There is a story element that is used rather frequently in retail fiction that is used for nothing more than creating romantic tension between the male and female protagonist. This element does not have an official name, but I like to call it noble idiocy.
Noble idiocy occurs when either the male or female protagonist in a relationship find a reason the relationship cannot continue. Sometimes these reason sometimes make half sense, but most of the time these reasons are irrational and dumb. A good example of a reason that only makes half sense would be if the male protagonist no longer wanted to be in a relationship because he thought that the female protag deserved better. This reason is not completely rational. I mean if she did not want to marry the guy then why enter into the relationship in the first place. This reason is usually passed off by the author as the male’s misgivings. The completely irrational reasons are usually much more dramatic and have no base in reality. They sometimes play out like this.
“Sally I love you.”
“I love you too Fred”
“We should get married”
“Oh Fred I would love too but I can’t”
“I killed my parents.”
“You did what.”
“Yeah, when I was thirteen, my parents went on vacation and they never came back.”
“Sally, how is that you fault?”
“I could have kept them from leaving and then they would not have died.”
It would be at this point when Fred would tell Sally that she is acting just a little bit stupid and there was no way that that was her fault. Sally would have agreed and they would have gotten married, then end.
Something that would make more sense and would be way more believable would be if one of the people in a relationship were having misgivings to explain them and then ask for help in getting rid of them. It is not likely that this method will become popular any time soon because romantic tension seems to sell a lot of books