Avoidance and procrastination are my two most common pastimes.
I don't hugely dislike Theo. Not so much anymore, at any rate. But I dislike him as a romantic interest, at least. Before the romance novel thing, he seemed like a sort of self-centered emo kid, really. I mean, exceptions made for friends, but usually overexpectant and without a whole lot of depth more than his generally negative attitude.
Now, there's nothing wrong with a disagreeable character, especially if it's something they're meant to grow out of. I think the main point is that it seemed like there was nothing -more- to him.
And that's mitigated, I think, to a degree by the romance novel thing. It says something about him beyond the way he behaves around other people. About who he is in private. We get that sort of automatically with other characters (like Will) whose attitude towards others conveys a lot more about them.
I used to look at Theo like I looked at Kaoru from Kenshin:
"Why do they keep using her? There is no depth of character. She exists almost entirely as a foil for others, but they keep trying to make her an important character. I wish they'd cut that out."
Now, it wasn't entirely like that -- Theo -did- have a personality, after all -- but it was similar. The difference is even greater now, since you've given the character some depth.
But I still dislike Theo for Emma, even with that new depth.
It's not really about the way their personalities clash -- though that might be a small issue, I don't know -- but it's mostly about the fact that they don't really bring anything new out of each other. They generally act the same way with or without the other. I mean, when they meet it affects how they feel about the other, but it doesn't really change their approach to things. They don't affect each other on a deeper level.
I'm not going to say "Will and Emma should hook up!" but I'll look at them just for the comparison.
Will's general mood and behavior doesn't change a whole lot around Emma. Certainly not as much as Theo's. But there's something more subtle, with greater depth. You can feel the relationship driving them to evolve, just a little. Even as their attitudes toward the other stay the same, their attitudes towards the rest of the world change ever so slightly.
A good relationship, in a story, is one that does more for the characters than change or determine the relationship between the characters. And while that's not exclusive to romance, it's more important there than in other places.
That's not to say that a relationship can't stand alone, but it needs to be particularly compelling and not somethning meant to make readers think about where the story is going. It can't be vital to the story, because it's something of a non sequitor. Maybe an -awesome- non sequitor, but it doesn't really work work as a central piece of the story.
Right. So this (really wordy) explanation isn't a good one, and I'm not satisfied with it. But it's the best I can do right now. If it sounds stupid, I apologize -- I assure you it doesn't convey my feelings and their reasons very well. If it sounds really smart, that's still worth noting, I think.
Meh Comic: <a href="http://www.drunkduck.com/Stairway_From_Heaven">Stairway From Heaven</a>