As a single guy in the real world, I am surrounded by couples, married and unmarried. Among my friends, I can’t name anyone who doesn’t have a significant other. It’s obviously a factor in why I’m alone.
In fiction, it’s never like that.
I have long been aware of this problem, the laughable improbability of the male and female characters in fiction both being available and both being interested in each other. A love interest is a standard requirement in fiction, and writers don’t bother to make it realistic. The worst thing that happens is that, for honorable reasons, they don’t act on their feelings.
I’ve been binge-watching The West Wing. The entire cast of characters, with the exception of the president, is made up of single people. If they could have gotten away with a president without a first lady, I’m sure they would have done that too. All of the characters are available to develop romances with other characters, and indeed all of them have, some of them several times. It’s completely unrealistic. Look at the senior staff of any white house administration, and they’re almost all married. And even if they were single, all of them would be in relationships nearly all of the time.
I find it quite frustrating to watch all of this easy romance, given how non-existent it is in my real life.