to win her over..."
- Prince Dimando likes Usagi's Older and Wiser self, Queen Serenity, for this reason as well. When Usagi reacts in the same manner, he also pursues her.
- Ranma ½: In the manga and even the anime, it's one of the reasons why Ranma has feelings for Akane. He's wanted by men, women, and a panda doodle. While most girls either pursue Ranma or at least freely admit they think he's attractive, Akane is one of the few who refuses to show interest openly. She also seems to almost always know if Ranma is trying to trick her or is wearing a disguise. Because of her fiery temper and refusal to put up with his crap, they eventually fall under the best friends category. Considering that he's uncomfortable with physical affection and loves a good challenge, it actually makes sense.
Ranma: You... sure got spunk.
- Count Germont from Honoo No Alpen Rose is repeteadly rejected by the heroine Jeudi, but he keeps trying to make her his mistress no matter what. Lampshaded by the Count's wife Francoise, who tells Jeudi that the Count's impressed by Jeudi's ability to tell him no repeatedly, and confesses that she also envies Jeudi for it.
- Reimei No Arcana: One of the first few things that attracts Caesar to (and annoys him about) Nakaba is her refusal to be controlled by him.
- Ah! My Goddess
- Aoshima is implied to be like this to Belldandy.
- Also occurs with Sayoko towards Keiichi, particularly in Season 2.
- Kin'iro no Corda: Yunoki to Hino.
- Pandora Hearts: In spite of finding out that Lacie initially doesn't remember him, Jack doesn't particularly mind because he admires Lacie all the more for how free-spirited she is and how she can't be tied down by anything.
- Sukisho: Yoru says to Ran at one point when he fights against his advances. "The more stubborn you are, the more you excite a man's domineering nature."
- France of Axis Powers Hetalia groped Italy once and mentioned that "The more you resist the hotter I burn for you."
- Though love is not the best way to describe it, Iemitsu from Gate 7, like a good Psychopathic Manchild, loves when he take things he knows he can't have and if they try to run, he likes them more; special mention is Sugihime, a girl he kidnapped for her Seer ability and concideres her "so cute" for always insulting him and wishing him dead.
- Kanade Suzutsuki from Mayo Chiki! falls gradually in love with Jiro because of this trope. Where as other guys and girls fawn over her, he's the first guy to overtly stand up to her, although a lot of it is due to her being The Tease towards him till later in the series.
- Apparently discussed by Nikaido/Dokurou in The World God Only Knows FLAG 268. She thinks that Keima apparently fell in love with Chihiro for real, because she's the only girl, among his previous capture targets who had an important influence to his Character Development, who never got along with his expectations.
- In Date A Live, Miku Izayoi falls in love with Shiorinote because she is immune to her Compelling Voice. When Shiori says she hates her, Miku says that only makes her want her more.
- Cross Ange: Embryo seems to desire Ange mostly because she's strong-willed enough to resist his manipulations and even outright Mind Control powers. Paradoxically, he doesn't seem to understand why she doesn't consider herself extremely fortunate to have been judged worthy by himself.
- In the Sillage comic, The Collector, a corrupt alien diplomat develops an obsession for Nävis in this way. He keeps a whole harem of his past conquests but obsesses over this one girl he cannot get. (He is a powerful telepath but Humans Are Special by not being psykers — her mind is blank for him.) This develops into a genuine love that gives him what might qualify as a Heel-Face Turn. Although love is a strong word. He just toned down his obsession. It didn't stop him from putting dozens of video cameras in her ship and robot friend to watch her all the day.
- Jean Grey in the X-Men comics doesn't really seem to earn Wolverine's interest until she shouts him down. Every time she'd telekinetically clobber him and shout "I am no one's property!", it seems to make him hotter for her. Pity every adaptation ever forgets that, having Logan fall for her the instant he first sees her.
- The DCU: The latest Clock King is obsessed with Rose Wilson a.k.a. Ravager mostly because she has similar precognitive abilities that can counter his own powers.
- ElfQuest: Leetah and Rayek's relationship in the early issues could easily be interpreted this way.
Rayek: I have asked you to be my lifemate. Any maiden here would say yes!
