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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Trope-tastic Tuesdays: Insecure Love Interest

Trope: Insecure Love Interest

Description: Even if one character in a couple thinks their love interest is great, the love interest may not feel that way themselves. This could be one of the obstacles in the way of the pair getting together, or even continue after they've officially embarked on a romantic relationship with each other. And if the relationship doesn't happen right away or there's major problems to be dealt with, the Insecure Love Interest totally understands. Why would anyone want to be with them anyway, right?

Examples: Every damn romance option in Dragon Age II (though I love them all so hard) and at least half of them in Dragon Age: Inquisition; Chuck toward Sarah in Chuck; Katniss toward Peeta in The Hunger Games; a rare yet excellent music example in Tal Bachman's She's So High (shut up, I love my 90s station)

Pros: Man, if this one doesn't hit close to home for a lot of readers/watchers/players/listeners/whateverers. Who hasn't felt this way in their relationships, aspiring or established? (If you're raising your hand right now, I'm not sure if I believe you.) If you want to make a character realistic and relatable, this is definitely a valid option.

Cons: Keep pushing someone away and eventually they'll stay there. Also, realistic though it may be, if the insecurity doesn't get resolved or drags out for too long, it's going to become annoying instead of endearing.

Would/Did I Use It?: This is pretty much the basis for the plot of Hunting Astrid, where Astrid can't believe Tabitha would want to be with her, to the point where she's still sitting around questioning her own insecurity while Tabitha is literally fighting through a virtual world in order to win her love. Thankfully, Tabitha manages to talk some sense into her. To a lesser extent, Jasmine from Out of Orbit feels this way toward Aras for a little while, trying to convince herself the ruler of the planet where she crash landed is only being kind to her due to her unfortunate circumstances and would never have any romantic interest in her...or would he?

I do want to point out that I try to be cognizant of that list of cons when writing an Insecure Love Interest and try not to dwell on the insecurity. Even if a couple gets together before the end of a book, conflict can come from plenty of other places, of course.

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