As readers we have favorite tropes and others we don’t really care for. And so many that fall somewhere in between the love & dislikes. Love triangles is one of those tropes that swings closer to the love end of the reading spectrum for me. I'm a give me ALL THE ANGST type of gal! And you know triangles are angst filled.
That was until recently. I read a book a few months back that prompted me to think more closely at the trope. I’ve read so many love triangle stories, a few which left me heartbroken, but I always went back for more. But something happened this time. I started thinking about the triangle more closely because I wasn’t sure if the heroine was going to choose the guy *I* thought was best.
I know, that sounds ridiculous. First they are fictional characters. But that’s the thing about great stories. If they are great, you get sucked in and are emotionally invested in how it turns out. Second, even if they were real people how is it my business to dictate my preference. Like I said, yes I do see the ridiculousness in all of it.
But let’s set aside the ridiculous aspect. What is it about love triangles that brings about so many emotions? Is it the possibility of cheating? Is it because there is the *right* guy/girl? Is it the angst while the center person is stuck? Is there a clear choice and we are screaming at, usually the heroine, to WAKE UP and choose correctly? Is it love is all it's forms that sucks us in?
That's the things about the triangles - it usually shows an evolution of love somehow. Loving two people but figuring out how the feelings are different. How love changes over time. The dissolution if it's not nurtured.
We have front row seats to the struggle of making a decision. We watch how the center person is pulled in different directions, but ultimately must choose. The push and pull with each love interest. The uncertainty of where the story is heading? And so many times we are left wondering is it love, infatuation, or maybe even just something new. This is especially true when you have an existing relationship being rocked by a new person. It's human nature to be flattered by attention, but what happens when the pull is just too much?
And when it's all said and done, who is the right person? Some stories are very clear, and you know who the person should be. The one everyone is rooting for. Other times, there are shades of gray. Either could be a match, but somehow one makes just a tiny bit more sense. Those are the stories that leave you crushed. There is no clear answer so someone gets hurt. These are the stories that make me wonder why I place myself in the emotional wringer yet again. But I do.
And here I thought I loved this trope only because of the angst. But there is so much more. Are you a love triangle lover?