Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Love Triangle Paradigm

love triangle Image by jin.thai

With the popularity of Twilight, it seems as if there's been an explosion of love triangles in fiction recently, especially in YA novels.  What I find interesting is that the two guys the girl has to choose from seem to follow a paradigm.  I.e.,


Take Twilight itself for a moment:  Edward is Bella's love-at-first-sight, ring-my-bell kind of guy.  Then she meets Jacob and they're friends and then she falls in love with Jacob as a friend.  Does she actively get all hot and bothered over Jacob the way she does Edward?  No, but he's still a good mate candidate, right?  Despite the fact that the author seemed to disagree.

Right now I'm reading a book called Friday Night Bites, and there is a bit of a love triangle between Merit, the girl; her boss, Ethan; and cute, funny, and awesome Morgan.  Ethan is definitely the one who lights Merit's fire, but Morgan is a great guy who is more of the friend type.  Although this love triangle hasn't shook out yet, I have the depressing suspicion that it will predictably fall in favor of the loins.

Even classic love triangles, like the one in Wuthering Heights, follow this pattern.  Despite the fact that Linton is a good man, he's not good enough for Cathy, who can only be broken out of her passionate narcissicism via her passion for Heathcliffe.  Who, FYI, is an ass.

In all of these love triangles, one thing is clear:  lust trumps friendship every time.  I would say it's another example of nice guys finishing last, except that none of the guys in these examples are very nice after the girls get through with them.

So, if you had to pick, what would you chose:  lust or friendship?  Do these love triangles offer good examples of how to pick one's future S.O.?

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