Discussion

Love Triangles : What I Like, What I Hate, What I Want

Love triangles is probably one of the most talked-about topics in literature. It’s been at the receiving end of much hate, much bias and probably one of the most-hated ‘tropes’ out there. I decided to make a post on this topic – and write everything I feel about love triangles. I don’t necessarily hate love triangles, I think some authors do them really well and sometimes the added drama is downright funny. But then of course, there are times when a love triangle pretty much breaks the deal for me, and is so horrible used as a plot device. So, I’m going to talk about whatever I like, dislike and would like to see – when it comes to love triangles.

(I’m going to explain things a little weirdly in this post, please don’t get creeped out :D )


What I like

When the love triangle is shown as natural and realistic, it’s believable. [Going into some crazy explanation now]. Suppose there’s a love triangle in which Girl A and Guy A are dating, but somehow the Girl/Guy A fall out of love, or something happens and one of the two falls in love with, say, Guy/Girl B – and clearly understands that he/she is no longer in love with his/her previous love interest – then I don’t mind the presence of a love triangle. Let’s face it : falling out of love does happen in real life. How many couples break up, or slowly lose their feelings towards each other? Even though it all starts out as love – people do break up, and fall in love again with other people and many a times that might happen in spite of their ex continuing to love them. So when something like that happens in books – and it is well written enough – I quite enjoy a healthy love triangle.

In a lot of dystopian books I’ve read lately, the girl familirizes herself for the first time in her life to a guy – and inevitably, falls in love with him. [Yep, hello, ACOTAR by SJM] Then later on, as the girl grows and develops and finds her identity, she finds new love and you know what? That’s natural. That happens in real life too. As humans, we grow and change and our love interests might change too. I hated how a lot of people criticized the ACOTAR series for having a love triangle, whereas honestly, it’s such a realistic love triangle [let’s ignore how Tamlin and Rhysand’s character completely changed in book 2; I’ll bring that point up later in this post]. Honestly, the love triangle in this series isn’t even one in the traditional sense of the word, but since the love interest of both guys lies in the same girl, I’m considering this as a LT.

When a love triangle is shown as an aspect of the character’s growth and development – it’s so good to read about. A common argument people have against love triangles is that two people cannot be in love with the same person. That is so not correct. How do you know that two people cannot be in love with the same person?! Yeah, the same person loving two people equally is a far-fetched idea but I don’t see how two people having feelings towards one person is ‘unrealistic’ or ‘ridiculous’. I mean, that can happen!

What I Dislike

When a love triangle is used as a plot device, that gets boring and annoying way too easily. A lot of authors use love triangles as a way to carry forward the story and keep the pages turning, and yet they don’t realise that there’s nothing added to the story. It’s just the same thing page after page and when the love triangle becomes the central focus of the plot, that is usually cue for me to just DNF the book.

When the MC keeps juggling between the two people who are in love with her, and can’t for the life of her decide on one damn love interestI just feel like ripping her into shreds. Like, whyyyyyy? Why you wanna be Bella Swan? Why why why? It not just makes the story boring and pathetic, it even makes the MC such a bad character.

When the MC professes that she is in love with both the guys, I just want to slap the book shut because that, I feel is not possible. And even if it were possible, I do not understand why it takes the MC 3 whole books to decide on one single love interest?!?! Like, whyyy? Just make up your mind, girl! When the MC keeps going back and forth between two lovers, and cannot for the life of her, just DECIDE on one single person, and that same shit goes on for 3/4/5 whole books??? Yeah, you just killed me right there. And OH, when this juggling is used as a plot device? Ah, that’s so beautiful :))))) </sarcasm>

When the character of the first love interest is completely changed to make the second love interest more desirable or whatever, that is so unbelievably ridiculous. Three examples which immediately come to mind are Tamlin in the ACOTAR series, Chaol in the TOG series and Adam in the Shatter Me series. Even though I love these three series (for other reasons) – I could not ignore these faults and how unfair it is for the first love interest. It just shows how the author does not want to spend time on the natural development of feelings for the second love interest, and thus totally skips that part to jump to the drama and the romance.

What I Want

Something realistic and not utterly ridiculous. If you really think about it, love triangles aren’t ‘impossible’ or ‘unreal’ or ‘unbelievable’ either. The secret of portraying a successful love triangle is by keeping it real, not exaggerating it, staying away from the tropes which distress readers so much. 

I would love  to see a love triangle with two girls and one guy :D I think there are way too many books about how two guys are losing their shit about a girl – I think I need the opposite now. (Seriously though – I have never even heard of a love triangle involving two guys!)


So that was it! Everything I feel, believe and think about love triangles – in a gist. I know there might be a lot of this you don’t agree upon – love triangles are a hot, hated topic in the bookish community – but please respect the fact that my opinions are mine to keep :)

Do you like love triangles? What aspects do you like/dislike? What do you want to see in this trope? What is your mos hated and most loved thing when it comes to love triangles?

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9 thoughts on “Love Triangles : What I Like, What I Hate, What I Want

  1. When I read a LT I just groan. I hate when it’s used as a plot device. Like, really? You couldn’t think of ONE thing about this female main character that’s interesting besides her romantic interests? C’mon guys!

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  2. I am very much in the same boat as you. I have a very love-hate relationship with love triangles, but if they are well written and stay true to the characters then there is a strong possibly that I’ll enjoy. But it does really annoy me when it takes three or more books for a main character to decide who she loves and wants to be with. I don’t read very many books anymore with love triangles in them — a few, but not as many as I did before — and I think that this has a lot to do with books like Twilight and television series like The Vampire Diaries. They have definitely soured my relationship with love triangles haha.

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  3. While I agree with you on many aspects of your post, I think there is another aspect that can be explored within the realm of love ‘triangles.’

    To quote from above, “Yeah, the same person loving two people equally is a far-fetched idea…” This is actually a growing trend, identified as ‘polyamory,’ that I intend to explore in my upcoming novel that also features a variety of LGBTQ characters. Polyamory, and the nature of the relationships therein, provides a relatively new realm of possibilities to explore within the literary realm while opening a whole new pandora’s box of potential character conflicts.

    So, while I agree with you on the overused and irritating trope of, “OMG, which one am I going to choose,” I think there is an even greater realm of possibilities to explore.

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    1. Hmm.. I feel that yes, this trope might be further explored but as of now, looking at all the books that I have read which involve this trope, I don’t think it’s that well – developed. Maybe later on, it might one day be a successful trope but right now, I really don’t like reading it :=

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