We’ll begin this with a brief introduction to fandom speak, for the uninitiated. To ship a couple means to support a relationship. For example, if I said I ship Kurt and Blaine on Glee, it would mean I support Kurt and Blaine being in a romantic relationship. Typically, I am very connected to a particular ship. When it comes to Glee, I do not want to see Kurt or Blaine with any other character. When it comes to Once Upon a Time, I do not want to see Emma or Hook with any other character.
That brings us to multi-shipping. This is where I would support a character with a couple different romantic partners. My current example is Jane the Virgin. The central love triangle has always been Jane, Rafael, and Michael. Some people are 100 percent Team Michael or Team Rafael. I multi-ship on Jane the Virgin. I would be happy with Jane ending up with either Michael or Rafael. The flip side of this is it will break my heart to see Jane not end up with either Michael or Rafael.
Here is the backstory. Jane was accidentally artificially inseminated with Rafael’s baby while she was in a relationship with Michael. Jane and Michael ultimately got married. Then Michael died. After three years of mourning the loss of Michael, Jane and Rafael got together. On the night Rafael was ready to propose to Jane, she found out Michael had not actually died. He was drugged and has had amnesia. Now, he thinks his name is Jason. Also, Jason is a little bit of a dick. Just as Jason/Michael was about to sign the divorce papers in order to allow Jane to move on with Rafael, he got his memories back and was back to being Michael. So now, Jane is in love with both Rafael and Michael. Of course, this is a telenovela and is way more dramatic than any real-life situation would be.
Here is the truly heartbreaking thing. Jane would be perfectly happy with either man. Michael is her history. He is goofy and makes Jane laugh incredibly hard. He’s been with her through her pregnancy by another man. He has loved her for years. Michael would do anything for Jane. She is so happy with him.
Then you’ve got Rafael. He took a shitty real estate job that pays more money in order to allow Jane to live her dream of being a full-time writer. He is the father of Jane’s child. He has made numerous sacrifices in order to support Jane and Mateo. His family may be insane, but he bends over backwards in order to support Jane. And Jane adores him.
As you can see Jane falling back in love with Michael, my heart breaks for Rafael. Then as I see Jane wanting to move on with Rafael, my heart breaks for Michael. Every step of the story makes me simultaneously elated and heartbroken. If Jane ends up with Michael, I’m going to be thrilled for Michael because he’s literally come back from the dead to Jane. But my heart will be broken for Rafael because he was there while Jane grieved for Michael and he waited for her to be ready for him.
This would be so much easier if I truly hated one of the guys. That anger would fuel me and make me more elated if she ends up with the guy I want. Both guys would be an amazing partner for Jane. Knowing we’re in the final season and this may be the last time I see her happy with either Michael or Rafael brings up a whole other set of emotions as well.
Essentially, Jane the Virgin is turning me into an emotional wreck with every episode. Rafael and Michael are each turning me into a puddle of tears with their ability to break my heart with nothing more than a look. And I love every second of it.