Let’s Talk About Love Triangles

Is it just me, or is it not YA if it doesn’t have a love triangle (or rectangle, or trapezoid if you’re Cassandra Clare)?

I think the first successful love triangle that sparked this whole theme was The Hunger Games trilogy. Since then, almost every YA novel I’ve read has had some version of this. And quite frankly, I’m getting tired of it.

Very few times does it work in favor of the story. Usually it’s just to add tension. But writers, let’s not get lazy. There are other ways to add tension than make the main character have feelings for multiple boys or girls or both with opposing characteristics.

Oh, he’s so sensitive and really understands me. But he’s a rebel and pulls me out of my comfort zone.

Why do we have to define our characters by their relationships when we fight against this so hard in real life? Can’t the main guy or gal go through their story fueled by something else?

Believe me, I’m not downplaying love at all. Love is wonderful. I’m married and I absolutely adore my husband.

But I also didn’t have a boyfriend the first 20-something years of my life and I survived. Quite well, actually. Because you know what I was driven by?

Myself.

My dreams. My goals. My passions.

Can’t our characters have those, too? And can’t they be inspired by something other than a significant other?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just crazy. Anyone else out there feel this way?

~Taylor

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Love Triangles”

  1. OMG you’re so true.
    Love doesn’t have to always be present at the age of 16 or 17 …
    Some love triangles are really boring, I hated the one in the selection series (was that the name of the series?) , super tiring. In one chapter she’s into a guy, after 5 secs she’s into the other.
    However, in Firebird series for example, Marguerite had her little time of confusion but then she knew who she loved. In this series, i think the love triangle was so right, it would have been so awkward without it (because of what was happening in Marguerite’s life and all the bla bla bla that you’d understand if you read the books. Even if you didn’t you might have a little (or big) idea about what I am talking about.
    But authors need to slow down with this whole love triangle craziness, I can’t even like a dud for 1sec, how can those characters love 2 people for so long!!!!

    Like

    1. Hahaha I totally get it! Sometimes it works with the story, but most of the time it’s totally not necessary. And to me, it just perpetuates the flighty female stereotype. I appreciate the way Cassandra Clare does her love triangles, even if they can get a little overwhelming. Very few times are her characters genuinely confused. They’re usually trying to “un-love” someone or trying to protect the other person. But 9 times out of 10, I can do without the love triangle haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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