While not strictly necessary, having another pair of hands around the farm never hurt anybody. Farming RPG Stardew Valley, developed by ConcernedApe, lets you marry one of six bachelors or bachelorettes. Below are six solid options, featuring three men and three women to pursue. These six offer some of the best writing among the 12 romanceable characters in Stardew Valley. Regardless of your farmer's gender, any eligible marriage candidate will return your feelings. Beware of spoilers, and enjoy some of our favorite picks for Stardew Valley romances.
Stardew Valley - Abigail
Thanks to her quirky personality, Abigail quickly endeared herself to the Stardew Valley community. Her vibrant purple hair, penchant for consuming various minerals like Amethyst, and her adventuring spirit made her a favorite bachelorette. She's pretty friendly right off the bat, and has an interesting subplot with her family life. Though she loves them, Abigail often clashes with her rather traditional parents when it comes to what she "should" be doing as a young woman. Abigail is more interested in wandering around Pelican Town and its surrounding area than cooking dinner and setting tables. She would rather wield a sword in the Mines than make a home like her mother, Caroline.
In her eight-heart event, Abigail's spirit board reveals she's falling for the farmer. When she finally tries to explore the Mines in her 10-heart event, she'll end up cowering in fear from a bat swarm before the farmer rescues her. If her rescuer happens to be female, Abigail will confess that she didn't know she liked other women before meeting the farmer. Considering the underlying shakiness of Pierre and Caroline's traditional marriage, and the dubiousness of Abigail's real father, this makes Abigail an interesting F/F option. Abigail is one of the most popular bachelorettes for a reason after all, with a good friends-to-lovers arc. She also gets along well with Sebastian and Sam.
Stardew Valley - Haley
It can be difficult to like Haley at first. She's condescending, mean-spirited, shallow, and vain. Thankfully, she changes quite a bit as you befriend her. If you can stomach her poor first impression and win her over, she becomes a nicer, more compassionate person. Haley's six-heart event is very heartwarming, and you can see her open up after that point. This is probably when she begins to fall for the farmer, so it has better pacing than some other romances. Like Alex, she undergoes a lot of character development and becomes much more mature and thoughtful. Haley has plenty of room to grow as a person, and this is what makes her romance so touching.
In her marriage-only event, Haley raises money to buy Vincent and Jas new textbooks, seeing how much their books are falling apart. Haley goes from hostile and disinterested to an activist and real member of the community. Her early abrasiveness, however, may quickly turn players off. She sometimes hangs out with her sister, Emily (another marriage candidate) and has a bit of a crush on Alex. Of course, you could catch her eye instead.
Stardew Valley - Leah
Artistic, self-confident Leah is definitely one of the best-written romances. She's her own person, has her life figured out, and pursues her creative passions. Leah's romance is also one of the most dynamic, with different scenes depending on your dialogue choices with her in earlier events. She can set up an art show or design her own website and sell her work online. Leah values your input, takes your suggestion, and appreciates your support.
Sure, you could romance her, but Leah doesn't need to be "fixed." She has a lot of agency (and can even punch out her unsupportive ex in her 10-heart event when they ruin her picnic with the farmer). Leah is a fantastic girlfriend, but also a great, supportive friend. She's perfectly happy to remain single, live in her little cabin, and create to her heart's content. The writing for Leah's romance probably makes it one of the best romances, if not the best overall. If you don't really pursue her, she tends to hang around with Elliot, another creative type, at festivals.
Stardew Valley - Alex
Alex is one of those romances where the gender of the farmer makes a big difference in its quality. While he's a bit of a chauvinist to the female farmer, he's more of a friendly self-imposed rival to the male farmer. Overall, the male farmer/Alex relationship has much better writing than female farmer/Alex, with altered dialogue and a different perspective on his actions.
Upon picking the relevant choice in his eight-heart event, Alex will tell the male farmer that he's "different from the other guys," being "more sensitive." During his 10-heart event, Alex admits he'd been denying his feelings. If married, George will comment on two men being married as "unnatural," perhaps explaining Alex's reticence to acknowledge his feelings. If you max out your friendship with George, however, the old man quickly relents upon seeing how happy you are together. Alex initially seems to crush on Haley, but will pivot to you after romancing him. Plus, you get a sweet grandmother-in-law out of the deal.
Stardew Valley - Sebastian
Introverted, snarky, frog-loving Sebastian is initially rather tough to pin down. He prefers to stay in his room a lot, so you'll have to corner him outside and shower him with gifts at low levels of affection. While he loves his mother dearly, his relationships with his half-sister, Maru, and his stepfather, Demetrius, are quite strained. Demetrius clearly dotes more on Maru, and never has anything to say about Sebastian at all. Maru wishes they were closer, but isn't sure how to reach him.
Thanks to his family dynamic and living in the basement, Sebastian clearly struggles with anxiety and depression. Helping him come out of his shell is a slow process, but he becomes more and more comfortable with the farmer over time. By his eight-heart event, he'll nudge the farmer to stand with him under his umbrella. Sebastian also reveals he has a motorcycle early on, and spirits you away to a secluded romantic cliffside in his 10-heart event. Marrying him makes him a much happier person, though he still retains his sense of sarcasm. His friends include Abigail and Sam, but Sebastian is a homebody at heart.
Stardew Valley - Shane
Originally, Shane was not a marriage candidate. Like Emily, he proved so popular, however, that he became a romance option in the first major update. Like Haley and George, he can be quite standoffish upon meeting him. He's stressed, depressed, and feels like he's going nowhere in life. Some of his events were altered, and his character was expanded upon when he became available for marriage. Shane struggles with his drinking, which is impacting both his aunt, Marnie, and his goddaughter, Jas.
Shane's story is on the heavier side, and the player will even interrupt a drunken suicide attempt at one point. Though Shane becomes happier, he still grapples with his drinking and low self-esteem. Romancing and marrying Shane doesn't magically fix him. Beer cans litter his personal room at your house, and he still loves getting Beer as a gift. Thanks to your support (and his passion for caring for chickens), though, he can start to heal.
To summarize, romance whoever you want. Every marriage candidate in Stardew Valley has their merits. Quiet, sweet Penny teaches the children of Pelican Town. Harvey is a caring doctor and older bachelor with an important job. Maru is a skilled nurse and an absolute genius. Sam is friendly, approachable, and loves to skateboard. Emily is a wild, chaotic, probably crystal-fueled ride. Elliot is a suave, sophisticated writer. And if none of them appeal to you, you can always just befriend Krobus and have him move in as your roommate instead.
Who's your Stardew Valley waifu or husbando? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on social media. Stardew Valley recently released its surprise 1.5 update, including a new NPC and area.