Blogger Confession: I DESPISE Love Triangles

Posted January 28, 2013 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 50 Comments


Blogger Confession: I DESPISE Love Triangles

Blogger Confession: I DESPISE Love Triangles….

Hi y’all!  I am not usually down with highlighting negative things here on Geeky Bloggers Book Blog but today I am going to talk about something that I despise: LOVE TRIANGLES.  I am coming out as a love triangle protester and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Girl dragging two guys along!

Since I mentioned that I would be doing a post today–I have found two other people who have written up their views on Love Triangles recently:  Smexy Books and The Book Nympho.  These are two excellent articles that you need to go forth and read!

I am just going to jump right in and give you my 4 MAIN reasons for despising love triangles: (For the sake of this article I am talking about triangles that last the whole book or more if it is a series. I am not talking about a girl who is trying internet dating and goes out on a couple of dates with a couple of guys then makes a decision.  I am talking about the “trying to figure out how I can keep them both in my life in some capacity so I don’t lose” kind of triangle.  The one that reeks of selfishness.)

  1. Someone always loses and usually it is the good guy!  I will admit that in the books that I have read with love triangles, the guys I root for always end up losing.  They are the ones that listened to the girl, were there for her, and often acted as filler for when the bad boy was off  for whatever reason (brooding, doing what was best for her, breaking it off, blowing off some steam).  These guys caused very little angst for the leading lady and always have my heart.  They usually end up with some consolation prize and always end up still being there for the leading lady as a friend. It drives me nuts!   Biggest Offender: YA/New Adult
  2. Forced Conflict:  Is it me or is the triangle sometimes introduced just to bring more conflict into the story?  To me, this just seems rather forced.  It is almost like the author is saying that the book has to be so many pages long and I just can’t do that with the main storyline.  There are many triangles that never even needed to be triangles to have all the characters in there.  In fact, there are some cases that the story probably would have been better with a straight friendship with one of the guys and a love match with the other. Biggest Offender: Cozy Mysteries.
  3. Interrupts/Distracts from main storyline: Nothing bugs me more than just when the action revs it up a notch the leading lady stops to ponder her romance situation with two guys: Which one should I call, whose side should I pick, whose advice should I follow? (very distraught Southern Belle of you my dear).  I seriously have yelled at books where this has happened.  I also don’t like the constant bickering between the two guys especially during combat, leading up to combat, or not recognizing when the other has a good idea.  I almost want to tell them that neither of you has the balls to walk away so neither of you is better than the other.  It always takes me out of the main story and it is always hard for me to get back into my reading groove.  Biggest offender: Urban Fantasy.
  4. Reeks of falsehood:  Sorry but 9 out of 10 times the triangle doesn’t ring true.  I always feel like 1 out of the 3 people would put a stop to it way before it reaches a conclusion.  I can buy that one person is having a hard time making a decision but all 3?  That just isn’t even remotely believable.  Either that or you have written 3 disturbingly wishy/washy characters that can’t make their minds up.  If that is the case, then those aren’t the type of characters that I would be very good at rooting for anyway. Biggest Offender: Any genre that chooses to have a long running triangle.

There are several other smaller reasons that I don’t like love triangles but the 4 mentioned above are my biggest pet peeves with them.

Girl shocked after two guys try to win her...

Places I have found love triangles and what I think about it:

  1. YA/New Adult: huge in this genre.  Oddly enough though this is the one genre I would buy it in.  You don’t really know what you want/how you feel/where you are going at these ages.  I know to avoid this genre because of the triangles but I do understand that age plays a role in them being used.
  2. UF: becoming pretty darn common.  This is one where I have to be really, really, really careful and rely on my friends to tell which series to avoid due to triangles.  Depending on the story, I can see one going on for a short time (not more than a book and a half) but outside of that I lose all respect for everyone involved.  Especially if you are trying to sell me on how strong, independent, and worthy of leadership your lead character is supposed to be.  I need to know that he/she can make decisions, work through those decisions, and even have the gumption to ditch those decisions if they aren’t working out.  What I don’t like is the constant maybe/maybe not, let me drag them a long until I am sure, or even worse the I will wait till one of them makes the decision for me scenario.
  3. Cozy Mysteries:  becoming more common.  I am not even really sure why triangles are now popping up in the genre but I have read 2 cozies lately that have had a triangle.  Why? Is there not enough conflict in your story without them?  I mean trying to track down a killer while not being trained and having a full-time job isn’t conflict enough?  Since most of the leading ladies are in their 30s or 40s and in the dating pool, I can tell you from experience dating one man is conflict enough. Dating is tough enough in your 30s and 40s that an extra triangle situation is usually uncalled for.  I just don’t see a need for it and more often than not has forced me to mark down what I thought of the book because it is distracting.
  4. Mystery/Thriller/Horror: not usually an issue.  I haven’t noticed many (if any) triangles in these genres but I have noticed more romance.  As long as the characters personal issues don’t interfere with the main storyline then I am ok with it.  I only mind when it seems their personal lives are more important than the case (Mystery/Thrillers) or the monster (Horror).
  5. Main Stream Romance: not usually an issue BUT I did recently read a book where there was a triangle in the beginning of the romance.  I stopped reading it.  No way would I buy a triangle in an Adult Romance book.  I read romance for the HEA.  I do not read it so some guy gets screwed in the end  by the girl choosing another guy.  I will lead a revolution if romance decides to make this a common occurrence.  Luckily I have only ran into one of these types of books lately and I totally hope it was a fluke.
  6. Erotica: I don’t read a lot in this genre so I am not knowledgeable enough to know.  I have heard it is quite common place but just like YA it might be part of the appeal.  Except I think the difference is maybe all 3 end up together?  Again, I maybe read 12 erotica classified stories a year and tend to pick the more vanilla (1 guy, 1 girl) type of stories.

