Okay, you've seen it a million times in storytelling. It even has its own TV Tropes Page
Two characters are gaining each other's trust, but then Character A discovers that Character B has been keeping secrets from him/her and they part ways. Then when they're apart, they realize they need each other and then get back together during the climax of the story.
What I want to know is, how can you avoid/subvert writing this into your story? In romantic comedies, the "third act misunderstanding" is almost a necessity for the story to feel complete. It's put in a story to add drama, but it's been done so many times that we all know what's going to happen. It just slows the story down now, and it makes the two characters seem like idiots for rejecting each other.
What if the "third act misunderstanding" idea was subverted by having Character A forgives Character B immedietly, much to B's surprise. Not only would it add a new twist to the "third act misunderstanding", but it would also show how strongly the characters now trust/care about/understand each other (aka: character development!). Or would the audience feel cheated by that?
Writers also still use it because the separation shows how much the characters need each other and to add emotion to the story, but aren't there other ways to do this in a story? Any ideas?