My Evolving Thoughts on Love Triangles

Posted May 7, 2015 by Stormy in Books / 16 Comments

When I started blogging two years ago, I was firm in my position that I was love triangle neutral. I neither loved nor hated love triangles simply for being love triangles. For me, it all depended on how the love triangle was used in the story and if I thought it was done effectively. I would talk about good triangles and bad triangles, but I remained adamant that a love triangle was simply another tool for a writer to use, and whether they used it well or not determined my final opinion.

However, in the past couple of months, I’ve found my position on love triangles changing. I found that I tend to shy away from books that boast of love triangles. Instead of being neutral, my immediate reaction is “ugh, not again.” I haven’t completely crossed books with love triangles out of my life(I’d lose some of my favorite book that way), but I’ve found that given a choice between books that appeal to me equally in other areas, I’m going to pick up the one without a love triangle first.

It’s possible that I have love triangle burnout. Don’t get me wrong, I think love triangles absolutely can exist in the real world. I don’t think they’re necessarily unrealistic, and I don’t think they’re always a bad thing. But friends, I have love triangle fatigue. I’m tired of all the drama that accompanies them, and so I avoid. I realize that messy relationships are often a part of live, particularly in YA, so I’m not diminishing their place in books at all. I’m just impatient of personally dealing with them.

I have enough trouble relating to people who can’t get their relationship drama together in real life; why would I want to read about it in my fiction? Nothing annoys me more. And I know that’s MY thing, and it’s not a judgement on YA characters(or real people). It’s just not a portion of life that appeals to me to read about when I read for enjoyment. I never want to get to the point where I forget that YA characters are teenagers, and that comes with its own set of figuring life out. For me, though, the easiest way to do that is to shy away from *most* books that contain love triangles. Of course, I’m sure I’ll continue to make exceptions, but more & more lately I’ve disregarded books that boast of love triangles.

LET’S CHAT: Love triangles are always a hot button topic in the book community. Love ’em? Hate ’em? Have your thoughts regarding love triangles ever changed?

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16 responses to “My Evolving Thoughts on Love Triangles

  1. I’m tired of love triangles, as well. As Briana noted, it’s usually obvious whom the girl will choose from the start, especially since one of the choices is usually trouble for some reason. I prefer love triangles that you might find in classics, like Darcy in love with Elizabeth but Elizabeth looking at someone else. Unreciprocated love is much more realistic to me than two guys pining after a girl for months while she keeps giving them mixed signals and they glare threateningly at one another.

  2. Ah,good old love traingles! I myself am ambivalent about them.I like a good triangle if it’s actually interesting and does something to the plot,but I hate those ones which go on for so long and the girl just ends up playing with the guys’ feelings. *cough* Elena Gilbert *cough*

  3. Ugh, I hate love triangles. And it isn’t JUST because they make the main character seem whiny and indecisive. I think they are incredibly overdone. I swear, every dystopian involves a love triangle. I would rather get rid of the romance altogether than to have a love triangle.

    • Stormy

      They do seem more prevalent in dystopia/sci-fi/fantasy YA for some reason. I got Dystopia burn-out quite a bit ago, so I’m not 100% up to date on the latest books in that genre, but they do in particular seem to rely on this trope way too much.

  4. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    I’ve never been a love triangle fan. I think, for me, the problem is that I LOVE the romance in books. I know not everyone does, but I do. And love triangles don’t feel about love or romance to me. That’s just me. I understand about getting burn out though. I feel that way about things a lot too. I can’t think of one right now, but I know I’ve felt sick of something because I come across it so much in books already.

    • Stormy

      I know you are not the only one who feels that way! The burnout is definitely real. I’ve never been a huge fan, but the more I see, the less I tend to be forgiving towards love triangles.

  5. I feel like I’m neutral about triangles. I don’t really hate them but I’m not generally a fan. It really depends on how it’s done and how I’m feeling about the romance on the whole. I personally think that romance isn’t essential to a good story and sometimes it’s inclussion feels forced. A love triangle on top of a romance I have no connection to is even worse. But there are times that I think the triangle works. Like if it’s because a character’s feelings are evolving then the fact that they can’t decide makes sense. Or if both characters are equally matched then I don’t mind it. But I often feel like the decision is obvious and I agree love triangle burnout is a real thing.

    • Stormy

      I think I’ve gone to “neutral” to “I’d prefer not”. Oh, I’m right there with you on romance in general! I’ve definitely talked before about how I’d love to see more books without romance. Give me a happy ever after(or at least a hopeful ending) for the main characters without needing to equate a HEA=romance.

  6. I won’t exclude a book from my TBR solely based on a love triangle, but I would much prefer not to read about them. If the love triangle follows a logical progression, that’s one thing, but ones with wishy-washy endings (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, MOCKINGJAY) drive me insane. Yes, I know they happen in real life, but I read fiction for a reason. With books, I get to choose what I like, and what I like is avoiding messy drama.

    • Stormy

      This is pretty much where I am too, I think. It’s not an automatic “do-not-read”, but if I’m torn between two books on the shelf, the one I’m going to pick up is the one I know doesn’t have a love triangle.

  7. I generally dislike love triangles, but maybe that’s because so many of them are done so poorly. If it’s obvious from the first page which guy the girl is going to choose, the whole thing comes off as forced and there’s so much unnecessary drama. And if there’s one guy who’s just a bad egg, well, I’m not interested in him either. There are a few love triangles I enjoy, but they involve two guys who are actually both a viable option: the girl seems genuinely torn between then and they’re both actually nice people who are giving her a real reason to be torn between them.

    • Stormy

      I think being poorly done definitely contributes to the general dislike of love triangles(I know some people love them, but most readers I know are neutral or dislike them). Yeah, I think the unnecessary drama is a huge part of that.

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