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No Romantic Resolution

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It has always been a staple of stories to include a bit of romance. Stories are also generally fond of tying up the story so everything is neat at the end, except when they don't. Point A plus point B put together means that any romance set up in the story will generally be resolved one way or another with characters either hooking up, breaking apart, dying or just walking away from the situation entirely.

But sometimes it doesn't work out like that. Sometimes the story sets up a romantic arc that never quite seems to get wrapped up completely. There can be several reasons for this, of which the most well known is not wanting to upset the status quo. Sometimes the author just wants to leave things open ended, or the author feels that resolving the romance would in some fundamental way work against the moral of the story they're trying to tell. Or perhaps, the author would prefer to merely hint that the relationship may be forming. The common point between all of these is that the romantic plot lines were temptingly laid out but never followed to their absolute confirmed conclusion.

Thus, there is No Romantic Resolution.

Super-Trope of Maybe Ever After, which is specifically for examples that don't completely ignore the romantic plot thread in the end, but instead give it a pseudo-resolution in the form of an ambiguous implication that they might get together. Contrast Marry Them All, where the romance is resolved but without choosing a single winner, and Dump Them All, where the romance is resolved with 'no' winners. Compare and contrast Did Not Get the Girl.

As this is an Ending Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Assassination Classroom, it is never officially revealed if Nagisa and Kayano got together, even after the epilogue that takes place years after graduation.
  • Bokura no Hentai ends with no one ending up with anyone despite the Love Dodecahedron. It has two Maybe Ever Afters with Marika and Satoshi and Ryousuke and his childhood ex-girlfriend Hacchi, however the main trio seems to be on platonic terms by the Distant Finale.
  • Canaan has heavy Homoerotic Subtext between Maria and Canaan, but nothing ever comes of it as they go their separate ways.
  • Fairy Tail: While most of the pairings end up on Maybe Ever After (Erza x Jellal, Gray x Juvia) or all-but-confirmed (Gajeel x Levy), ironically it's Natsu x Lucy that ends up closest to this point since Natsu is as oblivious to Lucy's feelings as ever.
  • Food Wars!:
    • Even with several moments of Ship Tease between characters, the only romantic plot who seemed to be important was about Joichirou's chef advice for Souma to find a woman to cook for, it was even introduced in the first chapter (and said woman was hinted to be Erina, since she appears right in the next page that Joichirou talks about this), after this the manga didn't touch the subject anymore until the last arc, with a supposedly romantic rival appearing for Souma, in the end however we don't see Souma hooking up with Erina, actually it takes them a 7 years Time Skip to at least accept their feelings for each other in internal monologues (and their wording is a bit ambiguous), with Souma deciding that the woman for whom he would cook for is Erina, but there's no further development after this and the manga ends with a Maybe Ever After vibe.
    • In the anime, Erina is more straightforward with her words (also happening in Inner Monologue mode), leaving no doubts that what she feels for him is romantic, it also doesn't have the Time Skip part (implying that they would hook up sooner than in the manga), but the No Romantic Resolution part is still there.
  • Edward has at least one love interest in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) but nothing ever comes from it as he gets stuck in a parallel universe. Likewise Roy and Riza seem pretty romantic at the end but come Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa and they're back to square one, with Riza barely being a character in the film and Roy being sent far away and spending his time depressed over Ed being gone. Meanwhile, in the manga version of the story, Edward is the only major character who gets his romantic resolution with Winry. Alphonse/Mei Chang, Roy/Riza, and Ling/Lan Fan are all inconclusive, though one of the author's comments in an artbook at least indicated Roy and Riza would have married each other if they weren't in the military and thus not subject to anti-fraternization rules.
  • Ghost in the Shell has a particularly painful example — despite increasingly heavy hints towards Batou and the Major having feelings for one another by the end of Solid State Society, no real conclusion is ever reached. The theatrical movies fare no better, with even more romantic subtext but no chance whatsoever of things ever ending happily for them.
  • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! already had a pretty bad Love Triangle arc between Megumi, Blue, and Seiji that overtook the entire second half of the series, with Blue keeping Megumi at arms length to prevent a repeat of his greatest failure and how he contributed to Queen Mirage's Start of Darkness... but then Queen Mirage is restored back to her human Cure form and she and Blue falls in love again. Meanwhile, Megumi just forgets about her crush for Blue and Seiji is ignored entirely. Supposedly, this is due to the writers not wanting the show to conflict with the moral of how romance isn't always the best solution for happiness, especially if it causes issues for those around you, but said lesson came at the expense of everyone else in the story, thus making the rather important lesson fall flat.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: All the girls explicitly and canonically want Kyon (though circumstances and Haruhi are keeping all the sexual tension unresolved for now), while Itsuki claims to be solely playing up the Ho Yay to keep Haruhi from warping him into actually being gay for Kyon (emphasis on "claims"). Also, there's a couple of yuri-laden sidebars in the harem (Haruhi/Mikuru and Yuki/Mikuru), just to complicate matters more. (Haruhi likes it complicated.)
  • Heaven's Lost Property: Tomoki has sexual tension going on with all of the female cast members, particularly Sohara and Ikaros, yet the series doesn't ever come to a romantic resolution. The trope is even lampshaded in the anime when Mikako tries to hold a Shotgun Wedding and force him to pick one of the four candidates, only for the attempted wedding to be crashed by yet another girl (a little sister this time). Later, Sohara indicates that she really doesn't mind the status quo continuing for a while longer.
  • None of the girls in Infinite Stratos get to hook up with Ichika at the end of the anime, although Houki comes close twice, once at the end of episode 12 (which is ruined by the other 4 pissed off girls), and once again in the second half of the OVA (she confesses, but its muted out by some fireworks that go off at the same time, so he doesn't hear it, and is distracted by them). This, however, is a result of Infinite Stratos being an ongoing light novel, which the anime only showed a portion of. The second anime series was similarly inconclusive.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor: The titular captain is a bumbling Chick Magnet with an array of love interests, with the most prominent being the android-spy Harumi and the young empress Azalyn. Nothing happens, however.
    • The last few episodes hint at possible romance between Tylor and Yuriko, though, and in the follow-up OVAs they officially begin a relationship. In later, unfilmed stories they're engaged.
  • Almost every couple or one-sided crush in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is given either a definitive conclusion or an implication that they get together in the near future. The one exception is Toyosaki's crush on Karen, which goes completely unresolved.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh! didn't provide any definite answers either, although if you want to ignore the Homoerotic Subtext aspect of it and just view it as a parody, that hardly matters. However, in this instance, Yuri's lack of a definite decision may be more to avoid the wrath of the fangirls than to avoid upsetting his harem...
  • In the first season of Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne, there are numerous hints that Lan gradually triumphs over Muginami when it comes to winning Madoka's affections. In the second season this appears to be reset though, and Madoka seems to like both girls equally. Despite lots of subtext (which even involves kissing), it never becomes quite clear whether the girls are merely friends or perhaps more.
  • Macross:
    • Macross Frontier ends with no resolution to the central love triangle between Alto, Sheryl, and Ranka. The movies avert this, ending by having Alto clearly spell out that he's in love with Sheryl, not Ranka.
    • Macross 7 is even worse about the triangle between Mylene, Basara, and Gamlin, since they don't get a movie to resolve their romantic loose ends. Further complicating the issue is the fact that Basara simply doesn't seem to care about romance at all, while Mylene is just 14 years old and doesn't feel ready for a committed relationship anyway.
