Love Triangles and Why I’m Glad They’re Staying in The Past

It’s a trope we’ve seen over and over again in YA literature, and it’s one that we love to hate. One character, two love interests, and a whole lot of drama. Yep. I’m talking about the dreaded love triangle.

I’m sure we’ve all read them before, or at least have heard of them. Who can forget the intense conflict over Team Edward vs. Team Jacob? I’ll explain though. Love triangles are when there is a character (usually a female) with two potential love interests (usually both male). And normally they go like this: girl is lonely, suddenly has two guys pining over her, there’s drama, and then she must make a choice between the two boys.

Love triangles became a trend after two huge series, Twilight and The Hunger Games, exploded in popularity years ago. They started to show up everywhere. I felt like I couldn’t even pick up a YA book without one showing up. But I’m glad because it finally seems like love triangles are starting to die out. I hardly ever come across them anymore, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

But, I still do have opinions about how frustrating love triangles are because they were such a huge part of my reading experience as a teenager. I don’t hate every single one I’ve read, and I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone who might enjoy them more than me. These are just my honest thoughts and feelings, and if you like love triangles, that is totally fine. But here’s why I’m personally thrilled that they appear to be staying in the past:

They’re Simply Overdone

Look, there’s some tropes I love and will never get enough of. Others, I could definitely go without coming across ever again. Love triangles are one of those. They’ve been done so many times that I’m beyond sick of them at this point. Unless they’re unique or the author can put a different spin on it, I don’t care to read any more of them. There’s so many other ideas and concepts out there that are much more refreshing.

The Whole “Team” Thing Causes Division Among Readers

Okay yes, I will admit I was way in to picking which love interests I liked better and which “teams” to be on. My best friend and I used to get in to regular arguments over Peeta vs. Gale (for the record, I’m team Peeta all the way). It was all in good fun. But I’ve found that it’s even more fun for everyone to like the same ship. It brings some kind of unity among readers instead of pitting them against each other. And I find that much more enjoyable.

Toxicity Between Characters Is The Worst

What do love triangles always cause, without fail? Toxicity and drama. There’s constant arguing, hatred, and stressful situations. Especially if it’s two males fighting over a girl and they end up loathing each other more than anything. Ugh. It’s just sad because we really need to see more healthy dynamics between male characters, and the love triangles I’ve read did not accomplish that at all (except one, but more on that in a minute).

They’re Almost Always Predictable

It’s usually pretty obvious which love interest the character will end up with, right? The predictably makes love triangles even less engaging and even more annoying. The only one I can think of that wasn’t predictable from the beginning was in the Shatter Me series. It became obvious soon enough, which was alright, but the triangle still technically existed even after we realize who Juliette will likely end up with. Why though?? I don’t understand.

They’re Not Even Realistic

I remember being younger, reading a love triangle, and thinking “um there’s not even one boy that likes me and this girl has two?” And now I know that this is silly because love triangles are honestly not realistic. They seem to be way more common in books than in life. I just really don’t like the whole idea of making young readers think they’re expected to be picking between love interests all the time. Or thinking that a love triangle is even desirable in the first place.

And there we have it. Love triangles are honestly one of my least favorite tropes because of these reasons. To me, it’s good that we aren’t seeing them around as much anymore. I think they were probably fun at the time of their popularity, but looking back on it, they really aren’t as great as I thought.

I’m going to end this on a positive note though and tell you about a love triangle I actually do love with my entire heart. It’s the love triangle in The Infernal Devices trilogy between Tessa, Will, and Jem. The reason it worked? Because they all respected and loved each other. Will and Jem were the best of friends and had a bond so strong that they didn’t allow Tessa ruin. And Tessa was a wonderful character as well. Basically, it wasn’t predictable, there was little toxicity, and it was so uniquely written that it was actually enjoyable. I loved it so much.

So even though I pretty much loathe every love triangle, there is one that I like because it defied all the commonalities that we come across in the other ones. If an author can pull that off, then I might be able to get behind the idea of a love triangle. But other than that, I’m more than happy for the trend to be over.

I’d love to know:

What do you think of love triangles? Which ones have you hated or loved? Do you hope they stay in the past, or do you hope to read more?

32 thoughts on “Love Triangles and Why I’m Glad They’re Staying in The Past

  1. Oh god, so true. They’re SO unrealistic. I can forgive it in The Hunger Games because I actually like that series and I feel like it was far more emotionally complex than Katniss liking two men at the same time. But otherwise, unbearable. I don’t read that much YA but I do see them in the occasional YA fantasy. Do you have any decent recs which are devoid of them, then? 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I love The Hunger Games too!! I was glad that the main focus wasn’t on the love triangle in that one, but it was still frustrating. Also I haven’t been reading a lot of recent YA fantasy (trying to catch up!) but I do hear one will sometimes show up still😬

      As for YA series recs without them: Divergent by Veronica Roth, Legend by Marie Lu, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer are all pretty good 🙂


  2. I definitely agree with you! I’m so glad they seem to be dying out now. I think when I first read the hunger games it didn’t seem like a sides thing to me but when the films came out everyone went crazy about team Peeta or team Gale and I just didn’t understand it? I think they have been well done in the past but definitely became overdone very quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?? The whole team thing was crazy, especially with Peeta and Gale when the movie came out! And exactly, I think they have been well done before, but there’s just way too many now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I mean I know it’s fiction and everything, but sometimes they’re way too implausible for sure. And same- the drama! Agh it’s annoying

