I finished a book today which was by and large really good, but it’s part of a pattern that kind of bugs me, which is this:
— A teen/young adult character
— starts to question their sexuality
— because they had an established “straight” crush or relationship but now they also have a same-gender crush
— a love triangle ensues in which they have to decide between a male love interest and a female love interest.
I’m all for having more bi characters, and I realize that the most straightforward or obvious way to show that a character is bi is to have them be attracted to two people of different genders, but like.
When you tie it to two individual people (and only two people, with no mention of them being attracted to anyone else), and make the bi character choose between them, it kind of tends to come off like they’re not really bi?
Like, if the bi character “goes back to” their original “straight” love interest, it makes it seem like they’re giving up the chance to explore not being straight.
And if… who am I kidding, the books I’ve seen do this all slant towards the “straight” relationship.* And also the bi character is a girl IDK why I attempted to make this gender-neutral.
Also some of them have the bi girl main character date/kiss/make out with both love interests within the same timeframe, in a way that isn’t quite technically cheating but does sort of skirt around it. And I don’t think straight love triangles tend to do that as much, outside of, like, soap operas? Which is also not great.
* If the bi character doesn’t decide she was never really in love with the guy, at least. I’ve seen some books do that. And I came away thinking they were implying that the main character was actually a lesbian, so.
Basically the subtext of this post is that I didn’t like Adaptation by Malinda Lo, and then I just finished another book that did a similar thing, so here I am. Can we just have the bi characters without the love triangles please? Let them break up with their boyfriends and then develop feelings for a girl. There would still be angst. They would still be bi. Please.
Possibly I should question why the idea of someone having equally strong feelings for two people at once bugs me this much, since I’m polyamorous, but really what bugs me is the concept that you have to try out all the people you’re attracted to, but once you’ve done that you can pick just one.
Plus the substitution of sexual attraction and/or romantic crush feelings for actually knowing anything about the person on a basic “do we get along with each other” level.
IDK. I didn’t like Adaptation.