[Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

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AsHLeX
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[Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#1 Post by AsHLeX » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:08 pm

Ok, first off, I have no idea which exact forum this should be in, but it is related to a visual novel character that I have in mind. Apologies if I posted in the wrong place, and feel free to move it to whichever place you feel that it's more suited for. :|
So, I was lying in my bed and not being able to sleep and I suddenly came up with this idea...
What do people think about dating a partner who doesn't put you as his first? For example...
- He/she puts their dog/cat/animal over everything else (AND will cancel any of your plans if need be and if the pet doesn't like you for some reason or another, they will be very willing to break up with you)
- He/she has a sick mother that they will drop everything to cater to their every needs (including cancelling any and every date that they made with you)
or basically something along that line.
I mean, those are some pretty extreme examples, but I'm actually really curious how many people are willing to accept not being the person/thing of priority in a relationship. In some circumstances it's not the person's fault and it's unavoidable (e.g. sick mother), sometimes irritating and sometimes downright rude (e.g. maybe say always putting their hobby before everything else, even in major circumstances -> not sure if that really qualifies as rude, maybe?).
What I'm curious is... if say this sort of character was an option in a dating sim, would it be interesting for you, a I-don't-really-mind, or a major turnoff and a character that you would like to avoid unless he/she has some sort of MAJOR plus point to him/her. I mean, I suppose you'd have to have more information about the characters personality, background etc. to say for certain, but I'm curious of what most people think of 'not being someone's priority' in general.
Opinions?
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#2 Post by Zelan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:34 pm

I think it's a very interesting idea for a VN, since it's true to life.

As for my thoughts in real life, I would definitely date someone who didn't always put me as their priority; like you said, people have to juggle lots of things at once. Sometimes, they might need to prioritise themself over me, and that's okay. The only point at which it would become an issue would be if I felt that I was never a priority, and if the things that my partner put above me seemed trivial more often than not.

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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#3 Post by AsHLeX » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:49 pm

Hi again Zelan!! 😊😊 Thanks for replying!!
Hmmm that's an interesting viewpoint. I suppose it really depends on the individual. As for my personal standpoint, it would probably be a negative point for me if it's to an extreme case (e.g. always cancelling plans because of said other) - not because I blame the person for it or anything, but simply because I know in that situation I would get lonely really easily and would rather not put either of us in that kind of situation where the relationship would be strained. I mean, I would be understanding about it (because obviously everyone has their own stuff to deal with and I don't expect my partner to put me first each and every time) but if it's something really long-standing like constantly not being able to make dates/important life events because stuff comes up with other person I feel like it would take a toll on me. it's a personal thing, and I'm glad to see that not everyone thinks the same way! 😀😀😀
Again, thanks for your insight! :)

Trying to add a character like this to a VN would be somewhat different like you mentioned and definitely something I'll add to my future plans haha. At the moment, I don't have any specifics in mind, but I do think that it's an interesting trait to have (and will probably be a different kind of route as well) for the character, although the subject matter might be a little hard to execute well haha.
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#4 Post by Godline » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:29 pm

Horse girls. Haha.

I've seen in depth discussions from people who have dated "horse girls" before. Sounds like a fun set of challenges. (Horses are lame).

As for me, I have an Aspie SO... which means that their special interest usually takes priority. I don't care though. I have my own stuff that probably takes priority too. Haha. ;)

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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#5 Post by nekobara » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:34 am

I tend to put my cat before humans myself. Haha. But I have my reasons. I don't think that giving your character a reason for putting whoever or whatever it is before the protagonist-and having the protagonist find out what that reason is at some point-would be too bad of an idea.

With the pet, they could have lost their best four-legged friend, and perhaps they weren't there when it passed. So they want to spend as much time as possible with the pet they have now, not wasting a second on a stupid human. Maybe they were also bullied in school, and that's why they don't like people. Maybe the animal that passed used to comfort them when they got home, and that caused them to become very attached to said animal. Maybe the pet they have now is pretty similar to their old pet, and they're trying to make up for not being there in their best friend's final moments through the spitting image of that four-legged companion.

It also might be nice if the character could kind of compromise if the protagonist grew close enough to them. Still using the pet example, if the pet didn't like the protagonist, the love interest could bring them to their house more often so that the two would hopefully get used to one another. Or, you know, they could hire some kind of pet specialist that would help the pet and the protagonist work out their differences and become friends. Then the love interest could spend a lot of time with both the protagonist and their pet, and they could both be their favorite. So there would be no first or second. Everybody wins. 😺

So yeah, I would still sort of want a solution to the protagonist not being put first. Even in a dating sim-or maybe I should say especially in a dating sim-I wouldn't want to experience what would feel like repeated rejection as the protagonist.

If the protagonist chose that love interest, would the little b*tch almost always say something along of the lines of "No can do, honey. I'm with Mommy." if they were still in the early stages of the relationship? (Obviously it would probably be less nauseating and more genuine, though.) That would give me enough incentive to raise their affection for the protagonist fast, but I can't say that I wouldn't want to punch them.

