Writing relationships, 12 different flavours for you to savour

The Love, the hate, the chase, the rewards. What do you need to know about relationships and romance? Well, you’re about to find out! The most likely place to meet, the best first date ever, what Holodeck program NOT to turn on. You get the drift, you’ll be getting educated by the best Casanova in the ‘verse, I’m talking about myself of course. Just in time for Valentine’s!


Where to start? I know a good place. I just want to remind everybody that a “relationship” is not only the kissing and loving we see most couples do. Through the years we’ve come to think of Relationship as a bond between two people, however, most of the time a relationship gets confused with romance. The aforementioned loving and kissing. In fact, I have a relationship with everybody on board the vessel I serve on. A relationship is everything ranging from loving each other to hating each other, from professional friendship to disgust.

I hope that made sense. Although I do not love the transporter chief I do have a relationship with him. The relationship between me and the transporter chief is purely business, a professional relationship. He beams me up, I thank him for his work. Unless, of course, you count that Saturday night where we both had one Risian Sunrise too many. But I digress.

Vis a vis, Love?

Uhura and Kirk kiss, sending a shock through the sixties
Kirk and Uhura’s legendary kiss wasn’t the start of a new relationship, but made for amazing television in the 60s

First things first, Love. ’cause everybody – needs somebody – to love
does a Blues Brother dance

Ahum… But how do we get this going? What should we do? Well in Star Trek it’s like in the real world really. You have to do everything but not too much… and not too little. For example, I run into a marine that I find attractive, of course, she falls madly in love with me. You can’t expect a simple marine to resist me, Professor Doctor Fritz von Stossenbaum Alkaseltzer!

So how do we proceed from there? Like I said it’s like the real world, you will need to get the attention of the other ‘party’. Since most first meetings take place in the Lounge you can offer her a drink, or she can offer you one. 24th century equality woohoo! It’s a tough subject this one, since there is no right way of doing it, so I will sum up some ways people have tried in the past.

Love in the Lounge

After sitting down at the only table that still had an empty seat he found himself next to the most beautiful Tellarite female he had ever seen. He would have to make her his and he would do Anything to get there. Dozens and dozens of flowers he had send her, followed by love poems and bon bons, if that didn’t get the Tellarite to love him then he didn’t know what would.

In short this guy is like the average “player” that goes from bar to bar to pick up ladies, like we see a lot these days. Overloading them with gifts and poems, although it generally works it doesn’t leave much room for RP, which off course is why you do it. This is like the Meeting your true love at the coffee dispenser, highly unlikely but used so bloody often. Remember, there are about 300 people on any given vessel (Defiant is not a vessel it’s a Shuttlepod on steroids), that would leave about 30 people in every department. Perhaps you can find somebody in your own department?

Love on Duty

He was a mere ensign and she already was all the way up to Lieutenant. Only junior grade but still, he had to salute her, the Assistant Chief Medical. She was good at her job, and had great bedside manner.

Somehow he felt that she was attracted to him as well, in emergencies he was always the first she relied on, he was always her first pick on a surgery, even on autopsies. But he was afraid that if he would say something it would ruin everything they had.

She was attracted to him very much, indeed. If only he would’ve gathered the courage to ask her. After a long dance around each other, not accepting the truth one finally tells the other how they feels about each other. It’s like a romantic bomb is exploding, they go out every day, every minute, every off duty moment is spent holding hands and kissing. It was true love.

This could form a lot of fun and interesting RP, because a relationship with somebody from your own department is still frowned upon, especially if the one is higher in rank and position as the other. Perhaps in the end they will even have to break up in the interest of their jobs. Although this is fun to play and a good relationship in the making. They like everything about each other… the only interesting RP would come out the path towards the relationship and not the relationship itself. For that you would need two people who are so totally different that they are almost alike.

Opposites Attract

Man did she hate Engineers, they never fully fixed her plane and always sent in incompetent guys who just nearly passed basic Engineer courses and probably patched up their skills with several “Basic Engineering for Newbies” books written by Prof. Dr. Fritz von Stossenbaum Alkaseltzer. She just hoped that they would send down a more capable engineer this time, one that actually knew what he was doing. Off course her prayers were answered, and then some. Once he started tinkering with her plane and indulged himself in small talk, she felt her stomach turn.

He, on the other hand, liked her company, her stubbornness and everything else that made her so different. Being an outgoing guy, while she was more introverted. Keeping an open mind for all species and departments, while she had stereotypes about pretty much everything. He made her feel different, feel special. This was against everything she had made herself believe, he’s an engineer. This can’t be right! He should be incompetent, anti-social, not nice! But he continued being nice, and in the end they put their differences aside. Perhaps the fact that he saved her life had something to do with it but still, it was a true “hate to love you” relationship.

To summarise, this is totally awkward and silly. Why would she fall in love with him? Why would he like an arrogant and anti-social marine fighter pilot? This leaves plenty of room for RP, denying the feelings, trying to not laugh at his jokes. On the other side of the equation, trying to win her for you and make her believe you’re different. If it works out you have a great subplot and probably a great time writing. This version looks a lot like the next but is different in one key aspect, in general Marine Fighter Pilots and Engineers are not seen as mortal enemies, they work together. It’s only because of personal preference that the “hate” arises. Well if it’s a common fact that you hate each other it becomes different, like so.

