Author Topic: Harmful beliefs and quirks that hinder a person finding love or even respect?  (Read 141 times)

Vidya

I’m working on a cozy mystery series set in a matchmaking agency. The owners, Davina and her partners, also coach their clients and give dating advice.

Some clients repel mates by their weird behavior. Some of the men are MBA's, doctors, computer engineers. Some hold high degrees in the STEM subjects; they're geniuses at math and science; but they don't know how to talk to women. So some are financially successful but romantically challenged.

Some are gauche, blurt out things they should not, or act weird, eg one woman carries scales that tell the exact amount of calories in each food since she is terrified of gaining weight.

And she weighs all her food with these scales at every date. She also lectures all her dates on how fat America is becoming, babbling about the obesity epidemic.

Most of her dates fear she will lose interest in them or will nag them to death if they ever gain weight, so they never give her a second date. She tells Davina the problem is that so few Americans are into healthy eating that they are intimidated by someone who eats and lives right.

Davina has her work cut out for her gently persuading clients like this the problem may be with them, that their behavior is driving away dates and romantic partners.

But eventually Davina pairs this woman up with a man who is also fanatical about
maintaining his weight. Maybe he works out a lot and really appreciates a woman who is so  into a healthy diet. Happy ending for both!

Another example: some years ago on my writing forum, a member self-pubbed a couple of books about dogfighting. 30 years ago, he had bred pit bulls for dogfighting. He posted about it to gauge what interest there might be in the books.

When people piled on him, he acted all wounded and misunderstood and victimized. He insisted that 30 years ago, dogfighting was not an abusive sport. He said the pit bulls of that time had fighting in their blood and were eager to fight and would be miserable if they didn't.

I can’t use that as an example of a client who learned better because he’s too revolting. But it gives an example of what I mean. I’m making a list of such beliefs that clients might have. They think they’re right, don't get why others might have trouble with their beliefs and quirks.

No reader would sympathize with a client who defended dogfighting, but I might use that as one of the crime plots. The detective the agency uses to vet matches could discover one client was running a dogfighting ring like Michael Vicks. The client is arrested, released on bail. So then when the detective is killed, the former client is one of the suspects. Just to throw a red herring in; he won't be the actual killer.

Honestly, sometimes the people you meet on the net give you good ideas for characters and subplots. Or maybe I was singularly blessed in that since this forum had minimal moderation, it freed all the most disturbing people to post freely and reveal themselves.

I suspect FB and Twitter are similar goldmines, but I don't do them.

So can you suggest any harmful beliefs and quirks that hinder a person finding love? If they’re too disturbing, I can use the characters as suspects in the murder plot. If they’re humorous, I can use them in the romantic subplots. You guys might have encountered these sorts of characters either in real life or on sites.

Thanks!
 

VisitasKeat

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How about a guy wanting to know everything, literally everything about his future wife? I mean he likes this girl, and she's very beautiful, but he has ordinary looks and suffers from inferiority complex. Moreover, she is taller than him! The marriage is almost formalised by this agency but old habits die hard, as they say. He keeps nagging his would-be with all kinds of silly but irritating questions in chat sessions, like with which guys she went for movies in her college years, whether she eats out with her colleagues, whether she went for late-night movies with the guys she knew. He is very rich but extremely suspicious of his would-be's affairs.

Now, this guy is so tough to handle but he's ready to pay any amount to the agency if they fix the alliance for him.
 
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Vidya

A guy who’s overly suspicious and jealous is a possibility. So is one who carpet bombs a girl with questions. Especially about all her exes. Thanks!
 

VisitasKeat

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Possibly he stalks and kills her male colleagues. Perfect serial killer for cozy mystery!
 
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Maggie Ann

Hoarding. Whenever he takes a woman out to dinner, he puts the used paper napkins in his pockets. Some of his excuses for the behavior are he is sure that the restaurant doesn't recycle or that they are perfectly reusable or (and he really thinks this is romantic) he wants a souvenir of the lovely evening they spent together.

He picks up magazines and newspapers out of the trash, claiming he never got around to buying that edition.

He's not a kleptomaniac. He just wants to add these things to his collection.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 01:08:14 AM by Maggie Ann »
           
 
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Simon Haynes

There's a forum (reddit, I think?) called AITA or 'Am I the *sshole?' where people bring up relationship and personal interaction issues and ask whether they're overreacting. Probably find a ton of stuff there on problematic beliefs:

https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/

Might also be a huge time sink.

 
 
 

 
WIP

 
 
 
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spin52

Someone (male or female) who can NEVER be punctual. I almost married one of those. When I said, only half joking, that he would probably be late to our wedding, he replied, "But I'm sure there would be a good reason."
There never was. I'm glad I married someone who doesn't think his time is more valuable than anyone else's.
     

Traditional mysteries with a dash of humor -- no cats, no cupcakes.
 
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