Leetah: Then why pursue me, my arrogant one?
Rayek: Because you are the only one worth having!
- In Fairest, Prince Charming tells Nalayani he has genuine feelings for her because she's unaffected by his charm. She replies "What charm?"
- Loki becomes attracted to Verity Willis because she has the power to see through all forms of falsehood, including illusions, so fooling her is quite a challenge.
- Many Jerk Sue fanfics have the "heroine" as this kind of girl, and guys fall head over heels for her because she treats them "with spunk and feminist will"... in other words, like total crap, which makes her more "interesting" than the other silly, stupid, weaker, girly girls around.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender fic Sun and Earth, Zuko is put in this position by Toph. She stays in a relationship with him, but has a strong need to stay free. She goes her own way, sometimes appearing in Zuko's life again. He still waits, even being married to Mai, because it's Toph being unreachable that attracts him.
- Played with in The Silmarillion fic The Game of the Gods. The Gary Stu second-to-last opponent is, by his creator's decree, capable of seducing any woman he really wants to — and it works on a Vala — but it doesn't work on Lúthien, causing him to immediately focus all his attention on her, then vanish from the contradiction when she persists in ignoring him.
- Part of the spark for the Fleur×Harry relationship in the Harry Potter fanfic The Lie I've Lived. Fleur first sees Harry as an actual romantic prospect when, annoyed, he deliberately snubs her in order to ask her close but non-part-Veela friend to the Yule Ball. She is visibly much more satisfied with her relationship with Harry than with her previous ones, which usually involved much older men so strongly affected by her aura that they simply did whatever she told them to.
- Very common in Harry Potter fan fiction pairing Draco and an Original Character. Draco is portrayed as The Casanova (often referred to as "the Slytherin Sex-God"), but will quickly fall head-over-heels once it's revealed that the new girl isn't impressed by his pick-up lines.
- It's canon that Naruto is pretty rebellious and defiant. In Slash Fic this is sometimes one of the reasons that Sasuke ends up pursuing him.
- In the Death Note fanfic ''Feminism'' Fem!Raito gets even more interested in L when her attempts to seduce him (so she can win as Kira) don't work, and in fact he's noticed many for what they were. In chapter 1-2 she notes herself as far out of his league, when by the fourth or so she admits she finds him attractive too—but still wants to win.
- In the The Picture of Dorian Gray fanfiction ''If I should ever lose you, that's what makes Basil a real mentor (and more) for Dorian.
- Word of God for the Pony POV Series is that this is the main reason Entropy married Havoc — He's the one being in all of existence who doesn't fear Her.
- A variation in Dark Fic Prison Island Break. While their relationship revolves purely around friendship, Sonic the Hedgehog respects Shadow the Hedgehog because Shadow isn't taken in by charisma or smooth talking, forcing Sonic to prove his leadership qualities.
Films — Animation
- Beauty and the Beast:
- One of the reasons Gaston falls for Belle is because Belle's the only girl in town who isn't taken in by him. Gaston states outright that his interest comes simply from the fact that Belle is the most beautiful girl in the village.
- The Beast also starts to warm up to Belle after she refuses to obey and defer to him. Unlike with Gaston, who views her refusal to submit as a challenge to break her to his will, the Beast is inspired by her behavior to be a better person.
- The anime movie Howls Moving Castle gives a gender-flipped variant. The Witch of Waste enjoys pursing "dashing men" and loves that Howl runs from her. It makes it that much more fun to try to get his heart.
Films — Live-Action
- In the Fantastic Four movie, Victor Von Doom's assistant wonders, "Why Sue? You could have any other woman in the world." Victor quickly rejoins, "That's why. Because I could have any other woman."
- Inverted in Next, where the main character falls for the love interest because his powers work better on her than anyone else.
- In Casino Royale (2006), James Bond falls for Vesper Lynd because she's the only woman he's ever met who doesn't easily fall for his charms.
- This is the premise of Coming to America. Eddie Murphy's character, an African prince, wants to find a woman who would love him for who he is, not an Arranged Marriage or a Gold Digger after his money.
