I've read a few books/series this year where I haven't known exactly how to categorize the Love Triangle Factor. These books don't feature the agonizing three part love triangle where one girl's heart is torn between two guys. But neither do they feature the standard two person romance (i.e. one guy, one girl all the way through).
In these non love triangles, it's all pretty normal at the beginning. A girl falls in love with one guy, and all the signs indicate that THIS is the couple that we need to be focusing on. That's when the fake-out happens. All of a sudden, something goes wrong and the original couple is no more: he dies, betrays her, turns evil. Whatever the reason they break up, and she has to get over it. Then the magic happens and a new guy enters the picture. Maybe he was already quietly in the background. Maybe he comes galloping onto the scene when she's least expecting him, and you finally realize that this new guy is the ONE that was right all along.
I've decided that this type of love story is getting common enough to need a name.
I'm calling it the
Linear Love Progression
The difference between a traditional Love Triangle and a Linear Love Progression is simple. In a triangle, a girl is in the middle of two guys. It's tearing her heart in two because she can't choose between them (I'm trying to keep neutral, but I'm sure you can all imagine me rolling my eyes here). In a Linear Love Progression, the girl is only with one person at a time, although the object of her affection switches throughout the course of the story. Its also eventually clear that the second guy is a better choice for her in the end.
Although traditional dual romances are my favorite, I'm really starting to like these Love Progressions. They cut out the angst of a triangle and feel much more natural to life, because very rarely do we end up with our first loves. How often do we think back on them and realize that they really weren't the right choice for us after all? I'm glad I didn't end up with mine. However, I personally have a hard time switching my affections once I pick a guy - one of the reasons I dislike triangles - so it can be tricky to make this romance direction work in a single book.
This is one love shape that I generally don't want to know about before I read the story, since knowing that it's coming, usually spoils something about the book. But I did want to give an example without being too obvious about it. I think many love stories have elements of the Linear Love Progression, but only one book/series below would I fully put in that category. One is a straight on triangle, the other two are more standard two people love stories.
Have you noticed this new love shape cropping up recently?
Do you like it more or less than the standard triangle?