So love triangles–do you love them or hate them?  I know they must still be pretty popular since they seem to be more prevalent than a few years ago.  I guess I am just to much of a sap and would prefer not to read about someone getting their heartbroken or being someone’s second choice.


Felicia S
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50 responses to “Blogger Confession: I DESPISE Love Triangles

  1. Twinsies!! I agree for all the reasons you mentioned. I really don’t think they ring true and they are so distracting. They are also too common. I also hate it that the “good” guy seems to lose to the mysterious sullen other guy.

  2. I think you probably already know this by now, but I absolutely loathe love triangles. I think the only trend I hate more than love triangles is insta-love. Both drive me nuts, and put me in serious danger of quitting the series, if not the first book I find it in!

  3. TiDubb

    Two things I avoid at all costs: Love triangles (I don’t want it and don’t want to read about it). Like an earlier commenter said, I love falling in love with the characters (2) falling in love with each other. I just don’t have any interest in following the trial, conflict, or tribulation of trying to figure out which guy you want and why. Jill Shavlis (one of my favorite contemporary/romance authors) had a somewhat triangle in one of her books from the Lucky Harbor series. I enjoyed the book but did not like the fighting of emotions between the herione and the two guys (2 past loves).

    Second, I stay far-far away from YA and New Adult genre.

  4. 99.9% of the time I hate them for all the reasons you listed. There have been very rare instances of an author pulling it off in a way that enhanced the story opposed to taking away from it.

  5. HATE THEM! for all the reasons you mentioned. I love “falling in love,” and you don’t get that when there is a triangle. It’s competition and conflict (for the sake of conflict). I want to focus on other parts of the story for my “conflict.”

    • Very well said! I do love falling in love while the characters do. I think you should be able to write enough conflict outside of it to keep it fresh without having to throw another person into the mix.

  6. Erica Pillera

    Thank you for bringing this out, I cannot stand the “love triangle” waste of bloody time it is teeny booper shit, straight out high school. its just a stupid way to keep the reader guessing they really doesnt work because it detracts from the real couple and their growing relationship. ARRHH definately makes you want to pull your hair out. Hope they get over this fad fast.

  7. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    Well, I think you already know how I feel about love triangles but I’ll restate it hear. I don’t care for them, even though there are times when they’re done well (count on one hand). If I know going into a story that there is a triangle, I probably won’t start the book. And, I don’t even try to read YA or New Adult as most seem to absolutely have to have this kind of conflict.

    We should start a petition:)

    • I would so start a petition and sign it if I thought publishers would listen. I actually heard that sometimes they require the triangle aspect —I just want to UGH at that!

  8. HATE them. I totally agree with you. I just don’t like the fact that there are two people lobbying for the girl’s attention. Like you said, someone always loses and sometimes it’s the person I liked!
    I don’t like them. Never have.

  9. I absolutely agree! I’ve always thought it was so selfish! Although I’ve seen more thriller triangles than UF. LOL

    I have seen only 2 that work for me. One was UF (Grigori Legacy) and a YA, (Splintered). I was SHOCKED in both, but the female protagonist also chose early on which one to be with. Still as much as it is prolific out there in fiction… only 2 worked for me? I think authors and publishers really need to steer clear of the triangle.

    • I don’t usually pay attention to the romance at all in mystery/thrillers. I can honestly say it just seems like fodder 🙂

      I think if the female makes a decision early than I am more likely to finish the book/series. However, it took everything in my to stick with the Fever and Shifter series. Those just went on to darn long.

  10. Tina

    Popping out of lurkdom to give my emphatic “OMG YES! I can’t stand them!” lol I try to avoid triangles like the plague. I’ve read some menage in erotica, and usually everyone wins in those triangles, but lately they don’t work for me as much as the more vanilla m/f relationship ones. Excellent post!

  11. Great post! I think you know how much I despise love triangles as I am always whining about them in my reviews and I am like you, I almost always end up rooting for the guy who loses out since he was the one who was through thick and thin. I can’t believe they are starting to pop in Cozy Mysteries now…Is no genre safe?

    • I am beginning to think there isn’t a genre safe from the dreaded triangle. It bugs me in cozies because it just seems out of place. I plan Stephanie Plum for the cozy mystery triangles.

  12. Love, love, love this post! You make such valid points. I am not extremely bothered by them, but it ultimately depends on the characters. I reads lots of YA so I get it all the time. What I hate is when I love both of the guys. Ugh.