- Groundhog Day pulls this with the lead character, Phil, who is stuck in a Ground Hog Day Loop and can't get out. At one point he uses this to take advantage and convince a variety of beautiful women he loves them or he knew them by learning stuff about them, coming back the next day, and using this knowledge to seduce them. Since every day at 6 when he wakes up everything is reset, he can profess his love to a woman, sleep with her, and wake up without her ever realizing this had happened since technically it never did. This goes well for Phil with everyone he wants except Rita, his producer, whom he spends multiple weeks learning everything about her, and yet not one time does she sleep with him, actually they all end with him being slapped for his behavior. As would be expected, this is the one he falls for.
- In Super Powereds Angela feels this way towards Chad. Amusingly, it is later revealed that between the strange nature of his power and his own social cluelessness, he more or less fell in love with her without noticing and just needed Roy to explain as much to him.
- This is eventually the motivation by which Courtney Thane is shown to be in love with Alix Crown in Quills Window: Her aloof, diffident nature is a stark contrast to any other woman he's met.
- Possibly the only reason for Scarlet O'Hara's obsession with Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind is that he is not affected by her "powers of seduction"... at least, not enough to leave his wife.
- Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Ho Yay reading of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
- Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead has a lot of Ho Yay subtext between Howard Roark and Gail Wynand, with Wynand's feeling for Roark being an example of this trope.
- Wuthering Heights: Edgar for Cathy Earnshaw. She walks all over him, ignores his wishes, throws temper tantrums and obviously prefers the company of Heathcliff, and yet he refuses to give her up.
- Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet is Genre Savvy enough to realize this is why Mr. Darcy fell in love with her — she was a welcome change from the likes of his Clingy Jealous Girl Caroline Bingley.
Elizabeth: Now be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?
Darcy: For the liveliness of your mind, I did.
Elizabeth: You may as well call it impertinence at once. It was very little less. The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking, and looking, and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused, and interested you, because I was so unlike them. Had you not been really amiable, you would have hated me for it; but in spite of the pains you took to disguise yourself, your feelings were always noble and just; and in your heart, you thoroughly despised the persons who so assiduously courted you.
- Interestingly, Jane Austen takes the opposite approach to the trope in her next novel Mansfield Park, where Henry Crawford and his sister are both fully aware that the only reason he wants to make Fanny Price fall in love with him is because she's the first girl who doesn't fawn over him and crave his attention. The difference from P&P is that It's All About Me in Crawford's case.
- Gender flipped in Austen's Emma, where Emma falls in love with Mr. Knightley, the only person on Earth who doesn't worship her or treat her like she's perfect.
- Captain Luthar first falls for Ardee West in The First Law because she's the first woman he's ever met who's honest about her low opinion of him.
- Twilight has a variation: "I love you because I can't read your mind." He actually can, and regularly does, control her. Also, it's implied that it's supposed to be because Bella is way too good to fall for looks alone... except that's all she talks about when she describes Edward, so the meaning is lost.
- Ciaphas Cain: Probably applies in Ciaphas' relationship with Amberley.
- Averted in The Vampire Diaries. Elena notes that Meredith is the only female who seems immune to Damon's charisma, but this only serves to make Damon rather wary of her.
- "Face" Loran invokes this trope in the X-Wing Series with Dia Passik, who because of her tough childhood never saw any of his films, and thus is just about the only woman of her age who doesn't gush over him. Although he meant it ironically, in the end the two of them do get together.
- Esteban for Clara in The House of the Spirits.
- Caine for Diana in Gone. He fell for her because she was the only girl who hadn't fallen for his charms.
- In The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima, protagonist Seph has always been able to get any girl he wants thanks to his magically-aided charisma. Then he meets Madison Moss, whose Anti-Magic makes her immune. You can guess where this is going.
- In The Novels Of The Jaran, Ilya fall in love with Tess because she constantly defies him when nearly everyone else in the Jaran obeys him. The fact that she doesn't fall for his charisma and good looks like most other women probably factored in, too.
- Sophie from Howls Moving Castle (the book) is Genre Savvy enough to recognize that Miss Angorian, who is not only capable of resisting Howl's charm and is engaged to another man but also smart, pretty, down-to-earth and confident, will steal Howl's heart after witnessing their first meeting but it was Sophie who actually made Howl fall in love with her in the end.
