Discussion: Love Triangles


Love triangles aren’t exactly a new invention – they were present in the works of Shakespeare and Austen, so why all the hype recently?  I was first introduced to love triangles in seventh grade while reading The Hunger Games series, and I fell in love with the “nifty, sophisticated creations” that I initially perceived them to be.  The novelty quickly wore off, however, and five years later I absolutely can’t stand love triangles – I visibly cringe at the first sighting of one.  So what’s changed?

According to the Urban Dictionary, a love triangle can be defined as…

“The only thing worse than the friend zone. Usually fated to occur when two best friends who like a person of the opposite gender. Either resolves in the friendship being destroyed or neither one getting the girl. Either way, everyone loses.”

How’s that for cheery and uplifting?  It fairly accurately translates over into my emotional response when faced with an oh-so-enticing love triangle (sarcasm intended).  Often times, the plot takes a backseat and the romantic interactions take precedence.  And everything generally goes downhill from there.  In most scenarios, the heroine is forced to pick between the nice “gentleman” who receives full parental approval and the suave and sophisticated yet mysterious bad boy.  And apparently that decision is the most challenging of the heroine’s life, and she spends the book (or series) in its entirety attempting to reach a conclusion.

Not only is this cruel to all concerned parties, this indecision is one of my least favorite aspects of love triangles.  In most cases, a clear winner is not defined until the final chapter of the book.  As someone who likes to watch a romance develop and unfold slowly, I prefer to read about a couple and their interactions together, rather than simply imagining their time together after they have skipped happily off into the sunset together at the conclusion of a book.

I’d be the first person to admit (and something tells me that many of you would agree) that love triangles have become an all-too-common installment in YA literature, particularly within the past 5 ears – I blame Twilight.  And most of these love triangles were very poorly executed, leading to my gradual dislike of them.  Romance is complicated enough to begin with, and love triangles add an entirely different dimension that’s equally challenging to master.

If you’d like to hear more of my rambling about my dislike of love triangles, I’ve expanded upon it in my reviews of Twilight and The Selection.  However challenging this may be to believe, I haven’t despised every love triangle I’ve come across – I thought those in Clockwork Angel and Delirium were executed extremely well.

Where do you stand in relation to love triangles?  What are some of your favorite and least favorite love triangles?

Profile Picture

I am a senior in high school and an avid reader/reviewer, horseback rider, and graphic designer.  Since a young age, I have fostered a love of reading, beginning with my forays into the Nancy Drew series.  I’ve branched out significantly in my reading tastes since then, and my favorite genres include young adult, romance, mystery, and thriller.  I’m constantly trying to expand my horizons, however, so I do dabble in other genres.  While I’m not reading, I volunteer at a hippotherapy center and a veterinary clinic, practice agility with my dogs, play piano, and sketch.
Connect With Me:
goodreads • pinterest • instagram • tumblr {summerfitnessfandomschristmas}

14 thoughts on “Discussion: Love Triangles

  1. I’m totally allergic to love triangles, words can’t describe how much I hate them. I made a series of blog posts featuring a huge list of YA fantasy books with no love triangles where romance is not the center of the plot. I’m quite black and white about love and romance, I think love triangles happen when people meet ‘less than ideal’ partners. If you find true love, you won’t even notice anyone else. Love triangles happen when people confuse teenage crushes with love. If there’s a triangle, it’s not love, it’s just a hormone driven crush 🙂


    • That’s definitely an interesting perspective about love triangles being composed of less than ideal partners – I guess I had always been looking at it the opposite way, that each person was a good partner, but for completely different reasons. And yes, it’s very annoying that love triangles seem so prominent among teenage characters, but less so for adults.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As a note, I think love triangles are lazy writing. Copying something successful (like Twilight) and following common tropes is just lazy writing. I prefer original, fresh stories myself. Btw I love your blog theme, it’s great!


  3. I think love triangles are risky. They can be written beautifully (TID) or they can be completely awful so I don’t think I’d ever say I hate them… Just it’s too common 😛


    • I agree, the Infernal Devices contains one of my favorite love triangles of all time! I think certain love triangles are more successful because they’re original, and the two love interests have distinct personalities. And certainly popularity has cast a fairly negative connotation on love triangles in general over the past several years.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man, I hate love triangles so, so much!! I really think writers sometimes create one just for the added drama. And love triangles are a factor in most dystopian books, and I would much rather the romance be a subplot in books like that. Like you said, I do love the slow burn of romances. It is almost impossible to get that slow burn in a love triangle. Most of the romance isn’t about getting to know the other person. It just becomes about trying to decide between the two people. Ugh, annoying.


    • I agree, I think authors are definitely lookinfg for some jaw-dropping drama to incorporate into the story. Rather than letting the romance take a backseat, it has to be the driving factor in the plot, which is one of my pet peeves in literature. I think we’re equally fed up with love triangles 🙂


  5. Some are okay, if well done, but I’m mostly tied of them. I agree with the indecision thing, it’s what I hate the most about love triangles. The MC spends most of the book/series trying to decide which guy to be with. Shouldn’t she be worrying about something else? Maybe the end of the world, rebellion, vampires, or whatever the hell she’s fighting against. What’s even worse in love triangle books is when the girl never actually decides. Generally, the author can’t find a way to have her be with one or the other, so the author kills one guy off. There. Decision made. It’s so upsetting because the guy was just killed off so the Mary Sue could choose!

    Anyway, rant over.


    • There are definitely some very well written love triangles, and more than enough poorly written ones. I still can’t wrap my mind around how the main character is so utterly consumed with the love triangle that she can’t realize the danger that’s staring her right in the face – it’s so frustrating! And of course, the author always manages to kill off my favorite of the two love interests, leaving me even more agitated than I was at the introduction of the love triangle. If only we had some more decisive protagonists!


  6. Pingback: Review: The Diviners | Brewing Up Books

  7. Pingback: First Blogiversary | Brewing Up Books

  8. There’s a manga called Vampire Knight. It is the worst most traumatizing(atleast for me) love story I’ve ever read and I just want someone to erase my memory. It’s just sickening.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s