On Love Triangles


I love Vampire Diaries (the TV series, not the books. I didn’t like the books). But I hate seeing Elena divided between Damon and Stefan. And let’s not talk about the fact that they are brothers! Ew!

Come on, how can one be that undecided? I once saw a quote from Johnny Depp, so perfect:

I have to say I agree with him.

Though, between us, I would pick Stefan. Yes, yes, I’m a self proclaimed bad-boy kind of girl, but hey, Stefan had his bad-boy phase too ;)

Anyway, I wouldn’t be in that situation. Oh, noes. If I ever had to choose between two guys, I would have chosen none of them. Erin Presson Ladd had a blog post on Sarah Enni’s blog about this very topic, Love Triangles: when the best choice is none. I couldn’t agree more.

There were several books that I almost gave up reading because the heroine couldn’t make up her mind. Oh, come on!

I asked what people thought of love triangles yesterday on twitter. Among several great answers, Mason T. Matchak gave me the following one:

So true! I can’t take anymore whiny heroines whose main problem is which one of her hot guys she should kiss today … I think it’s okay to have other guys, but don’t make your ENTIRE manuscript about this drama.

I prefer “love triangles” like the ones Richelle Mead writes. Following the thoughts of a post my NA sister LG Kelso wrote, on Vampire Academy Rose has a love situation with two guys, Dimitri and Adrian. Rose is a kickass heroine who knows what she wants and who she loves. She doesn’t need any man, but she—as any normal female, I guess—would like to have a love life and she knows exactly with whom. Though, when destiny puts Dimitri away from her grasp and she can’t bring him back, she tries to move on. That’s when Adrian enters the games. As LG points out on her post, this isn’t a triangle. It’s just different lovers at different points of the heroine’s life.

Same goes for the Georgina Kincaid Series. Georgina can’t be with Seth, the main reason being that they can’t touch—not without taking away years of his life. So she ends up giving a try with Dante, whose soul was already tainted and didn’t deserve to live a long life (judging? me? noooo!). But we know Dante isn’t a match to her. She’s with him to occupy her mind. A distraction. And there’s Roman too (secretly *swoon*). Georgina would love to move on with Roman, but ultimately, he isn’t the one she loves and she doesn’t even let their relationship to take off.

Being undecided between two guys is very, very different than having relationships with two guys in different parts of the story. It’s just like life. When you break up with a boyfriend/girlfriend, you mourn (or not) then move on. It’s a choice: a choice to keep living and be happy, not a choice about who you’ll kiss today. Sometimes, this new relationship doesn’t work either, and once again you move on. And sometimes, that moving on step brings you to your first lover. Or it takes you farther away.

While outlining and then writing DESTINY GIFT, I never intended it to be a love triangle. Never. I always knew with who Nadine would end up. In fact, it wasn’t about who she would end up with at all. In my mind, the second guy wasn’t there to put tension on Nadine’s relationship. He was there to aggravate the other problems, the ones that label this manuscript as paranormal. And I did plan it to be a trilogy since the beginning.

However, I let my mind blank a few days ago and started studying other options for the sequels, to see if I could come up with even better ideas. One of them involved an event that would bring Nadine and her love interest apart. While on the pursue of her “destiny” in the story and solving the paranormal problems, she would get closer to  the other guy. But you see, it would be a lot like Rose, Dimitri and Adrian. It wasn’t that she fell in love with both at the same or couldn’t choose between the guys. It would be my heroine trying to move on with her life. Well, I won’t tell you if she would be like Rose and end up with Dimitri, or would stay on the alternate path, otherwise I would give away part of the trilogy ending ;)

If I end up choosing this new idea for my sequels, I really hope to escape the “love triangle” analogy.

Now I hand the microphone to you:

What’s your opinion and thoughts about love triangles?



UPDATE: the lovely Jessa Russo wrote a blog post inspired on this one. You should check it out too, because she speaks the truth! ;)


16 Responses to On Love Triangles

  • Okay so I haven’t been reading or posting to much in the blog world as of late but I’m trying to get back into it. (New job after being unemployed for almost a year is kicking my butt…clearly I got lazy). So I’m starting with your’s because well love triangles are very popular right now it seems and I wanted to see your thoughts.

