The Trope of Destined Lovers

You know the tale. Two people, through whatever circumstances, are thrown together and discover there’s a spark. But it’s more than just that – there can be no one else for them. Fate has brought them together. It was meant to be.

Soulmates.

This tends to be fairly prevalent in fantasy and paranormal romance. (It may also be fairly prevalent in straight romance. I admit I’m not terribly familiar with the genre.) I suspect this may be because fantasy itself tends to be somewhat enamored with Destiny in general. (Luuuuke, it is your destiny.)

(Star Wars, despite the spaceships, is totally fantasy.)

Like so many tropes, it can be done well or poorly. (You will know, based on whether you are excited when destiny hits, or confused and slightly off-out. I recently read a series that, in general, was quite excellent, but there was a bit of destined lovers right at the end, where the main character had been avoiding her best friend’s boyfriend despite their connection, but then the best friend said, essentially, “Oh, you can have him, even though we’ve been madly in love for years before you showed up, because I know you are soulmates because of [random magical whatever] and I am perfectly okay with this.” Right. Pull the other one.)

I admit I tend to be overly sensitive to this particular trope. I like it when it goes well, but so often it seems tacked on and lazy.

What do you think, Squiders? Does it warm the cockles of your cold, dead heart, or make you consider setting things on fire? Recommendations on movies/books/etc where it’s done well?

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