  • In the Mega Man Star Force anime, Luna and Harp Note at one point try to make MegaMan choose between them. In the original Japanese anime at least, Subaru (Geo) says "We're all just friends, right?" with which the girls are seemingly satisfied.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 concludes without ever resolving Feldt's unrequited feeling for Setsuna. Which is especially odd considering how strongly the movie seemed to focus on it. The director claims he was trying to make yet another point about the difficulties of communication with that, basically that Setsuna still had big-time intimacy issues, and did not know how to properly convey his feelings (whatever they were) for Feldt. Even his accepting a hug from her prior to the final battle was a massive step forward for him.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi ends up this way for the protagonist, with the last chapter ending with nothing for him but Ship Tease and sunken ships for the three most popular contenders: Asuna, Nodoka and Yue. It's implied lightly that he hasn't settled down with anyone as of yet judging by the behavior of Makie and some of the other girls. The ending does confirm that he has feelings for someone. It just doesn't say who. Although Asuna, and following the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, Misora, who previously posed as the priest during Negi's time in the church confessional, was very surprised to hear who it was...
    • Sequel series UQ Holder! would later confirm that the girl in question was Chisame, who turned him down at first due to his age, but seems to have married him some years down the line.
  • Nurse Angel Ririka SOS ends this way. Though it is confirmed that Kanon and Helena are in love, none of the other pairings are given closure. Seiya never confesses to Ririka, even when she is about to die. Mimina's feelings for Seiya, Miyuki's new crush on Dewey, and Dewey's (possible) feelings for Ririka are not brought to a conclusion either.
  • In the h-manga, Overbooked, a young man named Gaku wanted to have sex, so he confessed to several girls and got a response from Chinatsu and Natsumi, two of the prettiest girls in school. Since he couldn't decide who should he chose as his girlfriend, they made a temporary agreement where he would date the both of them. The story ends with them all going to a love hotel, and Gaku saying he still can't make up his mind.
  • In Penguin Brothers, Hina becomes the object of desire of two guys: Koshiba and Isshiki. The former is her first friend in her new school, while the latter is a childhood friend whom she made a Childhood Marriage Promise with in kindergarten. Hina herself seems to have a stronger Ship Tease with the latter (her relationship with the former is mostly platonic in nature), but the series throws a spanner to the protagonist's romantic developments by having Hina confess that she's in love with her uncle, Kyo (whom she still have a crush on despite knowing that she can never get together with him), and the manga ends with her moving away from the school to accompany him to France.
  • The anime version of Princess Jellyfish ends with an open ending for the Sibling Triangle.
  • Ranma ½ ends with none of Ranma's relationship issues being resolved in the slightest (with the implication that the situation is going to persist for quite some time). While Akane remains the likeliest of his suitors to end up with him, their relationship manages to stay in stasis in spite of the final volume's last chapter being about their wedding, thanks to their other suitors gatecrashing the wedding and forcing it to be postponed indefinitely which leaves the two of them arguing about who's to blame the most for the mess and still not having once confirmed their feelings for each other either way.
  • Reborn! (2004): The series ends with Tsuna not being able to choose between his Love Interest Kyoko and Self-Proclaimed Love Interest Haru. Granted, one of the last chapters has him try to confess his feelings to Kyoko again, but she took it as a joke and still thinks of him as a friend. Then he stops that confession in order to save Haru from getting hurt. Haru then proclaims her love for him, which Tsuna automatically shots down. So in the end, Status Quo Is God.
  • Samurai Harem Asuno Yoichi: The manga ends with none of the love interests (for any of the characters) having summoned up their courage to confess to the object of their affections.
  • Shugo Chara! ended without a definite answer to the Ikuto/Amu/Tadase love triangle. Though there seemed to be a very noticeable lean towards Ikuto, especially in later chapters.
  • The series was originally made as being anti-romance, but the anime adaptation (and later manga adaptations for that matter) of Slayers bring out romance anyway. What was thought to have been a romantic ending came about at the end of the second anime season: Gourry and Lina kiss in another dimension where the former saves her from the Lord of Nightmares, but when they return to the world below, they don't remember it. The final light novel also teases at the idea of romance when Gourry asks to accompany Lina to her homeland, but it's still ambiguous. There's also the Ship Tease between Zelgadis and Amelia, which was mostly left hanging when the new anime seasons were released.
