5 Alternate Takes on YA Love Triangles

love triangles

Most of us loathe the dreaded love triangle, which appears particularly prevalent in YA fiction. Inspired by some discussions I’ve seen on Twitter this week, here are my top 5 alternate takes on a love triangle that would make it much more palatable to me!

1. The boy is the one in the middle for a change. Ah, the agony of his feels as he is forced to choose between the mysterious new girl and his attractive childhood best friend… *snorts*

2. A love triangle when one of the suitors is like “You know what? I’m out.” They get tired of being strung along, and decide that if the MC is not going to make a decision, then they’re bowing out for their own self-preservation.

3. LGBQTA protagonists in the dreaded triangle of lurve. For instance, a bi girl torn between a princess who runs a secret spy ring and a dashing knight with a tragic backstory! Yeahhhh! Authors, there’s a whole damn alphabet at your disposal.

4. A … one sided triangle? That doesn’t sound right! (Mathematically, that would just be a line!) I’m referring to instances where it’s not two people in love with the same person, but person X in love with person Y who doesn’t return X’s feelings and is actually in serious feels for person Z. Capiche?

5. And, my favourite scenario of all: the two competing dudes realize that all their posturing and growling at each other for the heroine’s attention is ACTUALLY to hide the fact that they like each other very very much so they shack up and become happy gay farmers while the heroine goes on to slay dragons and conquer the world, single and damn happy about it, thank you very much.


All three of the protagonists decide to screw society’s expectations, and form a very happy, very supportive polyamorous relationship. WOOT!

What about you, lovely readers? Any other configurations you think I should have included?

27 thoughts on “5 Alternate Takes on YA Love Triangles

  1. The happy gay farmers scenario has occurred to me too. Though it was singing lumberjacks in my version ;) Have a great weekend!


  2. What a fun post! I would love to read number 5 in a book hahaha. I think I might have seen it in a yaoi manga once XD


  3. I’d like option #5, please. :D What about the two people who like each other, but they each love another? What about that one? *coughsemberintheashescoughs*


  4. BAHAHAHA. Hannah, this post totally made my day! XD #2–Hell yes. Every time I read about love triangles, I imagine what I would do in those situations. I’d definitely quit. #5–YES. Bonus–I love this one! It’s totally possible in real life, too.


    1. Aw, thank you so much! I had a lot of fun imagining up different scenarios. Maybe someday we’ll see them in a book or two?


  5. I totally love everything here except 1, because even if the roles were reversed, it’s just the same :P But seriously number 2 to the bonus… YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! And I love it when the two love interests like the heroine but are not so showy about it and the heroine is clueless about their feelings and therefore has no romantic feelings for them at the start:) Or they don’t say it outright… the story goes on and they just interject gestures here and there. It makes my heart pound more!

    Faye at The Social Potato


    1. Ha yes, you’re totally right, it would be exactly the same – but I haven’t yet seen a boy torn between two ladies, so hopefully the thought process would be interesting. Love your suggestions – there are so many ways authors could create interesting and nuanced love triangles!


  6. A … one sided triangle? That doesn’t sound right! (Mathematically, that would just be a line!) -You said

    Really?!?!? I snorted milk out of my nose HAHAHAHHAA I loooove this post!


  7. Pingback: Weekly Recap #12: Going Back Home (With Books) | Deadly Darlings
  8. This is a great post.

    I don’t mind love triangles, but that could be because I don’t read a ton of YA. But I would LOVE to see scenarios 1 and 5, especially 5! If you ever read a book that includes that, I hope you’ll let us know! :)



    1. Haha, if I ever encounter a book that does scenario #5, I WILL SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  9. Haha, all of these! I would read these and love them at the drop of a hat!

    I think a love triangle where one character realises they’re not into it… I mean i guess it’s a version of #2 to a degree but, like, idk I would love more mistakes… more realisations that they’re just good friends and it doesn’t work romanitcally and that’s okay.


    1. Thank you!

      Yup, I totally agree that we need more scenarios where people think they have lurve feelings, but it turns out to just be friendly affection, and that they are better off as friends. Learning from mistakes is part of life.


  10. The Bonus is what my dreams are made of! More triads please!!! I’ve only read one in YA, but a few in Adult.

    Yes, for the boys choosing each other! That would be awesome! All of this tension between the three of them leads to longing glances instead of glares, lingering touches instead of punches! *my heart*


    1. Totally! I think there’s so much that could be done to make love triangles more interesting instead of choosing the same old typical fare. Love your suggestions!


    1. Why thank you! Quite frankly, I’m happy to see any kind of variation on the standard love triangle fare these days.


  11. #5 would be so amazing. I would just love some new geometry. If I have to read one more book about a girl torn between a childhood friend who’s in love with her and a Mysterious Brooding New Guy, I’ll lose it.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics


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