Posted by: Trisha Leigh | January 26, 2012

Please Do Not Attempt This At Home

There are a great many things that are better in the stories.

One of them has got to be love triangles, because heaven knows I have trouble making room for one other person in my life, never mind two. Also, when I like someone (a rare thing), I can’t imagine liking someone else at the same time. The confusion! The freaking energy it would take!! I have no idea how on earth these poor girls, faced with the destruction of their lives or the honest to eggs end of the world have the time for any such nonsense.

That said, these situations make for a compelling read. Everyone loves to take sides, and an extra boy (or girl) means everyone has someone to root for.

These love triangles, though, follow a pattern. Even though there many, many stories that differ in plot, tone, and character – there are really only two teams.

Team Known Entity

def: These boys are your best friend. They make you feel safe.Β They’re the ones your mother would approve of, the boy next door, the one who you’ve always known but suddenly see.

Famous Members of Team Known Entity

Dawson Leery (Dawson’s Creek), Jacob Black (Twilight), Gale Hawthorne (The Hunger Games). See also: Cal (Hex Hall), Cal (The Notebook), Mark Darcy (Bridget Jones), George Tucker (Hart of Dixie), Riley (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Team Strange and Mysterious

def: This boy sparks your curiosity. Their eyes promise adventure, maybe danger, and the most intoxicating thing of all – the idea that at his side you could be part of it all. Sometimes they’re dangerous, other times they aren’t, but either way they have the unique ability to make you see the world, and maybe yourself, through different eyes.

Famous Members of Team Strange and Mysterious

Pacey (Dawson’s Creek), Edward Cullen (Twilight), Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games), Archer (Hex Hall), Four (Divergent), Noah (The Notebook), Jack (Titanic), Wade Kinsella (Hart of Dixie), Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Yes, there are men who encompass all of these qualities. One that comes to mind is Patrick Kenzie, from Dennis Lehane’s phenomenal series of detective novels, but I assert the following two things are true:

1. If there is a traditional love triangle in any book, movie, or television show, the boys will fall into one of these distinct categories.

2. Every girl instinctively gravitates toward one or the other.

Do you disagree? Can you think of any examples that disprove my theory?

If not, which camp do you fall into, and what makes you prefer one Team over the other?

Which Team am I on, you ask?

Well, I’ve been a lifetime, card carrying member of Team Strange and Mysterious.

Perhaps because I’m…one of those things. I’ll let you decide which.




  1. I tend to be team Known Entity. As long as he’s hot. πŸ˜‰

    • Well we’re assuming he’s hot. Duh. πŸ™‚

  2. Definitely on Team Known Entity. Also depending on the Entity.

    Also, I was trying to think of any male protagonists in books I have read who have this problem, and I couldn’t even think of a love triangle issue with a male protagonist! Must be one of those “girl things”.

    • I think it is a girl thing. I tried thinking of girl equivalents and nothing came to mind.

  3. I love a Strange and Mysterious, myself. I am often bored by the Known Entity. In novels, I always root for the bad boy, so to speak.

    Also, I think that Xander (from Buffy) is a Known Entity.

    Fun post!

    • Yep, Xander is another one! I suppose Angel and Spike both fall in the opposite camp, although Angel suddenly seems safer once Spike is in the picture!

  4. I think I tend to be Team Strange and Mysterious, so long as he isn’t creepy or a jerk. (For example, I was Team Jacob because Edward…no. Just…no.)

    And as someone who writes love triangles, the strange and mysterious stranger is just so much more fun πŸ˜‰

    • True, it is more fun to write the bad boys with a heart, but the challenge is to save them from becoming a cliche. As far as Edward goes…I totally fell hard in the books. Guilty.

  5. I am so Team Strange and Mysterious. Except also Team Gale (because while he is totally the best friend, boy next door, mother approved, etc etc he is also wayyyy more dangerous and interesting, to me, than Peeta.) It seems that the “dangerous” is the part I go for. #problems

    • It’s true Gale changes as the three books go on, and he becomes a boy she doesn’t really know. Interesting point.

  6. I’m entirely Team Edward so I guess that puts me in the Strange & Mysterious camp, yet I married a boy next door. Apparently, my real life and fiction interests diverge!

    • That’s allowed, Patty. πŸ™‚

  7. Strange and Mysterious, ever since Rhett Butler. *sigh*

    • Ah, Rhett Butler… *grin*

      • You guys I totally forgot about Ashley and Rhett! What great examples!!

  8. I’m Team Roll It All Into One.

  9. My characters are all messed up; Team Known Entity is really Team Strange and Mysterious under his clean-scrubbed Wonder Bread exterior, while the other point on the triangle (who was more Team Slightly Unusual and Reserved) turns out to be more Team Known Entity than the real Team Known Entity. Everything poor Team Lovestruck Girl thought she knew was wrong!

    In real life I’m like Patty- Love strange and mysterious but married the boy next door. Our 15th anniversary’s in two weeks though, so it worked out!

    • That seems to be a recurring real life theme. And as far as your writing goes…Hooray for abandoning cliches!

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