  • The epilogue of Smile Down the Runway implies that Ikuto is now married but doesn't give any definitive confirmation whether he ended up with Chiyuki or Kokoro. This is deliberate on the author's part, as the post interview claims that it's more satisfying for a story with a romance arc to end with the girl getting together with the guy of her dreams, but leaves out the identity of the bride so that both Chiyuki and Kokoro's supporters can imagine that the one they root for is the winner of the love triangle.
  • To Heart 2: The Unwanted Harem is unresolved after thirteen episodes and four OVA episodes. Well, when you do have twelve women in your harem...
  • Tokyo Mew Mew anime:
    • Retasu's potential romance with Shirogane is left open-ended since there's no definitive love confession.
    • Bu-ling and Tart develop a mutual crush on each other, but the anime ends with Tart returning to his home planet along with the other aliens and Bu-ling doesn't even get to say goodbye to him. In the manga, however, Bu-ling does kiss him before he leaves and he promises to come back to see her again.
  • The anime for Trigun ends with Meryl waiting for Vash to return to her. She loves him, but it isn't entirely clear how he feels about her. Considering it would be a Mayfly–December Romance, it might be unlikely.
    • It's implied that Vash sees Meryl as sort of an inspiration for him in the next to last episode. Sort of like a new Rem? Make of that what you will. So odds are even if he doesn't exactly return it, he definitely wants and needs her in his life.
    • The manga is even more clear on their relationship. It is much clearer that Vash has some sort of feelings for Meryl all throughout the series, and especially as they kiss their knuckles and press them together (a kiss without touching lips) before Vash fights Knives. Then again when Vash makes his first ever promise to return to Meryl, and asks her to wait for him before he leaves to finish with Knives. Unfortunately the ending is left hanging with no further hints of romance but a Mayfly–December Romance would be less likely in the manga due to Vash apparently losing all of his Plant powers by the end. This may or may not mean he would age normally which could be why he would consider a relationship with her.
  • In Waiting in the Summer, while Kaito and Ichika are implied to be together at the end (as evidenced by her in the student film wearing a jacket his sister brought back with her on her trip), Mio and Tetsuro haven't seem to officially hook up yet. However, neither one of them seems to mind the status quo, and at the very least they're still hanging around with each other.
  • The Wandering Son anime ends on an ambiguous note. The love triangle between Nitori, Takatsuki, and Saori is still present but they're on much more neutral terms than before, to the point where they're all friends again. Nitori and her girlfriend Anna have broken up as well. The manga averts this as it continues to the end of high school. Nitori and Anna get back together again and the love triangle ends in none of the couples. Takatsuki stays single (though he has unrequited feelings for Nitori) and Saori dates Fumiya.
  • Watashitachi no Tamura-kun: The series end with Tamura confessing to both Matsuzawa and Souma, and both of them confess to him, but none of the relationships are truly confirmed or denied by the end of the series.