That might sound horrible since their mother could be sick, but- Why bother with excuses? I'm a jealous person. And I'm kind of insecure as well, so... I'd have trouble deciding whether to be mad or sad. Or understanding on a good day.

...I wrote too much. Haha. Sorry.
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#6 Post by AsHLeX » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:10 pm

Hey Godline!
I actually had to Google what horse girls are haha. It sounds... Interesting and also kind of different I suppose (with the commitment that comes with it).
Thanks for sharing!

Hey nekobara!
Those are some great ideas for character development, thank you! Yeah, I suppose dating sims are a sort of way to "escape reality" after all, so it makes sense to want to form a compromise (as well as a happy ending of sorts).
LOL I laughed so hard when you mentioned about punching them 😂😂😂 and that "I'm with mommy". That phrasing (if you'll excuse me) made me think of a 12 year old.
It's not like I can't understand your viewpoint, cause I probably hover along the same line as well. And it would honestly be kind of sad if my SO was constantly leaving me alone at a cafe or cancelling plans that I was really looking forward to to take care of someone else. In that case I would probably offer to help as well to be able to bond with both the person that they were caring as well as them and also to probably try and help to lighten the load with chores and stuff that they might have to do. But then again I can't promise that I won't at least get a little jealous haha. It's hard knowing your not the first haha.
And no, you didn't write too much! I enjoyed reading your opinion and your insight was helpful so thanks!

To everyone who replied, thanks again!! I definitely wasn't expecting this wide array of responses when I first posted this idea in my half-asleep state ^^". It's definitely given me a lot of insight that I wouldn't be able to see otherwise.
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#7 Post by Preseva » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:44 pm

For a secondary character it would be fine as part of their personality; as a love interest I wouldn't like it. One reason is that if I play a dating sim, it's for the escapism of an ideal romance. I don't mean a relationship with no problems or conflict, but I like that aspect of feeling more important than anything or anyone else. I had an RP character whose every romance was with people where she was a secondary priority to some other goal or ideal of theirs, and it was the most depressing, self-esteem lowering thing to feel not good enough to be put first. It did not make for a fun game.

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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#8 Post by trooper6 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:15 pm

Personally, I find the idea of someone putting you above everything else at all times and you being the center of their universe to be unhealthy and creepy. And I have sometimes ended up not dating a character (or any characters) because the obsession felt too creepy. Do I want to escape into an ideal relationship in a game? I don't know maybe? But for me that ideal does not involve co-dependency or unhealthy obsession. I'd want someone who had an identity outside of me. So the NPC would have hobbies and interests and things beyond me. My idea is an equal, not someone who is subordinate to me. So someone who might not be able to go out on a date with me on a Friday because they have to work? But then makes time for me some other time, that is cool.

A person who never has time for you is a person who doesn't have time for a relationship, so that isn't going to work. But a person who is an adult with healthy adult relationships including agency of their own and a mind and will of their own? That would be awesome.
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#9 Post by AsHLeX » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:33 pm

Hey Preseva!
Yeah I can see how that would be pretty lowering to your self-esteem. We had to call off a DnD game once because the story was getting out of hand and one of the player characters kept getting bullied/the short end of the stick in game and it ended up being a depressing game for her. A little different scenario but similar regarding the escapism.
Thank you very much for your feedback! :)

Hey trooper6,
Yeah I feel the same way about the obsession thing. I mean, I find routes of an obsessed character to be a mix of intriguing but otherwise disturbing.
Thank you for your feedback!
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#10 Post by Sleepy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:17 pm

Depends on the context really? There's circumstances people would find understandable not to be the priority (i.e: if kids or family are involved, if this is a fantasy setting where you and/or your partner serve something greater, etc.) which could be interesting, but in a game where romance is the primary goal I can understand why players would be put out.

I like the idea mentioned where you might not be the character's primary interest but they'll still make time for you, though. Since, rather than it being simply "sorry you're not my top priority" it's more "I care about you but have to make compromises for this to work", which is a more optimistic message.
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#11 Post by Kinjo » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:21 pm

Like others have said, the context really matters for this one. As do the personalities of the people involved.

Cancelling a date to take care of a sick mother seems justifiable and understandable. The date can be rescheduled, and someone who values their own family (sees family as something to be protected and nurtured) will probably be a better parent to their own children, not to mention probably had a good upbringing and less traumatic issues too. So that's a plus. On the other hand, why burden myself with a partner whose family is constantly getting sick? If I really cared about this person, and their family then sure, but if I have little attachment then I'd be better off finding someone with less on their plate. Even worse if we're dealing with someone who has Munchausen syndrome (and/or by proxy).