Romeo & Juliet Syndrome

He was a Klingon and she was a Romulan, they were born and bred to believe that they hated each other. For generations the Klingons and Romulans had fought each other, they couldn’t possibly be in love. But alas, there is nothing you can do about feelings… unless you’re Vulcan. His Klingon Opera and her Romulan Poetry had brought them closer together, though they needed several visits to Sickbay after a great and romantic night together they wanted to make it work. They loved each other for who they were, not for their pointy ears or ridges on the forehead, it was true love, no disruptor or cloaking device could destroy or mask that.

Again in summary, Romulans and Klingons are taught to hate each other, like the theatric play by William Shakespeare. This works for several things very well, most commonly known though is the Marine loves Security Officer variation. Security and Marines are always rivaling each other in the lounge they sit as far away from each other as possible, they conduct in Bar fights and insults. In short They hate each other. Well put them together in a relationship will sure stir something in the departments they are in.

Loving Relationships

That should give you a good bit of inspiration of the types of loving relationships you can have. The astute reader will have noticed that I only talked explicitly about gay relationships but then again they are no different than what’s described above. Because love transcends planets and species and genders!

The thin line between Love and Hate

Kai Winn and Kira Nerys meet, the deep seated mistrust for each other clearly visible
Kira never concealed her contempt for Kai Winn, which made their relationship all the more compelling to watch!

Now for the Hatred, this is where the RP is made really. Although seen less on vessels people also hate each other. Officers and NCO’s usually don’t get along, Marines and Security is fire and water (with the marines thinking themselves as the fire… as it has the ability to destroy lot of things). Now let’s see how to hate somebody adequately.

Fire and Water Hate

The most common hate, I hate you because you’re Marine and you hate me because I’m a fleeter. It’s not very hard to set up this kind of hate and there is not much to say about it either. Why do marines hate fleeters? Well mainly because they think they’re better than the Fleeters and in return the fleeters prove that they are not. It’s really like the Romeo & Juliet Syndrome in the love scenario above, and could very well apply to characters of different species. Only, without the love.

Past Hate

Hate that is based on something that happened in the past. Your parents were killed by Klingons, you hate Klingons. Like the fire and water hate, this makes you blind for anything good the other person does. Although the other might not have the return feelings this hate can last through the ages. Or perhaps if you lost a brother in a hostage situation and you think the Marines could’ve saved him. this would make you hate most marines, probably, I mean it doesn’t have to, but if you want.

Past hate can only be countered by future love, but since you won’t let any of them close that’s not about to happen in one or two days. Every day of hate requires three days of love to fix it (actual, scientific, maths there, people). This category also includes the hating of Ex-wives, stepfathers and the lot. So it doesn’t have to happen in the past to be Past hate.

Personality Hate

Just like the real world we all have personalities, you might not like some of them. Arrogance doesn’t sit well with the one, while shyness aggravates the other. This doesn’t pick certain groups, like the Romulans or the Marines, but it’s a more personal hate. And thus this could allow for better RP, it’s never really cliché since everybody deals with it another way and there’s a lot of different things that annoy different people. You can avoid, confront or ignore the problem. This is a lot like the Opposite Attracts love scenario, but instead of deciding to hug it out you decide to throw down.


You know for sure you’re better than them, yet somehow you find yourself in a situation where you’re proving it to them over and over again. If you’re so sure you’re better? Why do you have to prove it over and over again? It’s really simple. Marines think they can handle any kind of dangerous situation better than the Security team. True as this might be the Security team would like to prove them wrong on several occasions. With the two Department heads fighting over who’s best what do you think would be the effect on the junior officers? Rivals, very fun to write, but know when to stop. Or alternatively, how to keep it interesting.


Bashir and O’Brian celebrating their friendship with copious amounts of alcohol

Finally the Friendship, the shades of grey, you don’t love them with every fibre of your being but you don’t hate them either. Friends, buddies, those who you poker with, those who you drink with. Well, I hope you get the drift.

Ol’ Buddy, Ol’ Pal

Friends from day one, dating back to their childhood or School… even Starfleet Academy counts. A buddy that you haven’t seen for years or that you haven’t missed for years. These kinds of friendships need a whole lot of background and have a good base for RP. What would you do for a friend that close? Risk your life? Give your life?

Mutual Respect

Yes, there is such a thing, a professional and healthy friendship with another member of the crew. Them doing their job right and so are you. Hopefully. This will gain the respect of one and other. “Oh you’re so skilled” etc., etc., beware though, you don’t want to make their spouses jealous…

Common Grounds

The easiest and oldest form of friendship, the common grounds. “Hey you have miniature toy cars as well?!” a hobby, a movie, a band, all solid bases for a friendship. While this doesn’t open up a whole lot of opportunities to talk about something else it is a good start.

I hope this lesson was useful for those who dare march upon the path of Love… Hate… or Friendship. Having relationships with other members of the crew takes the entire RP experience to a whole new level. Trust me a Simm gets a whole of a lot better if you just add some love and hate into the game.

What was the most memorable relationship one of your characters had? Let us know in the comments!

Untill next time,

Prof. Dr. Fritz von Stossenbaum Alkensaltzer, PhD
L.I.S.P. Professor

“Roses are red… violets are blue… all of my base… are belong to you…”

Prof. Dr. Fritz von Stossenbaum Alkaselzer, PhD.

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