10 Best Slow-Burn Romances In Movies & TV, Ranked

Romance drives so much of film and television. First loves, new relationships, and old flames rekindled are all part of the reason many people watch movies and TV shows. Some romances are fast and furious, but others take some time to develop into full-blown relationships.

Slow-burn romances are sometimes predictable, but they often leave viewers in suspense, wondering if the love interests will actually get together. When the characters finally realize they’re meant to be, all that waiting is worth it.

Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) on Gilmore Girls are attracted to one another soon after they meet, but it takes them a whole season’s worth of episodes to finally get together. Rory is dating Dean (Jared Padalecki) as Jess arrives in Stars Hollow.

It doesn’t take Dean long to figure out that he can’t stand Jess because Jess is interested in Rory. To his dismay, Dean realizes that Rory is interested in Jess, too. All the literary references, molten stares, and close encounters eventually bring Rory and Jess together, even if not forever. This slow-burn easily rivals Luke and Lorelai’s complicated relationship.

Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and Donna Moss (Janel Moloney) banter with each other right from the start on The West Wing, but it takes years for them to get together as a couple. Donna works for Josh and has to put up with his misogynistic tendencies; he frequently makes fun of her and her love life. Over time, the characters show that they truly care for one another. A good example is when Donna is extremely attentive and visits Josh all the time after he is shot. All the little steps the two take eventually lead them to each other.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days puts the love interests in a fake dating situation for much of the movie. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a journalist who meets Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) and purposefully tries to get him to break up with her so that she can write about it in her article. Ben is an ad executive who is doing the opposite–he places a bet that he can get a woman to fall in love with him in just ten days. As expected, Ben and Andie start to actually love one another, but they go through a lot of heartache to reach each other by the end of the movie.

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