    Now I admit I do love me some Vampire Diaries, I also read the books but yeah I’m not that into them but I have started them and I kinda can’t quit. And in the show I do see how it came to be and can better understand this love triangle than in the books, the books are completely crazy. I do completely adore the Vampire Academy though and Rose and Dimitri are my favorites. I do get what you are saying and I agree. I think a ‘love triangle’ label is attached to anything these days with 3 people who may fit the very general idea of it. I mean I looked this up a long time ago but the requirements for a true love triangle are 2 guys/girls who are in love with the same girl/guy and said girl/guy is in love with BOTH guys/girls. Which as much as I do love Twilight I never really understood the classification since she never really loved Jacob, sure she realizes she likes him but her love never wavers. Anyways back to what I was saying, so books where the girl loves one then has to move on for whatever reason and finds someone else (like Vampire Academy) then dude man #1 comes back into play that I totally get and wow do I love it. Because for me it’s all about the main character. I can love both guys and I can see how she loves them both. It seems real, like their feelings for both are true and genuine. Loving one doesn’t lessen her feelings for the other, which if you love one and fall for someone else is sorta how I think of it.

    So there you have my thoughts. I love your post. Fun stuff I haven’t read the Georgia books yet but they are on my list. Now with all that being said I still enjoy a good book weather it has a love triangle or not.
    Eve recently posted: The Raven Boys­ TrailerMy Profile

  • I love me some triangles. But you’re right. Vampire Academy, but what different lovers at different points in a person’s life. Makes sense. And it fit the story, too! Nicely done!! :)
    Lynn Rush recently posted: Tweet-FestMy Profile

    • I don’t dislike love triangles, what I dislike is a whiny heroine who spends half the book(s) wondering who she loves more or with whom she should end up.
      I certainly loved many books with love triangles, though that wasn’t the main reason I like them ;)

  • I both agree and disagree with this post. Vague, huh? ;-)

    let me explain: First of all, I’m a completely unashamed fan of love triangles. And a sucker for ALL paranormal love triangles. Of course, I’ve always been a bit boy crazy, and never had a love triangle of my own, so maybe I’m living vicariously through fictional friends. LOL! Is that weird? Don’t answer that.

    My first novel, EVER, has a HUGE love triangle, and is full of angst. But, for me, that angst is a HUGE part of the story. (And I can’t imagine having a teenage girl – real or fictional – with her heart torn between two guys *not* having a ton of angst.) I think people will see it both ways when they read it. EVER is both two different relationships at different times AND a love triangle because of the MC’s torn feelings.

    I dunno. I’m not going to bash on anyone’s choices – love triangle included or not. I think we as writers need to just support everyone for writing at all. Especially because so many people *want* to write but never do. I see sooooooo many writers talking about what is good, and what is bad, and what is cliche, and what is not, and blah blah blah. I say write the story in your heart – even if it has every cliche in the book.

    Write what makes YOU happy.

    PS. I’d choose Damon ANY DAY. ;-)
    Jessa Russo recently posted: #MotivationMonday Flash Fiction Challenge – My EntryMy Profile

    • I’m not trying to bash anyone’s choice, I’m just trying to explain my point of view and to find out what are everyone’s point of view on the matter.
      I think that, because I chose a side before the heroine, I get a little mad at her for being so undecided! But I did read tons of love triangles and will certainly keep read them. I love Michelle Rowen and she’s a fierce adept of love triangles.
      What I’m trying to say here is that, in my worthless opinion, the love triangle shouldn’t be the main part of the story, but rather a complication of a much complex plot.
      PS: good, this way you stay with Damon, and I stay with Stefan. See, no fights ;)

