It’s easy to show romance in a romance novel if you write about sex. But what if you don’t want to write about sex? Or what if you want to show romance in other ways? How can you show your characters’ feelings for each other without having them constantly jumping into bed (or the couch, the floor, the car, the beach, etc.)?
One way to show romance is with dialogue. I recently read a book where the hero was very guarded and took a long time to trust people. He made a huge mistake, but he wasn’t the type to apologize. And, his mistake needed more than just an “I’m sorry.” So, he came to the heroine in the middle of the night, when neither of them could sleep, and explained why he’d done what he’d done. The room was dark. There was nothing to see, nothing to describe. All we had was his voice and his words. He confided in her. It was one of the most romantic scenes in the entire book.
Another way is with a look. Using vivid imagery to describe a character’s eyes or a glance or the result of that glance can show the romance felt between two characters—or even one if it’s unrequited. Again, I read a book where the hero was wearing a mask (kind of silly, but it was historical, so maybe forgiven) and his eyes showed more of him than his entire face unmasked. Just by looking into his eyes, the heroine was able to tell exactly what he was feeling.
How about actions? The heroine can go out of her way to do something nice for the hero. The hero can fix a problem that has been plaguing the heroine. They can write each other notes. Love letters written by former President Nixon to his wife before they married showed how much he loved her. He’s not exactly a romantic character, but even he had his moments. http://news.yahoo.com/love-letters-reveal-nixons-sensitive-side-103142583--abc-news.html
What other ways can you show romance?