When authors talk about themes in romances, one that often comes up is: You can't choose who you love. Much of the conflict in a novel can come from the fact that the hero or heroine (or both) doesn't want to love the other, but they can't help it.
But sometimes the opposite is true. Just as we can't stop ourselves from falling in love with someone, I don't believe we can force love or attraction that we don't feel either.
When I was sixteen, I went on a date with a guy I worked with. He was nice and interesting, a couple years older than me–always exciting–and I was flattered that he'd ask me out. I hadn't been harboring a crush or anything, but, hey, you never know, right?
He only had a motorcycle, so for this double date, he surprised me by renting a Ford Taurus–complete with CD player!–to ferry the four of us around for the night. It was fun. We ate at a fancy Italian restaurant, and my aging mind forgets if we went to a movie or what.
But at the end of the night when he dropped me off, I didn't feel any differently than I had at the beginning. I enjoyed his company, but I wasn't interested in a romantic relationship.
The next time I went to work, I heard that he was upset because he spent all of that money and didn't even get a good night kiss. Dubious logic to be sure. It's not like I was a paid escort. And I hadn't expected a big-money evening.
We could have ridden in his friend's car. Or mine.
I'm sure he was trying to impress me, but the bottom line is that I couldn't force myself to be attracted to him. No matter what he did.
Have you ever experienced an attraction you didn't want? Or not been able to summon feelings for a person you thought you should want?
This post is simulcast over at the Romance Magicians blog.