  • The World God Only Knows: Defied. Keima is well aware that if he fails to properly choose a girl, they'll all continue vying for his affections without end. So he tells them he's going to confess to Chihiro (and then does so) to make absolutely sure they can move on instead of staying in a holding pattern forever. Though, to be fair, he genuinely does love Chihiro, with Dokurou commenting that it's Chihiro's refusal to follow the "script" that caused Keima to fall for her in the first place.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Throughout the entire series, Yu-Gi-Oh! had a subplot involving Téa's Two-Person Love Triangle with Yugi and Atem. At the end, Atem goes to the afterlife, and the series ends without saying whether or not Yugi and Téa wind up together. The first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is set ten years later, and a grown-up Yugi appears, but gives no backstory on what happened in the interim. Thenceforth, several other characters make cameos, but nobody reveals what happened to any of the characters after the first series. The manga version, however, leans them more towards Maybe Ever After with the sequel movie Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions implying they may get together after all.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: On the night before she leaves to study in Germany, Aki is just about to confess to Yusei when she stops in the middle of the confession and just says she was glad to have met him. Fortunately for her, Yusei isn't Oblivious to Love and silently lets her know he returned her feelings without telling her outright. The two then hold hands and gaze deeply into each other's eyes before Aki closes hers, suggesting that this might've been a Kissing Discretion Shot. They later go their separate ways, though it's implied they may reunite in the future.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The Child of Love:
    • To Rei and Takuma, a character who showed up in the sequel. Although the story hinted he had feelings towards Rei, he never shows up in stories set years in the future, and neither Rei nor other characters mention him. Since the sequel never got finished, it is unknown whether they got together or not.
    • Hikari and Touji. In “Gifts” (sets fourteen years later) Asuka says she has not talked to Hikari in years and she does not know whether she and Touji are together or not.
  • In Supergirl fanfic Hellsister Trilogy, Kara Zor-El and Dev-Em's relationship was never given a final resolution. Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation by the same author reveals they had two children but hints the relationship ended up in heartbreak: Kara never changed her maiden name, there're no records registering their marriage and after a point her diaries stop mentioning Dev-Em altogether.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Chaos Walking (2021): It's made very clear that Todd has romantic feelings for Viola, though while she becomes fond of him it's left ambiguous if she reciprocates. At the end of the film Todd's Noise once again loudly indicates he wants Viola to kiss him; they don't kiss nor does he ask her verbally, but rather than be annoyed or embarrassed like before she just smiles at him.
  • The ending of MirrorMask shows Valentine's counterpart in the mundane world is indeed real and has him enter Helena's life, but what their relationship will be or if he knows anything about the other world is totally up for grabs.
  • Little Women (2019)'s ending leaves it open to interpretation if Jo ended up with Friedrich or not.
  • Pacific Rim towards the end, Mako and Raleigh are sitting in the ocean holding each other, for a second it seems like they'll lean in for a kiss...and then they look away to the chopper about to pick them up. They do have a Headbutt of Love, but that's the most the viewer gets out of it.
  • Primal Fear seems to be setting up the defence lawyer with the prosecutor, and they do have romantic history, but they don't work it out by the end.
  • In The Red Kimono, Terrance travels all the way from Los Angeles to New Orleans to track down Gabrielle the reformed prostitute. He fails to find her, and winds up joining the Army as the United States enters World War I. He stumbles across her by accident in the hospital where she's working as a nurse, right before he's supposed to ship out to France. Terrance asks her to marry him, but Gabrielle tells him to look her up after he gets back, explaining that she needs time to earn her happiness. The End.
  • The Replacement Killers seems to be building to this, but for whatever reason the early belligerent tension between John and Meg doesn't have any sexuality to it, and she ends up coming off as more of a Not Love Interest than anything else, ultimately seeing him off at the airport before he leaves to join his family.
  • The Rise of Skywalker: This film doesn't resolve either of Finn's prospective romantic partners from the previous two films. He remains an extremely close but platonic friend to Rey in spite of having shown attraction to her, and he barely acknowledged Rose's existence after she proclaimed her love for him in the previous film. This film even adds a third prospective girlfriend, Jannah, only to end that without any resolution as well. And in spite of heavy shipping, no, Finn doesn't wind up with Poe either.
  • Sleepless in Seattle ends with Sam and Annie first meeting each other.
  • In Snow White & the Huntsman, Snow White has chemistry with both The Huntsman and William, the character closest to the Prince role and they both kiss her at some point. She does kiss William, but it turns out to be Ravenna in disguise, and it is not clear from the ending whether she will end up with either of them. In the sequel it is revealed she married William, while The Huntsman is reunited with his Back from the Dead wife.
