So lately I’ve run into a lot of YA boys who are in love with the female main character, and more often than not they find some reason to show insecurity in themselves or their relationship. So I thought I’d take a moment to talk about it a bit and get your opinion.
The reason this topic became so stuck in my head was due to the book Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. Alina and Mal have some insecurity issues from the get go, and while the initial reasons are understandable…it kind of compounds into a bigger issue for Mal as the book goes on. So I started thinking about how it wasn’t that uncommon of a problem for YA guys.
I’ve noticed that YA boys are prone to bouts of jealousy, suspicion, and outright anger when it comes to the affections of the leading lady. While it is realistic it’s not as common as it is in the book world it seems. I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 7 years and we have had a our moments of jealousy and insecurity…but they are very rare, even in the beginning. A lot of these characters are claiming to have found incredibly love and sometimes the chemistry really seems to be there, but then they throw in the insecurity and it just confuses me. If you’re so in love with a person and vice versa, shouldn’t there be a bit of faith given? Shouldn’t there be less pissing contests? If the relationship has already become solid, then I don’t get why there are so many moments where the guys (and admittedly some girls) in YA have to mark their territory, voice their exaggerate outrage over some meaningless flirt from a side character, or go into over protective mode where they speak for the girl.
That last one really gets on my nerves, so I’ll give you an example. Girl MC is talking with side-character boy with Boy MC by her side. Side-character decides to get flirty (vaguely or outright) and before Girl MC can even respond Boy MC has already flipped his shit and is either making snide comments, yelling, or threatening. WHY!?!? If my boyfriend did this to me I would probably loose it. Let her respond, she can speak for herself. It doesn’t matter if someone is flirting with her, you don’t need to go on the offensive for no reason. If she flirts back, then feel free to flip your proverbial shit.
There is also what I like to call ‘mental love triangles’. Basically it means there is no actual love triangle present but the guy seems to think there is. The entrance of a second guy who is in some way friendly to the main character becomes competition, even though there is no competition. The main character has probably stated as much, but the guy seems to only accept this at face value. If you can’t relax when the person you love is hanging around someone else, then what does that say about your trust levels? Sure you might not trust character X but shouldn’t you trust your own damn girlfriend? If you can’t trust her, then why are you wasting my time with this romance?
I’m not really sure why this is a ‘thing’…but I kind of wish it would calm down. I’m not saying all insecurity doesn’t make sense in YA, but there is just so much of it. Why can’t we have more secure YA relationships? Why do we have to have so much posturing and moody territorial actions?
So what about you, have you noticed this? What are your thoughts?