The Problem With Love Triangles

I am SO unbelievably sick of love triangles that I could scream. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve never been in a “love triangle” type of situation, or because I’d probably rip my hair out if I did. Either way, I’m completely fed up with them.

Why, you may ask?

Honestly, it’s horribly unrealistic to me. Even in high school, surrounded by all the hormones and amped up emotions, I never saw a love triangle unfold, for better or worse. It just never happened.

I’m okay with love triangles if they’re done right.

For example, The Hunger Games. Peeta likes Katniss. Gale likes Katniss. Katniss is just trying to keep her family, and in later books, everyone alive. Katniss couldn’t care less about the love triangle.

More importantly, I found it to be well-executed in that there wasn’t much in the way of crazy hormonal angst. Peeta genuinely cares for Katniss, Katniss is trying to keep them both alive, and poor Gale is left to watch their faux-mance unfold on screen. (I admit, I felt for Gale. That must’ve sucked.)

Later on, they each have their priorities. Katniss is the Mockingjay and still trying to keep everyone alive, Gale is working with the rebellion, and Peeta is trying to survive the Capitol, then trying to regain some semblance of who he was. All in all, well done.

Another example is the triangle between Rose, Dimitri, and Adrian in Vampire Academy. Rose and Dimitri fall for each other (kind of), then Dimitri goes away for a while. Rose begins to grow close to Adrian, then Dimitri comes back and Rose is all “Craaaaaaaap.” It sounds contrived, but works in the story.

The romantic moments between Rose and Dimitri are a bit campy, but I can forgive that because Rose comes across so well. While Dimitri is clearly the major player in the triangle, I found myself really rooting for Adrian, so much so that I enjoy the spinoff series, Bloodlines, more than Vampire Academy because Adrian features so heavily in it.

Then, there are those poor, unfortunate times when love triangles go awry. I’m looking at you, Twilight. Also, the ridiculous “triangle” thing from Legend of Korra.

Bolin likes Korra, Korra likes Mako, Mako kind of likes Korra but also kind of likes Asami but can’t decide for whatever idiot reason and flip flops between the two of them. Poor Bolin happened upon Korra and Mako kissing after a date with Korra, and this could have been a really well done serious moment, but instead they made Bolin’s reaction more funny than serious and took all the punch out of it. And mature topics are not something the A:TLA/LOK writers tend to shy away from.

I was not cheering for Mako AT ALL. I liked Korra well enough. Bolin is my favorite. And I felt bad for Asami. Shockingly, though, Bolin ended up with his own happily ever after by the end of the series while Mako is solo still. (THANK YOU WRITERS.) Better yet, the girls that were sort of pitted against one another at the beginning of the series ended up together at the end. *does happy dance* Yay for bucking the stereotype that the girl HAS to end up with one of the guys!

To be completely honest, I’d be happy if love triangles fell out of popularity for a while. No matter how well these things may be written, it’s all going to boil down to whether the heroine will pick Boy 1 or Boy 2. As in the case of Hunger Games, there’s SO MUCH MORE to the story than the love triangle, but there will always be people who miss the overall message in favor of #TeamGale or #TeamPeeta. Personally, I don’t plan to include a love triangle of any kind in anything I write ever. (Unless it’s between a college student, working out, and junk food. Actually, nope, not even then.)

What about you guys? What do you think of love triangles? Have you read anything where the triangle works, or maybe where it’s so poorly done it’s worth noting? Drop me a note in the comments!