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Love Triangles: An Open Letter to the TV and Film Characters Who Picked the Wrong Person

I am very passionate and will go down with this ship.

Ah, a love triangle. The classic love triangle trope is vastly overdone (and predictable), but I won’t deny that it makes for great entertainment. Not only are love triangles suspenseful, but they allow the characters to show different sides of themselves that we never thought we’d see otherwise. And, after all of the build-up, there’s nothing more satisfying than when the character you’ve grown to love picks the person that you were rooting for.

I have noticed my viewing habits draw me to the “other” person in most cases — the person that shows them that love is still possible, who was there for them when no one else was, and who tends to be sweeter and less of a player. So, when the character doesn’t pick the “other” person, AKA the person you were rooting for, it’s upsetting to say the least. I’m a team Jacob, team John Ambrose, team Stephan kind-of girl, so I know the feeling well, and you know what? I’m angry.

A torn pink paper heart strung on white string with a black background.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash

Dear [Insert Every Person in a Love Triangle’s Name Here],

I get it, they’re cute, funny, exciting, and different. There’s a thrill that you get when you think of them, and hey, good for you — you’re doing much better than I am at the moment. And maybe you’ll prove me wrong and will live happily-ever-after with them, whatever that means for you.

However, I feel you’ve made a big mistake. No offense, but what were you thinking? You said you wanted someone to truly be there for you. 

The person you chose wasn’t, they left you! And who helped you pick up the pieces? The person you didn’t choose. 

tic-tac-toe game with hearts

They gave their ALL to see you heal, to see you thrive in the way they knew you could. And why? Because they already loved you at your lowest and helped bring out the best in you. 

The person you chose? They decided to run when things got hard. They put themselves first. And yes, I know, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” But really — the way they left was shady, it hurt you, and you deserve better.

The person you chose did something really big to piss you off. I mean, really big. I’m no grudge-holder, but if that were me, I’d have left them in the dust.

selective focus photography of roses

How rude of them. And yes, you may have forgiven them for their wrongdoings and thought their big romantic gesture made it all forgivable. But who’s to say they won’t do something like this again? 

Have you listened to ‘In My Head’ by Ariana Grande? Just because a person shows you who they can be doesn’t mean that’s who they are! The red-flags you ignore in the beginning just end up being the reason you break up down the line.

The person you chose is a “bad boy” and has a cool persona that captivates the room. Well, unfortunately for you, that isn’t enough to convince me that you’ve made the right choice. YOU should be the center of attention, not them! 

woman holding a neon red heart
Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

Ask yourself — will that same behavior be cute in 10 years? No. You will be working hard at your job, providing for yourself, and living your dreams… you don’t have time to babysit anyone. 

You deserve someone who will focus on improving their character and will treat you with respect, rather than someone who is “too cool” to be vulnerable or tied-down. Let me tell you, that’s not a fun situation to be in.

All I’m saying is, if anything, you should have chosen yourself. The person you didn’t choose may not have been right for you at the time… okay, I get it. But you should have recognized, “Hey, this person I’m rejecting is great. Maybe I need to work on myself.” 

Love yourself written on wall
Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst/Shopify

You can’t go back and change what you did and who you hurt, but you need to realize that at the end of the day, I’m on your team. I just want you to be happy and it starts from within. And once you figure everything out, please reach back out to the person you rejected because they were really great and so are you.


A Viewer Who Is Disappointed But Will Be Okay

/ Unsplash

If you need a classic love triangle fix, I recommend Reign, Sweet Magnolias, Hart of Dixie and John Tucker Must Die.

If you want a love triangle with a twist and different undertone, I recommend Bates Motel, Imposters, Call Me by Your Name and Uncut Gems.

Alana is a graduate of DePaul University, where she studied Film/Television and Public Relations. A native of Chicago, she has promoted films for some of the most well-known studios and actors. When she's not obsessing over Britney Spears, you can find her watching makeup tutorials, binging Netflix shows (shoutout to Shonda Rhimes), or watching hockey.
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