- The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries
- In the novel (and its TV version, True Blood), this is the reason Sookie was first attracted to Bill: She realized she couldn't hear his thoughts.
- It's implied that Eric and Sookie's relationship has elements of this. She can't read his mind, he can't glamour her or make her quit her job and live safely as an odd type of housewife. This has nothing to do with the challenge and everything to do with the fact that hearing a guy's thoughts tends to really screw things up for Sookie, e.g. unflattering commentary on her body.
- In Trudi Canavan's The Ambassador's Mission Achati laments his control over his slaves — "Only when the person could easily leave you do you appriciate it when he stays" — and seems to have taken an interest in Dannyl at least partly due to a more equal status.
- Cassandra, the Physical God antagonist of Full Tilt, has been preying on people's fears for at least several thousand years, but she's never once felt fear herself. The protagonist initially drew her attention by being the sole survivor when she sent a school bus careening off a cliff, but when she challenges him individually, she's both unnerved and strangely turned on by his lack of any apparent weakness for her to target. At various points, she flirts with him, taunts him, offers him a job, and begs him for mercy. (Only that third one seriously interests him, and not for very long.)
- In Harry Potter, Harry becomes romantically interested in Ginny after she backs off, makes her crush on him less obvious, and interacts with him in a platonic and friendly manner. In this case, it's less that Harry enjoys the challenge of pursuing her, and more that he finds it unnerving and smothering when girls try to get him to love them.
- A non-romantic version of this is apparently a big cause of Breeze's friendship with Clubs in Mistborn. As a Smoker, Clubs is immune to Breeze's Allomancy, and he is immune to more mundane methods of emotional manipulation because everything makes him grumpy.
- In The Finishing School Series future duke Felix ignores the girls that throw themselves at him and only has eyes for the protagonist Sophronia who finds him arrogant and is far more focused on excelling at her espionage training than catching a rich, titled husband.
- The titular protagonist of Fire falls in love with Prince Brigan partially because he is one of the very few people who has a strong enough mind to resist the mind-altering effects of her inhuman beauty.
- This is how Bobby and Oran feel about each other in The Man Who Brought The Dodgers Back To Brooklyn. Oran isn't swayed by Bobby's charm and savoir faire, and uses her stature as a TV reporter to try and hold him accountable for his outlandish actions with the Dodgers, which earns his interest. Bobby, on the other hand, doesn't let himself get swayed by her reporting, which she finds fascinating. They eventually get together and are married at the end of the novel.
- In The Poster Children, Charm Person Gloria falls for John Wright because he's immune to her pheromones. Unfortunately, they can't convince others of this, so at the first chance, Gloria gets imprisoned for supposedly tricking him into marriage. She's also kept from seeing her son because of this.
He could say no, so she had to say please.
- Skin Game reveals that the Fallen Angel Lasciel has developed a perverse fascination with Harry Dresden- the only mortal in thousands of years who not only refused her temptations, but convinced her psychic imprint to leave his mind.
Lasciel: (during her Motive Rant) No one’s ever turned me down before, Harry. Not once.
- This is supposedly why Christian is in love with Ana in Fifty Shades of Grey, being that they're based on Edward and Bella. Christian claims this is a draw of Ana's, why he loves her... except her moments of defiance send him into a rage more often than not (sometimes on the same page) and he is still very controlling of her.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- There's an episode where Lwaxana Troi is fascinated by someone she cannot read. He turns out to be a hologram, which she is quite embarrassed by.
- Similarly, the telepath from the episode "Tin Man" spends a lot of time with Data, whose mind he cannot read. The difference here is that, unlike Lwaxana, he can't not read minds, while Lwaxana just has almost no sense of personal space in that regard. He loves having to discover who Data is as a person rather than being thrust with all that information at once.
- Also from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Q's attraction to Picard is probably the result of this trope. He seems rather pleased with humanity's unpredictability, after all.