Cancelling a date because a pet doesn't like me... Well first off, I'm great with animals and I like them a lot so that probably wouldn't be an issue for me. It's probably more likely that someone would break up because their partner doesn't like animals, or is allergic to animals. So if a pet is really important to this person then it's very understandable too. That's just dating preferences really, unless this person is so obsessed with their pet they can't function in a normal human relationship. If you're actively choosing to spend time with your pet instead of me, I might as well find a person who doesn't have a pet.

Cancelling a date because of a hobby, now I'd say that's getting into rude territory. Why not enjoy the hobby together? Why not pick a time that doesn't conflict with this hobby? Repeatedly cancelling dates because "other things keep coming up" just proves this person really doesn't care about you or the date, and it's better to focus on other people. If someone really wants to be with you, they'll make time for you.

Here's another one: the career-oriented person. No time for dates, would rather work than play. Would easily cancel a date if a business meeting came up, or if they had a job with unusual hours (being on-call to fix things, etc.). Personally I'd probably respect their dedication to their job and the fact that they have a clear direction and set of goals in life. On the other hand, it could be annoying never being able to enjoy time with this person. And who knows, maybe they aren't enjoying their 70-hour work weeks either. It seems like this one isn't such a dealbreaker for me, but the amount of stress accumulated in the relationship might be even worse.

There's a lot of potential for interesting plots, though. It's good conflict. Rather than making the character an extreme, who always cancels dates, you can make them someone who genuinely (over time) cares about the protagonist/player, but also has other commitments. Then, in a very tense and climactic situation, the character is forced to choose between the two.

A good example occurs in Breaking Bad, in which the protagonist constantly has to balance work and family. At the end of Season 2,
Walt finally makes a great deal that will get him a lot of money, and is very excited about his criminal career. Just as he's gathering the drugs to take to the meeting spot, he gets a call from his wife: she's finally giving birth. This destroys Walt mentally; no one else can go to the drug deal and it can't be rescheduled, but Walt wants to be at the hospital to see his daughter's birth. He ultimately decides to go with the drug deal, and arrives late to the hospital, now disappointed. His wife Skyler is not pleased about any of this, and in Season 3 eventually divorces him... only to end up as his newest partner in crime.

Anyway, for me I'd be willing to give them a chance, but over time if it keeps getting annoying I'd start to question if I should look elsewhere. Like Zelan said.

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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#12 Post by AsHLeX » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:15 pm

@Sleepy:
Yeah, that makes sense. A compromise is always interesting. Thanks for your feedback!

@Kinjo:
Yeah, while it is justifiable it would definitely be pretty difficult and I can see why some people might look for someone with a little less on their plate (me included). As for the pet, it came to my mind because I was reading this reddit post where people were asking "What was the main reason you broke up with someone?" and someone answered "because my dog didn't like her", and I thought it was interesting. And yeah, I do agree that repeatedly cancelling dates because of hobbies would put the person in a negative light because it shows that the other person isn't really making time for you.

You brought up a pretty good point about the career-orientated person. To be honest, I'm quite on the line about that one (being a female who has considered going into surgery), but I do agree it's hard for people like that to dedicate as much time to their relationship as compared to people with less time-demanding careers. I feel like the best partner for that kind of person would probably be either someone who was really career-orientated as well, or someone who is really understanding and willing to tolerate it.

When you mentioned the breaking bad spoiler, something that came to mind was something that I read in the job description of a traditional butler (I have a pretty deep-seated interest in real-life butlers and what it entails, don't ask me why).
"If you have a phone call while you're at work saying that your child has just been born, what do you do? If your answer is to tell your employer the situation and ask for leave (like most of you would say), then you're better off not being in this job because the employer shouldn't need to know anything about your life. The right answer would be to finish your job then only go home, rather than to take leave." (or something along those lines)
I can imagine that moment which the person would have to make a choice to be a rather life-changing kind of decision as to whether that kind of job would be suited for them.
---> That was a little off-topic, my apologies.

But at any rate, a decision making moment would make for a pretty good climax to the story (and also a good route branching point) and a chance for character development.

Thank you very much for your feedback!
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#13 Post by Mutive » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:04 pm

I'd personally prefer a sim that didn't put me 1st. It always seems kind of pathetic and really unrealistic in games when that happens. I've really liked NPCs who don't immediately greet me as their hero and savior who they love forever.

With that said, I suspect I may be something of an abnormality. :)
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#14 Post by AsHLeX » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:17 pm

Thanks for the feedback Mutive!
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Re: [Dating sim questions] Would you date a partner who doesn't put you as their first?

#15 Post by Harick » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:24 am

I think it depends on them putting work into making the relationship work in spite of the thing more important. I wouldn't mind not being their number one prority especially if we haven't been dating that long but if we made plans and then they cancelled for whatever reason I would really expect them to make up for it in some way, though when I put it that way it sounds a bit weird. Like I would really need them to show initative in the relationship despite whatever else is more important because if like I started dating someone who cancelled me because of their cats or their hobby it would really make me feel like, why even bother when they don't.

That might say more about me than it does about them though, I'm not even sure if I can feel romantically attached to someone

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