Love Triangles: Yay or Nay?


Love Triangles are one of the big debates between readers. Some people think they are addictive, while others think they are a cop out. Personally, I think both arguments are valid. So I've decided to make a pro and con list of love triangles to help work out my opinions.

1. Dilemmas: What should be at the base of every novel, is a problem or issue that needs to be solved. Yes, I realize that sounds generic. A lot of "issues" cannot be solved, so maybe it's acceptance or the character deciding what they want to do with their life, but there needs to be a resolution of some kind at the end of a story. Love Triangles force a resolution. It forces the character to make a decision, forces the character to think everything over, and forces them make a choice between the two love interests. It's a dilemma that encourages plot progression, encourages an internal struggle and character growth.

2. Teams: Love Triangles force readers to pick sides. And there is something really satisfying about picking a side and rooting for it and hoping they "win." It's probably why people love watching athletic individuals kick and/or throw a ball around. You may like both of the love interests, but 90% of the time there is going to be one ship that you want to sail into the sunset. It weirdly brings out the competitive spirit, and creates a dialog between readers. Because love makes you passionate, and passion about something makes you gloat and talk and fangirl all the time.

3. More Romance: I think this is what draws most people to Love Triangles. And it's a legitimate reason. When it boils down to everything in life, love is what it's all about. So if you can have double the amount of romance in a story, where's the problem? Who wouldn't want that? You get the butterflies and the tension of first love twice, and it feels so magical.

1. Unrealistic: It's pretty damn unrealistic that someone would find two people, at the exact same time, that they would fall in love with and love relatively equally. Crushes happen and loves come and go, but to actually love two people at once is just not believable to a lot of people.

2. One Girl: It's always one damn girl and two damn guys. Can't we mix it up a little bit? What about three women or three men? Or maybe two women and a man or vise versa? Or, hell, two girls and one guy would suffice. The one woman trope can reinforce the stereotype that woman should be fawned over and admired by all, or reinforces that men will always have to fight over women and that women will be their property. And to add another stereotype, it's often a girl choosing between a good boy and a bad boy, and more often than not, the bad boy wins.

3. Originality: Love Triangles lack originality. They usually only end one way: the protagonist chooses one of them and they live happily ever after. And the stories are everywhere, in every genre. In recent years, they have become more and more common, and for a while there, they were in most stories. So people rightfully got sick of them. The issue here they should be used if they necessary to the story. But they can be unnecessary and or just not done well, and readers can see that from a mile away.

Despite the flaws that can come about with love triangles, I eat them up. I love them to death. I love the tension, the romance, the competitive ships that arise. I love that they show just how messy love is. Love is never perfect; it is confusing and scary and weird and wonderful.

My favorite love triangle series/novels are:

What do you all think about love triangles? Hate 'em or love 'em or somewhere in the middle? Let me know.

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