At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet. – Plato
The lover is the hero’s love interest in the story. Not every hero has a love interest or wants one, nor should every story find a way to force a lover into the plot. However, when a lover fits well into the story, he or she often becomes the hero’s security. And due to this safe emotional place, it is common for the hero to tell the lover his or her most private and vulnerable thoughts and feelings: sometimes to vent, sometimes to share doubts and fears, and sometimes simply to sit in silence and be understood.
Remember that opposites attract, and putting opposite personalities in an intimate relationship can become a potent recipe for conflict, which is great material for the writer. But a lover’s role is not always based from a romantic or sexual nature, and he or she can come in many different forms: as a child, a parent, even a pet.
And like the other friend roles, lovers can also create obstacles for the hero by presenting an ultimatum, misunderstanding something, or getting caught by the bad guys.
Lovers in film:
Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire), the quiet pet story clerk in Rocky (1976).
Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Indy’s spirited, tough former lover in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger), the single mother in Jerry Maguire (1996).
Mark Loring (Jason Bateman), the unhappily married and soon to be adopting father in Juno (2007).
Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez), the Frenchman that Connie Sumner begins an adulterous fling with in Unfaithful (2002).