One of my favourite themes in literature/movies/fanfic, etc. are star-crossed lovers who are destined to be together but either can’t be because of fate, or they voluntarily choose not to be together in order to serve a greater good. The latter is especially beautiful and I don’t see that a lot in many modern interpretations. I once read a quote that said love is an action, an act of will to be precise - to will the good of the other for the sake of the other. True love includes sacrifice - it is the ultimate form of love because it echoes divine, unconditional love.
Below are some of my favourite couples from both books and real life. Martin and Rose will always be my OTP. No matter how many times I read that book, I tear up.
1. Martin and Rose from Martin the Warrior, by Brian Jacques
2. Abelard and Heloise (real-life historical couple)
3. Henriette Deluzy-Desportes and the Duc of Praslin (historic couple that was turned into a book called All This, and Heaven Too by Rachel Field and later a film with Bette Davis. Both are excellent). It was never certain if they were lovers but they were certainly very close as friends.
4. Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
5. Turin and Nienor from The Children of Hurin, by Christopher Tolkien
6. Lupin III and Clarisse d’Cagliostro from Hayao Miyazaki’s The Castle of Cagliostro
7. Prince Ashitaka and San from Princess Mononoke (also by Hayao Miyazaki)