- In Dark Angel, there is an episode focused on one of the X series fugitives who has Mind Control powers. She's dating this mob guy called Dougie, despite him being below average in every respect, because her powers don't work on him. She helped him rip off his organisation, manipulating him in more traditional ways.
- True Blood
- Sookie was initially attracted to Bill the vampire mainly because she couldn't read his mind, though this was mostly since she wasn't Squicked out by what he thought about her sexually. The fact that he saved her from the Rattrays and fed her his blood, causing her to have sexy dreams about him didn't hurt any. It turned out he'd orchestrated the whole thing specifically to get this response, which makes it a Invoked Trope.
- There's also Eric, who is mostly into Sookie because he's a bit intimidated by her powers, as shown in a fantasy of his where she tops the hell out of him. Both vampires also feel this way towards Sookie because she can't be glamoured.
- There's a bit of this in Castle; Richard Castle can charm any lady he likes around his little finger except for Detective Kate Beckett, who isn't suckered in by any of his usual methods... which makes Castle, who was getting bored with the fawning ladies themselves trying to snare or drape themselves over him, a lot more interested in her as a result. It's also suggested (including by the actors) that it's not so much about Castle trying to find some way to control Beckett as he is kind of thrilled to find someone who can control him, as Castle has no real authority figure in his life except for her.
- Scrubs: Dr. Cox loves Jordan because she's one of the only people who can stand up to him. Jordan loves Dr. Cox because he's one of the only people who can stand up to her.
- Gossip Girl: Blair loves Chuck because he's the only person who is a Worthy Opponent, Chuck loves Blair because she's the only one who ever seriously challenges him.
- Averted in the Smallville episode, "Heat". When Desiree finds that her seduction power has no effect on Clark Kent, she gets pissed and immediately starts trying to ruin his life. For example, she frames him for arson.
- Noah's Arc: This is one of the things that draws Ricky towards Junito early on (as Ricky's sexual advances don't seem to take).
- Firefly: Fans would have us believe that Jayne feels this way about Axe Crazy River Tam.
- The Secret Life of the American Teenager has this in the pilot, proving that at least one of the writers actually knows how to write. The main love interest, after talking to the main character, talks to his councilor.
"I asked her out, and she turned me down. Of course, I must have her."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy treats Spike's sexual advances with contempt until he reveals that his chip doesn't read her as human, and so he can hurt or even kill her without consequence. This results in an immediate mutual No-Holds-Barred Beatdown which leads to passionate sex in a collapsing building. There were other factors leading up to this moment, but the timing is interesting.
- In Haven, Chris Brody is attracted to Audrey only because she doesn't fall for him like all the town's people do due to his Trouble.
- Probably part of the reason why Big Bad Klaus harbors a strong attraction for Caroline in The Vampire Diaries. It's part of the reason why he admires her so much at least, which is saying a lot as the guy is very easy to disappoint and can be quick to disown people.
- In Sherlock, Irene's first meeting with the protagonist starts with her trying — and failing — to manipulate him the way she would most men (and a statistically significant portion of women). Given that this version of her is all about control, the trope is in play — though she does eventually find a way to dupe him: don't appeal to his sexual desires; appeal to his intellect.
- The Vampire Diaries: Unlike in the novel, played straight between Damon and Elena literally because her vervain necklace prevents her from being compelled. At least, while she is actually wearing it.
- Don McLean's Everybody Loves Me Baby is a great example of this. "Everybody loves me, baby — what's the matter with you?"
- "Crave You" by Flight Facilities revolves around this idea, too. "Why can't you want me like the other boys do?"
- Kesha's "Steven", a song where the narrator is a Stalker with a Crush (literally, according to the official video) features the following as its second verse:
I've got guys waiting in a line
For me to play my evil girly games
With all their minds
Just watch me
I've got it down to a simple art
Just bat my eyes like this
And there's a broken heart
you turned the tables
what the hell?
I can charm the pants off anyone else
- The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" is all about this, a woman who lives only for the present ("yesterday don't matter if it's gone"), never stays in one place for long, and can't really be obtained by anyone.
- It's possible to interpret The Taming of the Shrew like this, with Kate being impressed that she is unable to frighten away Petruchio (YMMV of course). This is the approach taken in 10 Things I Hate About You.
