Top Five Ways to Predict a Love Triangle’s End

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Romance writers like to pretend love triangles create this big mystery. Who will the protagonist choose? THE ANGST!!! But I’ve noticed some pretty good foreshadowing factors that are (almost) universally present.

1. Survival of the Hottest

Consider who is hotter. Who does the author most describe with words like “sultry,” “muscled,” “slender,” “lean,” shapely,” etc.? It is nigh impossible that they will be used equally between the love interests and you can always tell who has the hotness advantage.

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2. Tragic past

Next, look at who is most damaged, most unstable, and/or most in need of serious psychological treatment. Unhealthy coping mechanisms are a favorite of writers and generally include smashing things, taking out emotions on innocent bystanders, and/or murdering random people. (A horrible life gives you a free pass, apparently).

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3. NEVER the Best Friend

You know that sweet character who’s been secretly in love with the protagonist forever? Knows their birthday, favorite candy, and waits around for them even after he/she gets a boy/girlfriend? Yeah, they’ve got a snow ball’s chance in hell.

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4. Unrequited feelings

In a mutilation of the previous point, if the protagonist has feelings for a person with a boy/girlfriend, it tends to go the other way. That boy/girlfriend is automatically an obstacle and must therefore die.

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Okay, maybe not die, but the author usually makes them into a cheesy terrible or cheesy perfect person, both of whom we hate on principle (and not just for the love triangle itself).

5. Good to be Bad

Pretty much every romance series has a bad boy/girl. Even Jane Austen had bad boys. Writers love bad boys/girls. You can see the author’s teen bad boy/girl fantasies just bleeding off the pages 9 times out of 10. Typically, the jerk or shamed slut is redeemed by love (and usually life changing sex) , then subsequently made a “decent man”/“honest woman.” I might vomit just thinking about it.

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With one exception, I have always been able to predict the outcome of love triangles. Always. Because they are predictable and pointless and should be burned at the stake and bleh.

Can you usually tell how a love triangle will end? Was there a time when you were surprised and how did you feel about it?

Me and Shipping Characters…in GIF

First, a brief explanation of “shipping”:

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Me picking out my ship:

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Me waiting for my ship to get together:

Me when my ship finally gets together:

Me when my ship argues:

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Me when my ship has a falling out:

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Me when a love triangle threatens my ship:

Me when my ship reconciles:

Me when evil forces threaten to tear my ship apart:

Me if my ship sinks:

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Me if my ship overcomes:

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Proposing to Her Majesty

It is established that I can be a stickler for historical/practical accuracy in fantasy literature. The basis for the rules of world structure and class are generally taken from history and I feel that a certain amount of rule-following adds a dash of authenticity. Albeit historical accuracy only holds only as much sway over fantasy literature as a particular author wants it to.

The latest transgression to have caught my notice is this—men in literature proposing to their ladylove who is a reigning monarch. Historically speaking, if a woman was the sole ruler of a country, it was actually her place to pop the question. (Don’t ask me “what if they were both reigning monarchs” because I don’t have any flipping idea.) Queen Victoria, for example, was the one to ask Prince Albert for his hand in marriage.

Granted most marriages were arranged, but if the woman was the country’s ruler, she still had final say. (Unless there was some complicated and political reason she had to say yes, but for the sake of this conversation, that doesn’t count.)

Unfortunately, this raises a while new problem. I have yet to read, watch, or hear of an instance where the woman proposes and I thought it was romantic. I’m sure there’s one out there, but let’s face it—the “aww” moments start when he gets down on one knee and asks her to spend the rest of her life with him. Always being the one expected to buy the ring and pop the question has got to be unfair to the guys somehow, but there it is.

So I suppose it is up to the author—do they want historical accuracy or to make the fangirls swoon?

Perhaps a way around it would be to have the love interest first ask the queen to marry him in private, away from the censuring eyes of courtiers and nobles, then have her ask him officially for the sake of decorum. That’s probably the best compromise.

Then again, I’m probably overthinking it. Even historical fiction frequently deviates from history for the sake of a better story, so I suppose I have no right to point the finger. Like I said, I feel historical tidbits in fantasy add a dash of authenticity, but in the end, it’s still up to the author.

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Me and Book Series…in GIF

Me starting a new series:

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Me when I decide I’m a fan of a new series:

Me when I finish the first book:

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Me realizing the next book isn’t out yet:

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Me when they announce the official release date:

Me when, after moving it back four times, they announce the “official” release date:

Me being forced to wait:

Me when the sequel finally arrives:

Me when I start reading the sequel:

Me when I finish the sequel:

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