Discussion

{DISCUSSION} Love Triangles

Should love triangles exist in fiction?

Anyone who reads fiction, especially YA fiction, has likely read a story with a love triangle in it. After all, the main character in the story is HOT! or they’re gonna save the world! Who wouldn’t be in love with the main character? Actually, how come there are there only two love interests instead of the entire planet? I mean, really! This main character is AMAZING! Go big or go home!

-.-

Yeah, I’m kidding. I hate love triangles, and maybe I’m a little biased because I’m not into romance stories in the first place, but I also hate them because they feel cheap. And I’ve read enough of them to know that many (if not all) of them are garbage!

The biggest problem with love triangles is that a lot of authors throw them into non-romance stories and try to use them as a plot point. Why is this bad? Well, besides the fact that the romance has literally nothing to do with the main plot, a love triangle can often be a sign of a weak plot. It’s misdirection.

Realism

Not only that, but I wouldn’t consider most love triangles to be realistic. The number one reason behind this is that the love triangle often involves three characters who have no romantic background. They don’t have established relationships, but two characters are willing to fight to the death over the main character for X, Y, and Z. (For more on loving people for no reason, please see Love at First Sight.)

That’s not to say love triangles can’t happen in real life as I know they do. (Affairs do happen, people), but real life relationships don’t work in the same way that fictional relationships do. People don’t just suddenly love two different people. Also, the odds of both love interests being alphas and willing to fight over the main character are astronomical. It’s even less likely that both love interests continue to vie for the MC’s attention even after the MC has been unable to make a choice between the two of them.

I mean, come on already!

Someone must get tired of playing cat and mouse with no reward, yes? (Or am I really just far less patient than the general populace?)

The One-Sided Love Triangle

What’s even worse is when a story has a love triangle, but the love triangle doesn’t actually exist because the main character doesn’t love both love interests. Instead, two characters are desperately in love with the MC, but the MC only loves one of them right out the gate. They might care about the other character, but they don’t love them in a romantic way.

In other words, the author is forcing a love triangle when there is obviously no love triangle simply because they want a love triangle, and are therefore offering up their story and their characters to the suicide Gods on the mountain of Story Death over the volcano, Cheap Writing.

Cliché

Still, the worst part about love triangles in a non-romance story is how god-awfully cliché they are! I mean, honestly! Are writers this desperate for a love story that they have to make sure their character is desired by two different people? Can’t you just be happy with one love interest? It’s not like they’re gonna end up with both love interests anyway.

So, what’s the point in having them both when one love interest is obviously going to be left heart-broken and the MC may spend the rest of their life wondering if they made the wrong choice? This is NOT the way to reach the happy ending (that you people love so dearly) and it’s just soooo overly done that it’s not even interesting any more! 

/rant

What do you think about love triangles?
Leave your thoughts in comments!


And check out my discussion from last week:
Aspiring ‘Writer’

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26 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Love Triangles”

  1. This is one of those things that when I read a book it can pull me right out of it. I understand that these books aren’t written for my demographic AT ALL, but it still feels forced more than it doesn’t. And honestly, it’s so cliche it hurts. Most of the time the love triangle involves the badass, world-saving girl, a bad boy, and a nice guy. I don’t even have to mention example books to prove it, you’ve probably already thought of at least 2 — and both of those were made into blockbuster movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Oh trust me. I know all about it and I’m a little older than the supposed demographic that these books are geared towards, but I still like ones that are well written. If a book is well written, anyone can be the demographic, in my opinion. But yes. The cliche is strong with this one and I can’t wait for it to stop.

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    1. I don’t think they add spice in a lot of the stories I’ve read. I’ve seen too many where it was thrown in for no reason and it just makes me want to gag. 😡 Perhaps you have some suggestions of good ones? (And don’t say Twilight.)

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      1. You might have a point, since I couldn’t think of a triangle off the top of my head, but I just finished a historical novel, set in the American Civil War. My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira comes with a love triangle, possibly even a quadrangle, with 1 woman protagonist and 3 men enthralled by her. I thought it worked quite well, and kept me wondering about whom she would chose in the end which did not become clear until the last page. It added tension to the narrative without distracting from the main plot. Not necessarily YA, but not necessarily not, as the main character is trying to step into her adult shoes.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s nice to know there are examples out there, and I think the key thing you hit was genre. I would agree that a love triangle can be done well in adult fiction. However, I have yet to find it done well in YA. Thank you for commenting and for the recommendation ^.^

          Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s fine that they exist but they don’t need to be EVERYWHERE and since they have been in lately I think they need to be sent on a very long vacation.

    The worst is during a dystopia where the main character is trying to save the world or has someone trying to kill them. Please tell me where you have time to care about this while you are literally fighting for your life. It doesn’t make any sense.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! Thank you so much for this because it needs to be said! I get so frustrated when reading YA dystopians where the main character has time to fall in love with someone and actually ponder their feelings and what not. Like… there are a few more pressing matters to attend to, right? Like, figure out your love life after this whole shebang is over. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree so much! Love Triangles are so necessary. This isn’t about books, and I haven’t watched the second season yet so I don’t know how it plays out, but on Supergirl, I would get so annoyed at the end of episodes because it felt like the writers were forcing Kara into a love triangle and #supergirldoesntneedaloveinterest. I felt the same about the Hunger Games. The movies cranked it to eleven, but Katniss was more than capable of existing without a love interest. I get the dynamics of the Peeta-Katniss play it up for the media aspect of the story and I find it a beautiful case of real life irony the media and movie company focused so much on forcing a love triangle into the story when it was unnecessary.

    I get the appeal and marketability of love triangles. Fans pick sides (team Edward or team Jacob. I am team Give Rose or Jasper their own series if you were wondering) which can lead to merch sales and interest in the book or show or whatever. But especially in YA it’s an unrealistic depiction of love, and I think that many times it perhaps unintentionally shows that a girl isn’t whole without a male love interest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! On the Peeta-Katniss-Gale triangle, I read a really good article a while ago pointing out how we should all be “Team Katniss”, as that’s really the actual aim of the series. Triangles are so over-done. Occasionally they work if they’re not the focus of the story and if it’s handled well. But most of the time, bleurgh!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oo! That’s a good point. We focused way too much on Team Gale vs. Team Peeta and not enough on the main character, Katniss, and her struggle. It’s insane! The romance (or lack thereof) overshadows the entire series to the point where it actually becomes the bigger plot and… that’s not right. Ugh. -.-

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m not a big Supergirl fan. Never got into it, but Katniss honestly was so uninterested in romance that any romance she was in just felt wrong. All she cared about was her sister. And to make her suddenly have a love interest forced upon her kind of took away from her deep love of her sister. It hindered the series more than enhanced it. :/

      Oh! I know all about the marketability and it’s so annoying! It’s become such a big thing nowadays that a lot of publishers will not even glance at a YA novel unless it has romance in it, which is garbage! Romance isn’t everything. To place such high emphasis on romance in a story is like saying life isn’t worth living without a significant other. Way to crush single life. Honestly.

      Romance is nice. A partner is nice, but it’s not everything. Life is still yours to live and you are still whole even if you don’t have someone to share it with. Nor do you need someone to share it with in the middle of a damn rebellion or something. Most people don’t try to start a relationship when their life is upheaval because it feels wrong to drag someone into that. Yet YA thinks it’s the only time to do so. Ugh! I just… can’t!

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