  • The Woods has this, Heather and Marcy far from getting a romantic resolution, receive no relationship resolution at all; not even a hug or a verbal acknowledgement of the others' existence.

  • Dividend on Death: The ending has Phyllis return to the apartment of Michael Shayne, the private detective who just proved her innocent of murder. Phyllis, now feeling very grateful, tries to seduce him. Shayne, feeling a little guilty because Phyllis is only 19 and he's 35, reluctantly refuses. He tells her to "Go out and grow up. "Then come back," and maybe they can see if something happens. Sure enough, Phyllis returns in the next Michael Shayne novel, The Private Practice of Michael Shayne, and at the end of that book they get married.
  • Robin McKinley's Sunshine ends with the heroine showing romantic interest in both her long-term boyfriend and her new vampire love interest. There's really no clue which she'll pick.

    Live Action TV 
  • Air City: The main arc of the series is the romance between Ji-sung, the handsome square-jawed secret agent, and Do-kyung, the leggy beauty who is also chief of operations at Incheon Airport. The series ends with Ji-sung getting sent off on a secret mission to Moscow, right after he's asked Do-kyung to marry him. She's left watching planes take off from the airport, wondering if she'll ever see him again.
    Do-kyung: Farewells are painful, but discovering that waiting for someone can be a happy thing is something I learned at the airport.
  • At the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's TV run, Buffy is left without a resolved love interest. Angel does try to see if she'd be willing to resume their relationship one day, but she tells him that she's a cookie "that's not done baking" and needs time to figure out other things first.
  • This is a critical part of the conclusion of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The entire series was largely driven by Rebecca's fixation with guys and with romantic love, certain that the right man would fix her problems and make her happy. In the final season, all three of the guys she was romantically attached to try to win her love, and all three of them have gotten their lives together to where getting together would make sense. But she ultimately realizes that she can't have a healthy relationship with anyone until she's okay with herself, and turns down all three of them. The final scene takes place a year later, with her pursuing her own interests, still friends with them, and with the possibility still open, but no answer on a relationship.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor and Clara. "Hell Bent," the Series 9 finale, resolved a number of plotlines and left others hanging. Unfortunately one resolution involved the Doctor erasing his memory of Clara. The closest the two have to a romantic resolution (such as Doctor Who is capable of) is a sequence where Clara decides to tell the Doctor something important and meaningful to her after learning he spent 4 1/2 billion years in a bespoke torture chamber and personal hell just on a desperate gambit to save her life. What she says to the Doctor is left a mystery: the camera pulls away to give the two privacy at the crucial moment.
  • Firefly: While Kaylee and Simon finally get together in the Big Damn Movie, Serenity, the UST between Mal and Inara remains unresolved. However, she does say she wants to stay on the ship - for those two, even admitting they actually want to be around each other is a huge step forward in the relationship. In the continuation comic Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, set several months later, Mal and Inara have gotten together.
  • At the end of the original run of Gilmore Girls, Rory is left without a love interest, rejecting Logan's proposal and starting her career in journalism. In the 2016 revival, Rory has interactions with all three major ex-love interests. She shares a nice moment with Dean, where they both fondly remember their time together, but it's clear that they've both moved on. She finally breaks up with Logan for good. Jess, however, is still around, and implied to still have feelings for her. This did not go unnoticed by Jess/Rory shippers, who had been disappointed by their ending in the original run.
  • Happy Endings hinted very strongly at Penny's attraction to Dave but then Dave and Alex got back together (and broke up again) and the show ended without it ever coming to anything.
  • Janda Kembang: The main Love Triangle plot is resolved with Salmah choosing not to end up with Malik nor Kemal, but one-year epilogue later, she ends up with an unknown person. Whether her new husband is Malik, Kemal or anybody else is completely unanswered.
