I don't have to be Ken.

Note: Sometimes I call the Ken char masculine pronouns, sometimes neutral ones. Sometimes I call the Barbie feminine pronouns, sometimes neutral ones. I have yet to see a female character be a Ken, but it's certainty possible. I do not mean to assume than the Ken role is filled by a male char, or that the Barbie role is filled by a female char, or that the relationship is hetro. But Ken-Barbie-Hetro relationships are most common in kind of thing I describe, so sometimes I will write in a way that reflect that. If that doesn't apply to your situation, please change the pronouns in your head as you read and try not to take offense. Thank you.

In this context, "Ken" means Barbie's boyfriend Ken. No real personality, just the adoring perfect boyfriend.

So your character is stuck in a relationship in which the other character is squashing their personality and your character has been reduced to a Ken?

First thing first: Your character is not a Ken. You know who your character really is, and your character is not a Ken. But this relationships is making your char into one.

The relationship with Barbie is pressing the life and soul of your char.

Get the hell out of there.

There are two basic ways to end it: IC and OOC.

Ending it IC Ending it OOC
This whole relationship has happened IC, it's a purely IC thing, so ending it IC makes sense. Let your char say what they want to say! Be the char they once were, bring their personality back, and break up with Barbie. This also allows you to avoid having to tell the other user what you plan to do. And since they're just finding out now, just like their char is, it will let their posts be very honest and truthful. Sometimes people feel like they owe it to the other user to tell them or warn them. That's valid. If you feel better doing that, then do.

Be honest and straightforward. Tell them that you want the characters to break up, but don't get into an angry rant about how they made your char a Ken. It's over now, don't dwell in the past too much.

Don't worry too much about the other user. Remember, what happens IC and OOC are separate. There are dear friends who's chars have murdered each other.

Really, what's the worst they can say?


Do you think your character might be a Ken? Symptoms of Kenness vary, but some common ones include:

  • Your character has little roleplay that isn't with Barbie.
  • Their personality and/or goals have changed since meeting Barbie.
  • You worry about what the other user will think of things your character does.

It can be hard. One thing I've heard people say most is that their relationship with the person who roleplays Barbie is awkward even without this, and they're scared that if they stick of for their Ken, the other person will hate them and that fights with ensue, or that people who shipped it will be mad.

You're not alone. One of the great things about DARP is the amazing community. Talk to your friends! The friends you trust, people who you usually go to to rant. Get your anger out, and express your feeling. Then, when you're feeling a bit better, think rationally and get a plan together.

  • You char can do so much better than this Barbie. There are amazing ships out there, but your character will never be part of one as long as they're with Barbie.
  • Your char is awesome, unique, and full of potential. They're more than this, so stop letting Barbie drag them down.
  • There is more to roleplay than romantic relationships.
  • This Barbie isn't really benefiting from this relationships either. She'd also do better in relationship that's actually... good.
  • It's likely a boring relationship. Don't worry, people probably don't ship it and won't be mad at you for ending it.
  • Controlling relationships are a real life problem. Treat this relationship as such. This can be a steeping stone in the life of your character. They can get over this, move on, and learn and grow from it, just like people in real life do.

There are tons of songs about leaving bad relationships. Listen to some, get inspired. You can do this! There are more than I could ever list here. Sara Bareilles's "Brave", Beyoncé's "Best Thing I Never Had" or "Listen", or even "Let It Go" from Frozen.

What if they hate me for breaking up with their character?
If they hate you for it, it means they cared more about themselves and their char then you. It means the controlling wasn't just IC. There are lots of dear friends who's chars are at each other's throats. This user wasn't one of them. I'm sorry, having someone hate you can really suck, but you'll be ok. Stand up for yourself and your character, even if they don't want you too.

Will they hate me for breaking up with their character?
They may. I can't make any promises, but I bet it's less likely than you think.

Will the shippers hate me?
They may. I still can't make any promises, but two things:

  1. If they do, it won't really be hating. They'll just pout for a bit then get over it.
  2. It's likely the people you think ship them really don't. Ken/Barbie relationships are rarely that shippable. They might just be pretending to ship it to be polite

Barbie is the only person I roleplay Ken with. If I do this, I won't have anyone to roleplay Ken with.
Yes, you will Just come on chat when a bunch of people are on, say Rp anyone?, and when they say Sure, who/where?, say Ken, who of yours?. Simple.

Think of it as the clean snow, and fresh plant of making a new character. Nothing's happened yet, but there's a wiki full of possibilities. Get out there, and seize them.

This char doesn't even have any personality. Should I just delete them?
Not yet. You can always delete Ken later if he's not going anywhere. But don't delete him now, get him out of there and give him a chance first.