You can’t see my rolling my eyes, but let me assure you – I am. Love triangles are not awesome. Not in real life, not in fiction. What began as an obnoxious plot device limited to a handful of titles has become the prerequisite element of WAY TOO MANY romance novels, of every sub-genre. For those of you that love them, there are hundreds now to choose from. For those of you that don’t, you should appreciate the following list of reasons (I believe) they blow.
1. Rarely is the love triangle pure. By that I mean we always knew Bella wasn’t going to end up with Jake. He was her back up, when Edward wasn’t paying enough attention to her. Sound cruel and judgmental? Well, it is. In The Mortal Instruments, Simon was never a realistic love interest for our MC. She never had the hots for him. From the beginning, he was her friend – and that’s how he remained even when the author tried to create tension with a division of affection. Realistically, the third wheel provides nothing more than a reason for the true hero to show jealousy, thereby proving his utter devotion to the heroine.
2. Most love triangles involve one girl and two guys, so that’s the assumption I’m using for my examples. The third wheel (let’s be realistic, that’s what he is) is treated horribly, most of the time. He IS in love with the girl, and suffers horribly for it – holding on to a foolish hope that the real hottie will somehow screw up so much that he can luck into a rebound relationship with someone who doesn’t really want him. I feel for you, Jake, Simon, and every other guy pining for the girl who doesn’t deserve you.
3. The girl involved in these stories becomes unlikeable, quickly. She wants one guy, but keeps the other hanging around because he makes her feel better about herself. She begins to be viewed by readers as selfish and cruel…which is what she is. I hate to keep referencing Twilight, but come on! Bella knew Jake was in love with her, knew well that she valued him only as a friend, but wouldn’t say goodbye in spite of the fact that it was the kindest action for all those involved – including Edward, who suffered for watching the relationship.
That’s all for now. I may, in the future, revisit this topic. It regularly makes me ill, and I like to keep people informed…