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Romantic Resolutions

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This index is for the endings to romance plots, for better or worse.

A massive amount of series have some sort of romance going on, whether the story focuses on them or not. All this romance has to go somewhere eventually, but over the millennia writers have devised numerous ways to settle things by the end.

Below is a list of the common endings for romance arcs.

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: Someone intends to confess their love for another character, but decides not to at the last minute.
  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: A couple are parted for so long that one (or both) of them begins a new relationship.
  • Amicable Exes: The couple break up, but remain on good terms with each other.
  • Babies Ever After: The story ends with the couple having a child or children.
  • Better as Friends: Two friends become romantically involved, but ultimately decide they're better suited as friends.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: A couple has a falling out, but reconcile by the end.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: The author tries to resolve all the love triangles by the end of the story so no one's feelings will be hurt, sometimes in a rather rushed or contrived manner.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: One person in a Love Triangle dies, leaving the other two free to be together.
  • Derailing Love Interests: A character's love interest turns into a jerk (often rather suddenly), so they can break up with them, frequently to get with a different love interest.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: The protagonist doesn't end up with their love interest for one reason or another.
  • Downtime Downgrade: A couple with a case of Will They or Won't They? finally get together...then in the next installment they've broken up or are on the verge of breaking up. In some cases, the break up will be permanent.
  • Dump Them All: A character with multiple love interests ultimately rejects all of them.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: A character declares their love to someone as they're dying.
  • Everyone Must Be Paired: Everybody gets a love interest!
  • False Soulmate: Someone is led to believe this person is their destined romantic partner, only to realize this isn't the case (often they'll end up with their true soulmate in the process).
  • First Girl After All: A subversion of Last Girl Wins, where it's revealed that the character had actually met this love interest first.
  • First Girl Wins: The first love interest a character meets is the one they end up with.
  • Grow Old with Me: A couple are depicted as staying together into old age.
  • Happily Ever After: An unambiguously happy ending, which often includes the love interests becoming a couple.
  • Happily Married: A married couple who are genuinely happy and don't have any major relationship problems.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: A (usually) female character loses her (usually) male love interest, but she remains strong and keeps living her life.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: A minor couple are implied to get together in the ending, with the actual relationship occurring post-story.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Two friends who are attracted to each other decide not to become a couple in case it doesn't work out, as they don't want to risk their friendship.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: A character lets their love interest leave them because they think they'll be happier apart from them.
  • I Will Wait for You: Can be used as part of an ending; one half of a couple has to leave, but the other promises to wait for their return. Whether they are happily reunited or not varies.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: A character breaks up with their love interest to protect them from their enemies.
  • Last Confession Wins: The last person to confess their feelings to their love interest is the one who ends up with them.
  • Last Girl Wins: The last love interest a character meets is the one they end up with.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Two characters get together romantically right at the end of the story.
  • Leaving You to Find Myself: A character breaks up with their significant other to go on a journey of self-discovery.
  • Let's Just Be Friends: A character breaks up with their significant other by saying they should be friends instead.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: A character breaks up with their love interest, even though they love them, because their lifestyle is too much to handle.
  • Marry Them All: A character with multiple love interests decides to marry all of them rather than choose one.
  • Maybe Ever After: It's left ambiguous as to whether these characters will get together or be a long-term couple.
  • The Mourning After: A character loses their significant other (usually via death) and never moves on with anyone else.
  • No Romantic Resolution: A romantic arc is left unresolved by the end of the story.
  • No Sparks: A potential romantic couple find they're actually not that attracted to each other after all.
  • Offscreen Breakup: A couple break up, though we don't see it happen in the story.
  • Old Flame Fizzle: A character is reunited with an Old Flame, but finds there's no longer any romantic feelings between them.
  • The One That Got Away: A love interest whom the character didn't get to be with and still pines for or thinks of to this day.
  • Pair the Spares: Two characters who were rejected by their respective love interests decide to get together.
  • Pair the Suitors: Two rivals in a love triangle end up falling for each other.
  • Rejected Marriage Proposal: Rejecting a proposal can spell the end of a romance.
  • Relationship Reset Button: Something happens in-universe that 'resets' a romantic relationship back to square one (such as one or both people having amnesia); this can be both positive or negative for the relationship depending on the context.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: A character reveals their secret to their love interest, resulting in them beginning a relationship.
  • Settle for Sibling: The character doesn't get to be with their love interest, so they decide to get with their love interest's sibling instead.
  • Shipping Bed Death: A popular romantic pairing becomes canon, only for the actual relationship to come across as underwhelming for various reasons.
  • Ship Sinking: Something happens in the story that makes it virtually impossible for a romantic pairing to happen (outside of fanfiction).
  • Someone to Remember Him By: A female character is pregnant with her late love interest's baby.
  • Squaring the Love Triangle: A love triangle is resolved by having the rejected suitor get together with the couple's offspring/descendant.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Two characters become a couple, but it comes off as contrived because there isn't much development for it in the story.
  • Suddenly Suitable Suitor: A character couldn't be with their love interest (often due to a difference in social standing), only for something to change or be revealed that means they can marry them after all.
  • Tenchi Solution: A Fan Speak term for several different resolutions of a love polyhedron.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: A character in a love triangle chooses a newly introduced third love interest.
  • Together in Death: The couple are reunited in death (literally or symbolically).
  • Weddings for Everyone: The story ends with multiple couples getting hitched.