This may be a bit of a weird post, but like some of the other posts on here, it is inspired by current events in a game I am in. The game in question is specifically DC Adventures, being run by a friend of mine. In the game, I'm playing an alien with a similar story to Superman's, only my characters powers are closer to Green Lanterns than anything. That is less important, what is more important - especially for this post - is that the character has, through various machinations, been pursuing Superman romantically.
Romance Between Characters
Depending on your group, romance between characters isn't anything new. Hell, I've talked about dating and sex in games before. But this has been the first time - for me at least - where the whole of the relationship, from conception to where it is now, has happened unplanned and entirely in game. After some hero work that left my character unconscious in a field, she was checked on by Superman, and has been pursuing him more or less ever since.
One of the more general reasons I've seen people hold against this sort of in character interaction is the awkwardness at the table. For some, it feels weird to be flirting with the GM, while others just get awkward about the very idea of portraying a relationship in front of their friends. If this is the case for you, then that is perfectly fine. RPGs are supposed to be fun, so don't feel forced into it.
That said, with this character it just felt like the right thing to do, and as I stayed focused on the character (remember: it is just a game. Pretendy fun times!) none of the rest of it mattered. Like with so much with acting and RPGs, some of the best stuff comes out when you consciously put aside what is actually going on, and focus on what you are 'pretending' is going on.
Not Front and Center
Part of what is helping to keep this from getting awkward is the fact that it isn't front and center. It isn't something getting tons of attention, but it is part of my character's personal story. This, I feel, is where it belongs. It is there enough to make it clear that it is important to my character, but isn't overriding anyone else's fun.
Overall it has been a fun and unique experience for me. I've done the relationship thing from the other side of the GM screen. both pre-arranged and happening in game. However, usually there was some plan in mind for it. As a spontaneously occurring, PC/NPC relationship in game though it has been fun. Especially with the added fun of it being a 'celebrity' relationship and the press making more of it than is actually going on in game.
How about you? Any experiences with IC romance you'd char to share? Times it went very well? Things that made it go very wrong?