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Why I hate Love Triangles

August 16, 2012

Warning, spoilers ahead!!!!

I’m in the middle of Pure, the second book in the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. A love triangle is developing between the heroine Alex and two hunky guys Aidan and Seth. Now I’m a Seth fan but I don’t think things are going to end well there. So I’m little worried, I hate when the guy I’m rooting for doesn’t get the girl – it tends to ruin the story for me. Love triangles are extremely common in young adult novels but they drive me mad, especially when I’m invested in one couple and it doesn’t work out – the “wrong” guy gets the girl.

So why do I hate love triangles? It all started with the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility starring Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson. I watched this movie as a teenager and I fell in love with the young couple Marianne and Willoughby. If you are not familiar with Sense and Sensibility, it’s basically the tale of two sisters, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood. Here’s the synopsis.

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

Marianne and Willoughby were a wonderful couple. Willoughby was young and handsome and charming, and Marianne adored him. They had so much fun and were just perfect together. Col. Brandon the love rival, was older, smarter, dignified and a good man but come-on Willoughby was young and fun and handsome – see where my teenage heart was going here.  It didn’t help that Willoughby was played by the gorgeous Greg Wise.

Marianne and Willoughby (Copyright Columbia Pictures)

Willoughby (Copyright Columbia Pictures)


In the end, poor Marianne is let down by Willoughby, he broke her heart and mine. During the film, I kept waiting for Willoughby to come to his senses and realise that the love he felt for Marianne was more important than money but alas, this was a Jane Austen story not a modern historical romance, so it never happened. Instead Col. Brandon married Marianne, he was her knight in shining armour – he saved her from the rain!!! (Rain was extremely dangerous in Austen-land.) Anyways my point is I hate love triangles, even though Col. Brandon was the better man, I was a Willoughby fan and hence most bitterly disappointed with the ending of the story.

Col. Brandon and Marianne (Copyright Columbia Pictures)

Sense and Sensibility was not a traditional love triangle because Marianne never wanted Col. Brandon, she was all about Willoughby. But it started my hatred of stories where the girl ends up with who I think is the wrong guy.

Another love triangle that comes to mind is Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas. This contemporary romance featured a love triangle between Liberty Jones and the two men in her life, Hardy Cates and Gage Travis.

Sugar Daddy – Lisa Kleypas

Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas—if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty Jones is a complication he doesn’t need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them.

When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty finds herself under the spell of a billionaire tycoon—a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family’s past.

Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A woman you’ll root for every step of the way. A love story you’ll never forget.

Liberty chooses Gage but I preferred Hardy – I thought Liberty and Hardy were soul mates. And while I adored Sugar Daddy and could just about live with the ending, I never read the second book in the series which was Hardy’s story featuring a different heroine. I bought the book but to this day, it’s sits unopened on my bookshelf – I’ll concede that I’m a little bonkers.

I think the main reason I hate love triangles is how the author resolves the love triangle. In most cases I find that the author turns one of the potential love interests into a bad guy. Often, this behaviour is out of the blue and uncharacteristic. In both Sugar Daddy and Sense and Sensibility, the heroines are betrayed and let down by one of the guys. So the winner, wins by default. The heroine never chooses, instead one guy proves to be unworthy. I want the heroine to love and adore ONE guy and pick them. No dilly dallying between two fellas – make up your mind.

So, how do you feel about love triangles? Are you a fan?? Should I keep on reading Pure? Do I think too much about fictional characters? Are there any good love triangles? I’d be delighted to hear your opinion.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. LillyLilac permalink
    August 21, 2012 3:04 am

    I hate love triangles so much but I think my reasoning is slightly different then yours. I hate love triangles because it makes the girl in the middle seem really annoying and flighty which makes the whole love triangle seem weird because she’s some one can’t imagine anyone wanting to spend time with. I’ve never even heard of Pure before this post so I have no idea if you should keep reading it. No I think you think just the right anount about fictional characters. There’s one triangle I find pretty funny but I’m not sure if it would count as a love triangle because the person in the middle never had any romantic feelings for the people on the sides. I really liked your post it.

  2. August 21, 2012 8:32 am

    Thanks LillyLilac. 🙂 I agree with your point. The person in the middle often seem flighty. I especially hate when the middle continually swings between who they’ll choose.

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