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember reading THG and choosing one over the other. But I never saw it as a love triangle, just as one person choosing who she wanted Katniss to end up with. But the second it was turned into a movie, all of a sudden it was Peeta vs. Gale and there were all sorts of interactions between Katniss and Gale that never even existed in the books! It’s one of the best examples of Hollywood actually creating a love triangle out of basically nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Okay true!! I never really felt like it was a full fledged love triangle in the books either, but Hollywood probably thought it would be more “exciting” to make teams out of it like Twilight. In the books it was clear who Katniss was choosing, but yeah, the movies definitely were different. So frustrating!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. FINALLY an answer to my confusion all along lmao! I read the books young and never really thought about the romance, recalled they weren’t a big part of the series and got confused when the whole Gale vs Peeta thing started becoming really prominent. I figured I must have just missed the romantic subtext when I read the novels but it makes so much more sense that the love triangle was created by Hollywood.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I will forever dislike love triangles, there’s just no need for them! I hate all the unnecessary drama that it creates with the characters in the books, but also with the readers of the books. I totally agree about Will, Jem, and Tessa though – that’s the only love triangle where I’ve been happy with how it was written, it was so well done! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really do create so much ridiculous conflict in the books and outside of the books! And I’m so glad you agree about the TID love triangle. It’s honestly perfect❤️ And thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha yes I was turned off YA for a long time (years) because of their unrealistic portrayal of romance, especially love triangles. I’m very happy with where the genre is going these days. I can count on one hand the number of love triangles in YA series I like–one of these rare exceptions is the one in The Conqueror’s Saga, which is unconventional to say the least and always aids character development instead of driving it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also very pleased with how YA seems to be changing over the years! It seems that the romance is becoming a little more realistic, or at least not as frustrating to read! That’s really good to know that The Conquerer’s Saga has a well written triangle, though. I haven’t picked up And I Darken yet, but it is on my TBR, and now I’m even more intrigued!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I had to talk about my love for Will, Tessa, and Jem and their entire dynamic. It’s so well written! But I totally agree; I don’t generally like love triangles and I hate to see them everywhere in YA!


    1. Haha oh man love triangles are one thing, but when there’s more than 2 love interests I just have to roll my eyes. And ugh really, which book had one?? (If it’s not a spoiler!)


  6. Great post!!! Love triangles are definitely WAY too unrealistic for my tastes. Especially in fantasy books, it feels like in another world that shouldn’t really happen? And I hate the predictable ones, they’re sooooo needless. And usually it’s between some bad boy and the best friend, and the best friend always, ALWAYS loses??? I totally agree that TID did it right though, it’s what a love triangle should have been from the start!! I really wish that if authors use the trope, they do something unique with it otherwise there’s no point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly!! They’re super unrealistic and they just get so old. And ahh you’re so right; it’s always a bad boy and a best friend… why! At least TID did love triangles justice for once 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. WOW this was so true!!! Now that I think about it, love triangles are soooooo predictable, and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a love triangle that was well done! I agreed with the issues you pointed out – amazing post 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I avoid love triangles as much as possible nowadays! They frustrate me to no end. I did love Tessa, Jem and Will though! ( but I was more of a Jessa shipper than a Wesser, to be completely honest ) The only love triangles I am interested in seeing is queer love triangles. A bisexual or pansexual mc pining over a cute boy and a funny girl? A gay boy pining after both the captain of the football team and the first player of the chess club? I AM HERE FOR IT!! The book Paris Syndrome by Lisa Walker, is like this for example. The mc discovers that she’s bi after starting to crush on a french boy, and a girl called Alex at the same time. It was really cute! 🙂

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you also liked the TID love triangle! I was more fond of Will, but I loved Jem and Tessa as well, so I get you. 🙂 And okay you’re so right, queer love triangles can actually be really cute. I think those add more to the storyline and character development than the typical love triangles we see. Also thank you for the rec!! I’m already adding it to my TBR because it sounds SO CUTE.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ugh, I really, really do not like love triangles. Why. Just why. The Infernal Devices love triangle is the ONLY one I don’t hate. Because Will and Jim are so precious, and they love each other so much, and it WASN’T TOXIC. And also even though I am SO team Will, Tess and Jem were great together too. And it was just such a good love triangle!

    But otherwise? PLEASE NO.

    Also, what I REALLY want to see is a love triangle where the two guys ditch the girl and fall in love with each other. (or the other way around, but I’ve read like two love triangles with two girls, sooo…) Because THAT would be awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES Team Will all the way, but also… Jem is the sweetest, and I’ll never understand how I can ship BOTH of them with Tessa but here we are lol.

      Okay the guys ditching the girl and falling in love with each other?? PLEASE YES. Or two girls ditching a guy would be so iconic. Now THESE are love triangles I would want to read. And now I’m determined to find a book like this!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. THIS.THIS POST WAS AMAZING. Everything you said was so spot on. I remember when I first alighted on the whole Love Triangle thing when I read Twilight (a fact I cringe to think about now). It was interesting then, to me as a 12 year old, but now, I realize that usually if two guys like the same girl, they don’t duke it out. One or the other (or both) just give up and move on. Books aren’t always realistic, sadly (Because if they were, WHERE SIR IS MY HOGWARTS LETTER???).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH I’m so glad you liked this post, THANK YOU! I thought the same thing about love triangles when I read Twilight as a 12 year old as well, which I also like to cringe about to this day. There’s literally nothing realistic about them. NOTHING.

      And SAME. Still waiting on that Hogwarts letter tbh.

      Liked by 1 person

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