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Friday, February 21, 2014

Dear Jeannie: Love Triangle Fall-Out

Dear Jeannie,

Nat and Jon grew up in each others' pockets. Members of the same clan, they fed on and encouraged each other since boyhood. Best of friends, really, despite different social standings, family ties, and ambitions. They never had a problem until they fell in love with the same girl. Would they still keep that close friendship after Nat won the girl? Jon's ambitions keep him out of town, but I'm not sure how two men would hold on to their relationship after one of them lost in love. Also, in a tight-knit community, how might this triangle bleed over into other relationships with family and friends? And then, lastly, about the plotting--how is Jon (loser in the first round of love) going to respond when one of their clan asks him to consider an arranged marriage to a younger girl from a wealthier family? I love these guys, but I don't always get in their heads well...

Recovering in Reno

Dear Recovering,

Interesting that I'm reading a YA book right now that has this dynamic, and the two boys do remain friends. However, I think it works in this book because of the other factors, like the "Jon" in the book being able to move on (relatively quickly, I might add), and the acceptance he had that for the girl, her eyes had always been on the "Nat." Depending on whether the girl was at all in conflict between the two (of any serious the book I'm reading, she knew she was dating the "Jon" because the "Nat" was unavailable at the time), that could impact their ability to move forward. Since you have Jon physically distancing himself from Nat and the girl (due to his ambitions), then maybe out of sight, out of mind for him and he might move on quicker. As to how the community or friends would respond, it's always awkward around the "loser" in love. No one knows quite what to say or how to act, perhaps so much so that they avoid Job or Jon himself might want to withdraw (b/c I'm sure it hurts him to see them together). As to how Jo will respond to an arranged marriage, that'd depend on a few things, namely passage of time (to allow for his heart to heal) and whether he was truly able to let his feelings for the first girl go. If she and Nat are doing well and he's gotten to the point where he's actually happy for them, then yes, I'd say he could be open to the arrangement, unless he was holding out for love.

Thanks for writing in. Good luck!

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