Kat: Why would you care if I never woke up again?
Patrick: Because then I'd have to start taking out girls who actually liked me.
Kat: Like you could find any.
Patrick: Now see, right there, who needs affection when you have blind hatred?
- The inverse is also true for the movie — Patrick grows to love Kat because she's not afraid of or especially impressed by him, unlike most of the student body.
- In My Fair Lady, Prof. Higgins realizes his attraction to Eliza only when she leaves him and declares that she doesn't need him.
- Mrs Lovett to Sweeney Todd. She's consistently portrayed as being very attractive. Preskett Prest, author of the original book, in particular waxes lyrical about how captivating she is to the men that visit her shop and most adaptations go with that and make her very flirty but Sweeney is largely immune to her charms, or incapable of having a real relationship with her. Or else he mercilessly uses her as a pawn in his plotting...
- Tales of Symphonia: Zelos Wilder is used to girls throwing themselves at him, so naturally he takes a keen interest in Sheena, who refuses to fall for any of his charms. If you get Zelos's backstory, he reveals that his happy-go-lucky exterior is just a facade, and he's actually quite cynical—and that especially goes for his instant harem, whom he believes is more interested in being with Zelos the Chosen than they are in Zelos the person. Sheena doesn't care if he's the Chosen or no, meaning that whatever she is feeling for Zelos — even though it's currently "he's a disgusting pervert" — is genuine.
- In the second Knights of the Old Republic, that might explain some of Sion's Stalker with a Crush dialogue towards a female Exile.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, due to her Social Darwinist approach, Morrigan is frequently left exasperated by the actions of a heroic Male Warden. Particulary after she realises that she's actually started to develop genuine feelings for them.
- Gilgamesh towards Saber in Fate/stay night. In one route he even states to her face as he's dying that "Some things are more beautiful because you can't have them." In one of the alternate timelines in a sequel game he's actually disappointed when he sees that Dark Saber has abandoned her ideals and become corrupted.
- Togainu no Chi: Shiki is interested in Akira because he refuses to surrender to him and doesn't beg for his life.
- In Nicole, the best way into Jeff's heart is to challenge him and/or go outside of his expectations. For someone who bases his entire persona on what he expects that people want to see, he's intrigued by Nicole when she does the opposite of what she "should" have done.
- A couple of the possible relationships in Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem run along these lines. Prince Zarad of Corval is intrigued by a lady who won't fall for his charm; Prince Jarrod of Revaire isn't accustomed to being stood up to. In both cases, the best way to get the prince's attention is to challenge him and refuse to play his game.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: Not love per se, since he seems incapable of loving anyone besides himself, but Coyote is clearly fascinated with Antimony and Reynardine precisely because they're not afraid to disagree with him or brush him off. In contrast, Ysengrin is a fawning yes-man to Coyote, so Coyote barely gives him the time of day. Except of course when he's eating Ysengrin's memories.
- Skin Horse: Tigerlily Jones is the only (human) female to appear for more than a panel and not find Tip extremely attractive. She barely even noticed him unless forced to. This is probably the main reason she's the only woman Tip's actually thought twice about (without sleeping with her or her trying to kill him).
- Nobody probably finds his mental equal as literally "highly erotic" as David Xanatos does. He tells his new wife so in the episode "Upgrade."
- Puck feels this way (probably platonicly) towards David Xanatos.
- In Batman Beyond, Xander falls for Max because she is tough and sassy, unlike his sickeningly submissive servants.
- The Fairly OddParents: "You're... rejecting ME? You're... you're awesome, Timmy! I love you!"
- In The Weekenders, Carver tries to set Tino up with a popular, stuck-up girl; the girl isn't interested in Tino, until she discovers that Tino isn't interested in her either. Then, she becomes infatuated with him, claiming that "unattainable boys are so fascinating".
- Wonder Woman's attraction to Batman in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited has shades of this as part of their Opposites Attract routine.
- In Neil Strauss' The Game, a memoir about his time as a pickup artist, he describes how he ended up in a serious romantic relationship with the one woman not affected by his seduction techniques.