What ‘Team Conrad’ Or ‘Team Jeremiah’ Means For You, Per An Expert

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The Summer I Turned Pretty is the ultimate nostalgic coming-of-age story that has everyone reminiscing on their first kiss, first love, and first, well, everything. It’s the kind of fairytale-turned-reality story that captures major cringe-worthy teen angst moments and heartwarming conversations between lifelong friends. And at the center of it all is a very, very messy love triangle between Isabel “Belly” Conklin and her best family friends… who just so happen to be brothers.

Belly and her brother Steven spend every summer at Cousins Beach with her mother’s best friend, Susannah Fisher, and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. The summer before Belly’s freshman year of high school, the Fisher boys suddenly realize she isn’t just a surrogate sister. She’s a grown woman now, and they realize they both have a lot of grown feelings about her. So, Belly, who has had a forever crush on brooding older brother Conrad but is also best friends with sweet younger brother Jeremiah, has to make a big decision.

During season 1, Belly kisses both brothers at various points during the summer, and ultimately picks Conrad. The decision deeply wounds Jeremiah, but he tries to stay loyal to his BFF. By season 2, Conrad and Belly have broken things off, and Belly is trying to pick up the pieces of her broken heart while also mourning Susannah’s death and the sale of the Fisher’s beach house in Cousins.

Whether you’ve read the book trilogy by Jenny Han (which the show is based on) or just wrapped season 2 on Amazon Prime, you already know there’s a lot of sexual tension to parse through. And it’s nearly impossible not to take sides while watching: Are you Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah? The debate has everyone on the Internet picking sides over which brother they want to end up with Belly.

Meet the expert: Jaime Zuckerman, Ph.D, is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in the treatment of adults with anxiety, mood disorders, and relationship difficulties.

Both brothers are impossibly handsome and quirkily relatable, making it super hard to decide which one you’re rooting for. So, what does it say about you if you’re on Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah? Licensed clinical psychologist Jaime Zuckerman, Ph.D., is here to break it all down for you.

If you’re “Team Jeremiah” you dig stability.

If gangly, curly-headed, thoughtful younger brother Jeremiah has you swooning, there are a few different things this could say about you, Zuckerman says.

During season 2, viewers watch Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) try to lift Belly’s spirits after her breakup with Conrad, supporting her emotionally and psychologically throughout the battle for the Fisher house. The two flirt a *lot* this season, and their soft sweet romance comes complete with a sexy pool swim sequence, an intense heart-to-heart at a house party, and an incredibly steamy kiss in the penultimate episode. Jeremiah is his older brother’s total opposite, and Belly has frequent asides about how he’s “always been there for her” as she mourns Connie from afar.

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The key word here is stability. It might not be that exciting, but at least it’s… something! “Some people crave predictability and stability in their relationship and, most of the time, that can be much healthier,” Zuckerman explains.

People who tend to be a little more anxious or emotionally reserved may prefer someone who is opposite of them who can talk about their emotions openly, she adds.

Another explanation: If you’re a bit older (read: not in high school) or have more experience with relationships, you may have a history of stable partnerships under your belt, and Zuckerman explains that you might be “Team Jere” because you just want Belly to experience the same steady, strong relationships you’ve experienced.

“In general, people view stability as a strength. It’s healthy,” she says. “Why wouldn’t we want that?”

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If you’re “Team Conrad” you’re into unpredictability.

Ah, Connie. The dark, brooding, mysterious older brother doesn’t just have a hold on Belly’s heart, he also seems to have captured everyone else’s, as well. Actor Christopher Briny plays Conrad Fisher in the series, and the character has definitely reached major heartthrob status.

Fans aren’t blind to his faults: he did break Belly’s heart into a million pieces and left her date-less at prom this season. But, he also really loves Belly, is mourning the death of his mom while trying to adjust to college life, and is generally super pissed about the fact his aunt is selling their beach house. So, despite some of Connie’s faults, fans are still ~into~ it. The poor guy is just doing his best, and those sweet scenes organizing Belly’s room during the finale are lost on no one.

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If you’re asking yourself what being Team Conrad says about you, Zuckerman has a few thoughts that might explain the pull towards this complicated, devilishly handsome guy (who might also happen to remind you of your high school ex). And like Jeremiah, this attraction can go a few ways.

“A lot of times when you can’t quite figure someone out or can’t predict their next steps, people view this as mysterious—and that can be attractive,” Zuckerman says.

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Some people like the work that goes into trying to “figure someone out,” (cough, Belly, cough) while others may feel a level of anxiety with someone like this, Zuckerman explains. “For some people, anxiety is a familiar feeling in a relationship, even if it’s not healthy… They may have had relationships where someone’s mood or patterns was unpredictable. It may not be healthy, but it can feel familiar,” she says.

There’s also another explanation. If you’ve been in a steady relationship for a while or you feel like your life has gotten a little predictable, having a “screen crush” on someone like Conrad can also feel like a fun escape. “Rooting for someone like that gives people something to focus on or think about that’s different,” Zuckerman says. “Watching characters onscreen gives us this objectivity where we can explore what it would be like to be with somebody we would never pick… We can test it out and put ourselves in those situations to see what it would be like if it was us.”

Obviously, you might choose a side based on something totally minor, like the fact that you don’t dig Jeremiah’s highlights or you just think Conrad is a better on-screen kisser. And at the end of the day, Belly will be making the big decision next season…

So stay tuned for more Jere/Connie debates in season 3.

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Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.





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