  • While it wasn't the end of the entire series, Goren and Eames leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent is played like this. The latter takes a promotion and keeps it just long enough to protect the former from going through a lengthy trial (which will lead to him being sacked in disgrace) by firing him. (Word of God says it was left open so the Broken Base can decide for themselves whether or not they ended up together.) Even when they return later to finish out the tenth season, there seems to be an air of Maybe Ever After to the partnership.
    • During a season 10 episode, Goren is asked by his female psychiatrist, who he must see as a condition to keep his job after being reinstated, if he and Eames got together romantically. Goren says he sees Eames as a family member, and complains about how people always assume male and female partners in law enforcement are having an affair instead of just working together like professionals. In a follow up Law & Order: SVU episode, where Eames guest stars as a goverment agent after quitting her detective job and helping SVU solve a crime, her and Olivia Benson talk about Goren. She said at times it seemed like they were married, only for Benson to shut it down by saying, "but you weren't" ending the potential shipping of the two.
  • My Name Is Earl had the Randy/Catalina Unrequited Love Switcheroo never play out to a conclusion despite teasing it.
  • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder: An attraction was hinted at between Kira and Trent in the first half of the series, but nothing ever came of it.
    • Before that was the relation between Cassie and the Phantom Ranger that started in Power Rangers Turbo and came back up in an episode of Power Rangers in Space. It was made clear that there was mutual feelings between them however it was never shown if they ever saw each other again after the last time they were seen together.
  • In Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter have a mutual romantic attraction through most of the run of the series that they admit to in "Divide and Conquer" but never act on due to the fact that he's her commanding officer and it isn't allowed. Word of God is that they did get together after season 8's "Threads" (after which Jack leaves the SGC to work at the Pentagon), but it's never solidly confirmed on-screen.
  • Supernatural ended this way with neither Dean or Sam officially getting together with anyone. The final season heavily ship-teased Dean/Castiel and Sam/Eileen but these potential relationships were ultimately left up in the air: Castiel confesses his love to Dean but he makes no further on-screen appearances after his ensuing Heroic Sacrifice and it's never confirmed if Dean loved him back or not, and Eileen also doesn't appear during the finale and Sam ends up marrying a woman whose identity is left extremely vague.
  • Due to Victorious being Cut Short, there was no resolution to the Tori/Beck/Jade Love Triangle. This had been built up in the first season, with the show setting up that Beck and Tori would eventually get together. However, in large part due to Jade's popularity with the audience, this storyline was downplayed in later seasons. Eventually, Jade and Beck break up. After this, there were some Ship Teasing moments between Beck and Tori, but the two never officially got together. Jade and Beck got back together, but they were shown to still have problems as a couple, suggesting that the two might break up again. Then the series got cancelled unexpectedly, preventing any resolution to this arc. In general, the show dedicated many episodes to Tori dating, but ends with her being single.

  • The written text of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure contains no answer from Isabella in response to the Duke's proposal of marriage. Many theater companies choose to play this as a Maybe Ever After, but that's their own interpretation of the ending; other theater companies imply that she turns him down.

    Video Games 
  • In one route of Blaze Union, the Nessiah/Garlot/Siskier/Jenon love quadrangle winds up on hold when the issues that have been plaguing Aegina boil over and she takes center stage. (The other two routes, however, do each have some form of resolution.)
  • All of the romances from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. There are plenty of hints and other showings but the romances never really get off the ground. This is due to LucasArts's insistence on a very short deadline resulting in a lot of content getting cut. There is, however, cut content scripts and mods putting that content back in that affirms romances but regardless leaves romance impossible as the Exile leaves forever at the end of the game.
  • The romantic tension between Vyse and his two female companions, Aika and Fina of Skies of Arcadia never results in any onscreen or implied romance. However, it was established early in the story that neither girl is jealous at all over Vyse's feelings for the other.
