HELP! So I've been an avid sterek shipper for the past 2 years and they are definitely my self-proclaimed OTP, but recently, I have begun to lose interest in it, and I'm sadly becoming numb to it... is there anything I can do to respark that love for them???
//Anon, I am sorry to hear that :( Sometimes, that happens. We move on, even from things we love. But if you want to respark your love, I will try to help.
The main thing I do to keep my love alive is to separate the pairing from the fandom and the show. That helps me the most. I love Stiles and Derek. Sure, I love TW and the other characters, but the reason I’m obsessed with anything is Sterek. I love Derek’s stupid face and his grumpy eyebrows and his tough exterior and his soft yet resilient interior. I love Stiles’ stupid face and his beautiful eyes and his ramblings and his idgaf attitude unless he loves you, and you better watch out if he loves you bc he will burn down the WHOLE WORLD to protect you.
Maybe you need a good fic. When I get on a string of blah fics, I lose interest. But a good fic, that period where you are pulled in and you can’t stop reading about these two idiots falling in love for the 239802394th time…it’s magical. I can rec you fics if you want, fics that make me love the pairing. Or you can go trope hunting, which is what I do a lot. I want…historical! I want sports! I want coffeeshops! I want college! I want kids! I want deputies, prostitutes, slaves, amnesia, magic!stiles, human!derek, high school…there are so many possibilities. Find fics instead of relying on rec lists. Read outside of your comfort zone. I think sometimes ppl get stuck reading only what they like and don’t branch out and find new fics that can be exciting bc it’s different. I read two fics recently that are not usually my thing. One had a lot of pot smoking, the other was hate sex/enemies to lovers. Neither are my tropes and I usually avoid them. But they were recced to me highly, so I gave them a try. And I LOVED both of them. They were different than what I usually read, but it helped me get excited and think about the pairing in a different way. Read a long fic, esp if you avoid them. I avoid long fics a lot of times bc I’m a slow reader and have limited time. But some of the best fics I’ve read are over 100k. Read short fics. I don’t read much under 10k, but there are some great short fics that can give you a quick fix.
I guess where I find the most feels for Sterek is when I think about them together in ways I want to see. I write fic, so I do this a lot, but I have friends who don’t write fic who come up with ideas all the time. I just love thinking about Derek and Stiles’ lives, in so many different ways.
Like, I like to think about them being domestic, coming home from long days at work and bickering over who didn’t do the dishes the night before and what to watch after dinner. Taking baths together and washing each other’s backs and pressing each other against slippery bathroom walls and dropping to their knees to blow each other right in the shower. Derek helping Stiles keep from getting too obsessed with anything and practice moderation, and Stiles helping Derek learn to open up and accept that he deserves good things, like a partner and a house and a Pack and a family. Waking up together and snuggling together, maybe lazy morning handjobs while they’re kissing and don’t even care about morning breath. Derek being there with Stiles in the hospital when his dad goes in for something, and Stiles going to Derek’s family’s plots to put flowers on their graves. Derek sitting in the car while Stiles goes to his mother’s grave and refusing to listen as Stiles talks to her. Stiles and Cora ganging up on Derek when they play board games, watch television, choose a restaurant, or do anything really, but Derek doesn’t mind bc he loves that Cora loves Stiles and just stares in awe as Stiles interacts with her like he’s known her his whole life. He thinks about how his mother and father would have loved Stiles, and how he wishes his family could have known him. He thinks about Stiles laughing with Laura and running through the woods with his human siblings, imagines his mom watching them with tears in her eyes bc she’s so happy for them. Stiles sometimes hovers in the doorway when Derek and his father are standing in the kitchen cooking together, or sitting on the back porch drinking beers, or sitting in the living room watching baseball games. Stiles knows that Derek can sense him, but Derek never lets on, just keeps talking to the sheriff. And Stiles can see the love and pride that the sheriff has in his eyes when he looks at Derek, and there was a time he thought he’d be jealous, but he’s not jealous, oh no. He’s so fucking happy because he loves Derek so much and Derek deserves someone to be a father figure, even though he knows it’ll never replace his own father. But he sees the way Derek almost craves the sheriff’s touch on his shoulder, his approval, the way Derek’s chest almost puffs up when the sheriff calls him “son” and the way Derek just lights up when the sheriff hugs him. He never thought his dad would accept Derek, but he’s adopted him like a second son. And they grow old together, get gray and get wrinkles, and they’re still sneaking off to blow each other in public bathrooms and pulling over on the side of the road for a quick handjob at 50 bc if anything, they’re more in love at 50 than at 25, and they’re both in such good places, with adopted kids and a strong Pack and it’s good, and Derek’s accepted it.
Or maybe Derek shows up in DC after Stiles moves there for school. He’s there bc he’s been making his way across the united states and now he’s stopping in DC, and he catches Stiles’ scent on the street and thinks, no, this can’t be Stiles. But he follows it one day, and sure enough, sitting at a table on the quad of a college campus, surrounded by stacks of books and clicking away on a laptop is Stiles. And Derek watches him like a creeper and feels something he can’t put into words- is maybe too scared to put into words - and then he leaves bc he doesn’t want to disrupt Stiles’ life. But Stiles, of course, befriends the wolves on campus and ends up at a full moon pack party and guess who is there? Derek fucking Hale, all long limbs and Henleys and scruff and Stiles is just fucking angry, but happy to actually see him, so he acts cool and sarcastic, and the other wolves are confused about what’s going on, which is to say NOTHING about the confusion Derek and Stiles feel, and they aggressively snipe at each other for weeks when they HAPPEN to cross paths (bc Derek just happens to go to the coffee shop and public library near campus, and Stiles just happens to pester his wolf friends to invite him to things) and after weeks of being sarcastic shits and angry at each other, Derek ends up pressed against the brick wall in a side street bc Stiles pushed him against it and just kisses him stupid and they’re pretty sure they would have rubbed off on each other right there against the brick wall if someone hadn’t said something as they walked by. But they end up kicking out Stiles’ roommate and fucking each other into the mattress and Stiles doesn’t even care when his roommate comes back and gets an eyefull of Derek’s glorious ass bc he just tapped that ass all night long.
But maybe you want to think about them in AUs, like Derek as a baseball player and Stiles the batting coach, and they spend hours together training and have sweaty sex in the locker room. Or maybe they’re both turn of the century lords in fancy houses who need to get married bc it’s their duties, but they’re in love with one another so they’re sneaking around at London balls just to have a moment to kiss each other or to hold hands. Or maybe Derek is a mermaid and Stiles is a marine biologist who saves him from a net he’s been caught in, and Derek is terrified of him, but Stiles is like “dude, I just want to observe you for science!” and they fall in love as Stiles learns about merpeople but he never betrays Derek’s confidence, even when Derek introduces him to all his merfamily and Stiles could change science forever.
You may be ready to move on. You may pick up a new fandom or love, but you can still love Sterek. My first otp was Harry/Ron from harry potter, and I still love them though I’m not as active in the fandom.I still read fic sometimes. I’ve currently been obsessed with Downton Abbey and took a sterek reading/writing break, but I plan on writing again soon. Sometimes we need a breather just to renew our love.
Most of all, just remember that you love that grumpy werewolf and that rambling human, and despite all their bickering, they love each other and care about each other and will protect each other.