I read a lot of blog posts on writing, thanks to Twitter. A lot of the information is on repeat, but not The Ego Struggle: The Core of the Romance Storyline posted by AndreaJWenger.
I think this post has some solid insight. When it comes to romance, it’s about battling egos. It’s about changing in order to make the relationship work. That’s character arc right there.
Each of them has to decide what they’re willing to give up for the sake of the relationship, versus what they need to keep because it’s essential to their happiness. … The decisions are made incrementally and often unconsciously, as the romantic couple grows closer—until the end of the novel, when they finally shed their illusions and choose each other over things they thought mattered more.
Through this struggle, their sense of identity changes. Their ego is dismantled and rebuilt.
What the characters value changes. Importantly, they put side something of their own, a sacrifice.
Thanks, Andrea, for making me think!