  • By the end of Super Mario Odyssey, Mario is finally about to propose to Peach when Bowser makes another, more sincere attempt for her hand at marriage. Mario panics, puts out his own proposal and the two simultaneous proposals after all that just happened causes Peach to turn them both down. She does, at least, calm down and give them a ride back to the Mushroom Kingdom, ensuring they're at least on good terms still.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney never tells us whether or not Phoenix and Iris end up as a couple after the Phoenix Arc, though the fact that she's in jail for an unspecified amount of time probably doesn't help things…
  • Higurashi: When They Cry does not resolve the Rena/Mion/Keiichi love triangle. Rena has more subtext, Mion has more text text, and the story opts to maintain the idea of friendship being most important. This means that Keiichi is still oblivious. However, while the VN doesn't advance anything and different arcs support either one.
  • In the true ending of The Letter, none of the possible Romance Arcs are resolved. All of the surviving characters lose their potential love interests to the curse.
  • Little Busters! seems to have this in the Refrain route, unlocked after every other route has been completed. While up until this point the story has been leaning towards primary heroine Rin and nearly makes her the canon heroine even in Refrain, at the end the situation is actually left ambiguous with Rin asking Riki which, if any, of the girls he actually likes. She doesn't get an answer. However if you go through Refrain again, the second time you get the choice to answer yes when Rin asks whether Riki's Declaration of Protection was a "proposal". This replaces the earlier mentioned scene where Rin asks Riki if there is any girl he likes, with a cute scene of them being alone talking (and making out) in the classroom. An oddly hidden option that many do not find.
  • The final season of Moe! Ninja Girls, unlike all previous seasons, ultimately does not end with the protagonist romancing anyone. In the Bad Ending, it's due to tragedy. In the Happy Ending, he's on amicable terms with all of his love interests. And while he shows hints of budding romance towards one of the girls in the True Ending, it is up to the players' interpretation to determine which one.
  • In Shikkoku no Sharnoth, the relationship between M and Mary does not evolve into a romance despite some hints. Whether M is even still alive is debatable until the webnovel continuation which clarifies that, but doesn't really resolve anything in regards to the relationship.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • Ant-Man and The Wasp loved each other, but could not actually pursue a romantic relationship during the first season due to his inability to admit his feelings. When Ant-Man found his pacifist beliefs in conflict with the other Avengers' violent behavior, he decided to quit the team, but Wasp did not follow his lead. Ant-Man eventually becomes an Avenger again, after assuming the crimefighting identity of Yellowjacket. His Split Personality seems to again hinder his and Wasp's chances of becoming a couple, but the viewers never find out if the two got over this obstacle, since they fall Out of Focus.
    • Hawkeye gets implied early in the show to have a crush on Black Widow, who teams up with him on several SHIELD missions. Although Widow soon lands Hawkeye in jail to prevent him from interfering with her infiltration of HYDRA, she eventually manages to make amends with him. However, Widow declines Hawkeye's offer to join the Avengers, and instead kisses him goodbye before running off to see if Nick Fury needs help with another secret mission. When she and the Avengers team up again in the Grand Finale, she and Hawkeye don't have an onscreen conversation with each other.
    • The episode where The Mighty Thor meets Beta Ray Bill ends with Lady Sif implying to Thor that she has at least started to develop romantic feelings for Bill, comparing her admiration of Bill's courage and devotion to his fellow Korbinites to that Thor feels for Dr. Jane Foster's courage and devotion to her fellow Midgardians. This pairing never gets brought up again, because the arc containing this episode becomes an Aborted Arc.
  • Jem ended on an open ending due to being cancelled after three seasons due to toy sales not being up to expectations. The final episode has Ba Nee reunited with her Disappeared Dad; however, neither the Two-Person Love Triangle nor the romantic problems involving Riot and Minx are resolved. Jerrica is still flirting with Rio as both herself and her alter ego Jem, Minx still has unrequited feelings for Rio, Riot is still in love with Jem while she doesn't like him, and no one knows Jem's secret identity.