I've been working on an MS where I have my MC meet her LI (so many writer's acronyms!) in the first chapter and they grow closer from there.

The story isn't supposed to be a romance. There are also demons and murdered babies and magic and lots of running. It's the kind of environment where perhaps you wouldn't expect two people to become interested in each other?

So now I'm wondering, what if I have them already dating when the story starts? But part of me thinks there's a greater appeal to letting the reader see how they met and how the awkward friendship turns into something else.

Okay, so this was long but: for those who like a little romance, do you prefer to see romances grow organically or is your taste for romance equally satisfied by a couple that's been together for a few months? How vital is that "will they or won't they" stage when the book isn't a romance?

And would you feel cheated if the couple clearly had an interesting back story, but you didn't get to witness it as it happened? I'm especially paranoid because my last project had a strong romantic element to the point where editors actually asked me to strip away everything but the romance. Do not want.