Love triangles are common in books. Especially YA books with romance (duh). Just because they’re common, lots of people argue that they’re?clich?.

While I agree that they can sometimes be clich?, I don’t hate them. Here’s why:

Life is complicated.

That basically sums it up. It usually seems too simple in a story to have a boy-meets-girl, happily-ever-after. Life simply isn’t that simple. So why would you make it that straight forward in a book?

I like guessing.

Sometimes it’s kinda nice not to know who the main girl is going to end up with. Of course, that only works if the love triangle is composed of two?viable options. But ya know. I still like guessing.

Sometimes love is one-way.

The issues isn’t always that a girl has two great options. Sometimes the love isn’t reciprocated by the right people. Sorry, but that’s reality. While it’s not always fun to read about, I appreciate the accuracy.

My solution.

Yes, I come prepared. Since people are actually taking a?whole star off of books because it dared to contain a love triangle (what???), maybe as I writer I should be smart and not throw one into everything I write πŸ˜‰

Here are some other options to shake up your MC’s love life:

  • make the?guy have multiple love interests/girls chasing him, not the?girl
  • give your character a love life history, instead of having a present conflict. Bad date, ex … that sort of thing
  • make the triangle worthwhile (I know, I just really love the triangle). Have the characters embody different types of love, for example. Everyone throws around that word, but look at the divorce rate.
  • choose the wrong person. Then crush your character and make them move on to someone wonderful that they never saw before.
  • have a triangle that’s invisible from your character’s POV.?= Maybe there is a triangle, but the MC doesn’t find out about it (and thus the reader doesn’t) until it’s history.
  • make it straightforward and precious. Some people really do marry their elementary school sweetheart. That doesn’t mean the path there has to be free of bumps.

Obviously, those ideas aren’t all great. It really depends on how you present it, because literally anything can come of clich? and cheesy if you’re not careful about how you write it.

As long as your character’s love life has a point and is realistic, I say go for whatever fits your story πŸ™‚


What are your thoughts on love triangles?

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author of #MartinHospitality | blogger | freelance editor | INTJ | daughter of the King | writing is my ministry | reading is my pastime

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  • I know I am commenting on an old post, but I have seen some things that should not be done with triangles. I don’t read any romance, but I sometimes enjoy romantic subplots. The two that annoyed me most were both love triangles in which the person in question chose both options. One was a guy who wanted to choose just one but the girls decided they would all marry him. The other was this girl who couldn’t decide between two boys (She was immortal and so was one of the guys) so she decided to marry the one and then wait for him to die and marry the other. These just left me with an off feeling. The first was actually better because it was better written.

  • Woah, there is a huge discussion over here! I guess I’ll hop in πŸ™‚
    Personally I don’t hate love triangles either, especially if they make me guess as well. This could also be because I love watching anime and Japanese/Korean dramas, which basically EVERY one includes a love triangle. For some reason, I haven’t gotten bored of them. And if I don’t even realize it’s a love triangle until later in the book, I love it even more!

  • I agree!!! Even though they can be cliche, I love it when authors give a twist and have the mc end up with the unexpected person. That’s always so heart-wrenching!!! I love this post so much! I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves them!

  • You make some really good points! These tips would definitely add interest to any love triangle. However, the reason that I don’t really like them (though there are a few exceptions, of course) is that I feel that they just aren’t realistic. Especially when protagonists are described as plain and average, the odds of two people liking someone at the same time aren’t that high. In my elementary class of just over sixty, pretty much no one had the same “crush” as another (but, of course, there were exceptions, as there always are). And if–by some sort of miracle–there were two boys interested in me, I know I wouldn’t treat them the way some protagonists do, by making them both wait while they “sort out their feelings”.

    I do like the ideas you have, though. Some of them would certainly add realism to a love triangle. I would most likely read any of these πŸ™‚

  • I’m glad someone has the same opinion as me on the subject of love triangles. I understand that they can be cliche, but I absolutely love to guess. The annoying part in when tit’s clear of the two love interests who will be chosen in the end. Both (or all) of the choices need to be good choices, and not one swoony-prince-charming and the other handsome hunk who turns out to be a bad guy. They all need to have good qualities, which makes it with added tension. I once read two different stories around the same time, one a historical fiction and the other a fairy tale retelling, and both stories had love triangles with the two guys having almost the SAME EXACT personalities–the childhood friend and the rich dude that shows up out to no where. It was pretty clear in the end who she chose. But that is what I consider a bad love triangle, and what annoys me the most about them. Love triangles can all be written in different ways. The only problem is, that writers genually use the same formula, and it’s become quite overused.

  • You brought up a lot of good points and those were some great ideas that you listed at the bottom. I would love it if someone were to write a love triangle where one of the love interests were invisible. I just that the love triangles in ya books weren’t all the same. It usually is just one girl choosing between two guys. What about one girl choosing between a guy and another girl? Or one guy choosing between two guys? Or one girl/guy having to choose between two people only to take to long and end up with no one? I think a lot of love triangles just aren’t as imaginative and thus they become repetitive almost. I still read them though haha.


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