Generally, I have to admit, they annoy me. I don’t mind when a girl is leaving a guy, or getting over a guy, or realizing a guy isn’t all that, and ends up falling for another. In cases like those, it’s not really a love triangle as much as it’s just life. People grow up, their eyes open, they grow apart, they move on (hopefully to bigger and better things).
What I hate is the idea that a girl can be desperately in love with two people at once. Where it can drag on for books, and books, and books. First, this is because I just do not believe a girl can love two people at once. She can love one and be attracted to another. She can lust them both. She can love one as a friend. She can be in the process of getting over someone she once loved while falling for someone new. But to me love is very much a choice. We can’t help who we’re attracted to, or who we initially “fall” for, and yet the decision to love them means choosing them above everyone else. It means, Bella, that even though your wolf buddy has a nice pack, maybe you’re just human (for now) and see what every other person in the world sees: nice abs. Or maybe not. But to be absolutely in love with two people? I say no way.
This is something that drives me bananas. The drawing out. The agony. The Who Will She Choose? The Which Boy is Better? I mean, does anyone you know really have these problems? Two insanely hot guys who want to fight over them? It’s not an issue I ever had or wanted. I like my love story with my one boy thankyouverymuch.
And then there are endings. I realize there is no way to please everyone and that an author has to be true to her heart, but there are certain characters who are just supposed to end up together. They go together. If Mia from The Princess Diaries series (SPOILER ALERT) had not ended up with Michael Moscovitz (Fake Man of My Dreams) and instead wound up with that dry cleaning fluid smelling corn hater JP, my world would have been broken. At least for a little while.
So what’s the best way to resolve a love triangle in your book? Some people kill off characters, which I feel is a major cop out. Some make one guy so utterly horrible that the MC would be an absolute crazypants for choosing anyone but the other guy (raising a couple of questions: 1. Was he always an a-hole and if so, why was she ever attracted to him? Or 2. Why did he suddenly change?). Then, some people just fall into step together without a choice, like Katniss and (SPOILER ALERT) Peeta (don’t even get me started on Gale’s craptastic ending. He turned into a war-hungry douche and I still preferred him). And there are the worst: The girls who get both guys. I’m referring to a trilogy that just concluded which will remain nameless. That ending inflamed me with total grumpiness because at the very least, she shouldn’t get both guys.
Recently, I read the finale to a series I loved. And it had an epic love triangle. I was very satisfied with the ending because it was very clear who the MC should be with. There was no question. For me, by the second book there was no doubt. But for so many I’ve spoken to that’s not the case. So did I like it because it went the way I wanted it to for my team? Maybe. Mostly I think it’s because the writer did a good job convincing me to love one guy over another. I’m willing to do that. I’m willing to fall in love with a different book character if the author convinces me. This happened in The Queen of Babble series by Meg Cabot (if you haven’t read them, do it. They’re adorable).
So really, what do I want? I guess I want love stories–even ones set in dystopic worlds, even ones with paranormal creatures, even ones with the most fantastical backdrops–to be more authentic. I want to see girls like Lenny in The Sky is Everywhere, who makes mistakes with one boy but clearly loves another. Or Aura from The Shade trilogy, who really loved her boyfriend–but he died. And she falls genuinely in love with someone else despite that pull she’ll always feel to her old boyfriend’s ghost. Or stories like Better Off Friends, where there’s only one boy (because even with one person, sometimes it takes time to get there). Those, typically, are my favorites.
I didn’t realize when I began this that I had so much to say. Whew! Thanks for listening!