  • I’ve thought about this a lot, and I think if the love triangle serves an important purpose in your book apart from just causing angst then go right ahead. I like what the tweet above said–very true! Mrs. Silverstein (a blog friend) left a comment on my blog that was inspired by a post Carrie Ryan wrote. She said that it’s not so much about the MC choosing between two guys, it’s the MC choosing what life she wants and who she wants to be. That’s not to say that the dude she picks will determine how her life will go (she should be stronger than that), but it’s more like picking a partner on the journey that she’s choosing. I’m not sure if that makes sense or not. All that said, I don’t think that the love triangle should be the focal point of the story. One final thought on this: both of the options should be viable. I hate when a love triangle just isn’t believable.
    Jaime Morrow recently posted: RTW: Dream Writing RetreatMy Profile

  • I love the Vampire Diaries (as i’m sure you know)!!! I am in the process of reading the books, although I DO prefer the tv series over the novels, as well. I always like the author who can look beyond the standard Twilight love triangle…heroines should have a little more to worry about than mere men alone (although I like Twilight and I’m not complaining about Taylor Lautner’s swoonworthiness or anything). I read through The Vampire Academy so quickly – man, those books were amazing. Rose is was an outstanding protagonist in terms of development. She could handle herself – with or without her love interest.
    Summer Lane recently posted: Pitch the Perfect Novel to Me, Please!My Profile

  • Huh, I haven´t watched Vampire Diaries (nor have I read the books) –> Shame on me I know :D
    Now onto the topic at hand. In my first WiP there was a love triangle which I ended up taking out because well it wasn´t really a love triangle since the girl pretty much knew she didn´t love the guy. However, their relationship is still part of the main plot but for different reasons.
    For my second WiP, there probably will be two boys but I am not sure it will be a triangle in the pure sense of the term.
    However, what I know is that I don´t mind love triangles as long as they work. And they work when they´re not forced upon the reader by being forced upon the MC. Kind of like, here see hot guy 1…well let me introduce you to hot guy 2 and please get confused.
    Yep doesn´t work for me. But if the reasons behind her confusion make sense and I can feel it then I´m more than ok with a love triangle.
    Hmm :D hope it makes sense. Nice post, Juliana!
    Elodie recently posted: Falling in love with Cape Cod and…Isaiah Jones Bed and BreakfastMy Profile

  • I love The Vampire Diaries. Guilty pleasure. :) I read the books too, well, the first four, but I wasn’t so keen either.

    I would say if you were going to have a love triangle, don’t make it the focus of the plot. It gets in the way. Like, at the moment, it’s getting in the way of The Hunger Games or the last season of The Vampire Diaries. It was getting to a point when even Klaus was going on about Elena choosing.

    I’m not a fan personally so I probably wouldn’t include one in any of my novels. Multiple crushes, fine. We all have a few guys or girls that we think is hot.

    As for choosing between Stefan and Damon… can I ignore them and pick Alaric? I don’t think I’d want to get into that messy vampire romance. XD
    Robin Moran recently posted: Road Trip Wednesday – A Writer AwayMy Profile

  • I just want to say it here, too — I HATE SETH.
    Bailey recently posted: Two links, a video, & a song — all for youMy Profile

  • Thanks for the shoutout. ^_^

    But much more importantly, I like your analysis. I’d never given the love triangle thing much thought until you asked about it on Twitter – I tend to like seeing characters get together, especially if it’s a rough road, but it’s different when there’s more than two involved. And I really like the idea of someone having different relationships over the course of their stories, especially if the older ones come back to haunt them. That just sounds like fun. …not that I’d break up my book’s main couple for anything, but still.

    Starting to have more than a few thoughts on this of my own; might have to do an entry about love triangles myself. Thanks for the inspiration. ^_^
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted: Girls and BoysMy Profile

  • I do enjoy a good love triangle…but I’m with you. I hate when the characters involved flop back and forth…and back and forth…etc, etc…ad nauseam. If there’s a reason behind, for example the heroine cannot (note…can not, instead of will not) be with her true love and another tries to move in, then I’m game. At least for awhile. Some authors drag it out too much, which becomes frustrating for me as a reader. Finding that perfect tension level makes a story a page turner!
    Nadja Notariani recently posted: Summer Abandon, Tall Fences, And Naval Academy AdventuesMy Profile

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