    • I love that they work for some people. I actually feel better with them being out there by hearing from people who love them. I think it is tough when both guys are worthy, you just know someone has to lose!

  13. As Kelly has informed me, menage =/= love triangle. I usually stick to the one guy, one girl books with erotica, too. (Though I am getting ready to branch out for Doin’ It Dirty.)

    Anyway, I think I’ve been pretty vocal about my feelings about love triangles in the past. I usually despise them, though I have begun to encounter a few that seem REAL enough to be believable or true to the characters. (In YA, though. I feel like adults should know better.)

    • Oh I can’t wait to see how you branch out for doing it dirty. I will probably stick to my one on ones LOL

      I accept them in YA (don’t like them but accept them) and you are so right—adults should know better. I would never accept them in Adult Romance.

  14. I do agree it is getting too much. I often dislike them as well, but as long as the girl doesn’t know who she wants, but not sleep with the both of them, I am fine with her having a bit of time to make up her mind. But Hannah Swensen, 16 books is too much! I also tend to choose the wrong guy if she chooses in the end at all.
    In some series it does work though, but not in many.

    • 16 books is entirely too much. Stephanie Plum is on what? Book 19? I just don’t get it. Make a choice, you can always break them up but wishy/washy just doesn’t make your character look good.

  15. I’m with you Felicia, I’m so tired of love triangles. What’s so boring about a romance between two people that everyone feels the need to toss a third person in the mix? Now, I will saw there have been a few books where I think the triangle is well done and makes sense in the context of that particular story, but those books are definitely few and far between. I think that’s part of the reason why I read a large number of adult romances in between all my YA books – I crave a relationship between just two people where I know a third person isn’t going to come in and muddle everything up. Like you said,t the adult romance isn’t entirely love-triangle free, but it’s a rarity.

    • Adults should know better so I am guessing we won’t see to many in adult romance 🙂 I came up with two that I thought were done well The Host (2 people in one body) and The Outlander series (time seperation). Those 2 worked for me but on a whole I prefer just dealing with the one on one. Relationships are hard enough!

  16. Great post, someone else will have to verify..but I think in erotica..they both get to sleep with her! Sometimes they work but nine times out of ten I want to rip my hair out over them and so agree with you. What really annoys me the most is when the girl leads them both on. I hate this whole Team concept that has emerged from it as well.

  17. My beef with love triangles is that I find it hard to accept that someone can be head over heels, I would give my life for you in love with more than one person. I think it cheapens it and kind of insulting to the first person you felt those feelings for.

  18. WHYWHYWHY must we have so many damn many love triangles? Definitely agree with all four of your main reasons. It’s so forced and phony! How many people are *really* involved in love triangles? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it’s pretty darned rare.

    • I know right? I know I don’t want a guy who doesn’t want me or is playing another girl against me. However, in the fictional world–everyone seems to put up with it. Drives me nuts I tell you 🙂

  19. You make some good points! For me, I guess it depends on the genre. I don’t like love triangles in romances, but I’m okay with them in cozy mysteries or UF.

    • I can handle it for a book or two in UF or Cozy but past that, even in those genres it starts to bug. For 1 or 2 books though, I can accept them as love interests instead of triangle participants 🙂 (If that makes sense)

  20. JenM

    In general, hate ’em, and often don’t read YA/NA because of them. However, the one place where I don’t mind them is in UF, as long as it doesn’t drag on too long. I think I don’t mind so much in that genre because oftentimes, at least in the early books, the focus is on the plot and the worldbuilding, not so much on the romance. The characters are often revealed slowly, over the course of several books, so I don’t mind it if there is some uncertainty about the romance. I don’t know that those are true love triangles though. It’s usually that the heroine has several possible love interests and it takes her several books to figure out which one is right for her.

    • Yep! I think there are differences between love interests than love triangles. The Shifter series was one that I would count as a love triangle that went on way to long. However, I do think in UF that sometimes they are just introduced with potential but no real intention to follow through. Those I buy because often the women are strong, attractive, and very much the type that would attract attention. It really does depend on how the leading lady responds.

  21. I think occassionally they can be done well, when the author is honest about human emotions and the mess this kind of thing can cause. But, like you say, too often it’s just a cheap way to create a bit of emotional drama that then doesn’t ring true.

    But the biggest issue I have with love triangles is that in most cases it’s: Girl loves Boy A. Boy A loves Girl. Boy B also loves girl, but girl just sees him as a really good friend. In a lot of cases, Boy B can’t accept this and tries to insinuate that he has a ‘right’ to the girl, or that if he fights hard enough he’ll get her. No, she doesn’t like you, she likes the other guy. If you’re actually a good friend, you’d deal with that. And then this is always made worse because the girl can’t seem to just tell him that, for some reason. It’s such a non-situation made into something bigger than it needs to be.

  22. If done well, but a lot of the time I wonder why. I may have to blame Twilight on this one. I think people started to think it was part of the formula for success. OR maybe authors are stumped, lazy, running out of ideas to create tension.

    I agree it is more in YA, but also fits better there too.