Saturday, January 26, 2019

Love is Not a Triangle by Connie Vines

A love triangle: (also called a romantic love triangle or a romance triangle) is usually a romantic relationship involving three people. While it can refer to two people independently romantically linked with a third, it usually implies that each of the three people has some kind of relationship to the other two.       🔺

I don’t like love triangles. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been in one, but I find it difficult to believe that a character cannot decide between two love interests.   I also find it extremely difficult to finish a novel featuring a love triangle.

Yes, I am aware love triangles are all over literature. I’ve heard them described as: complex, dramatic, and wildly unpredictable.  The uncertainties and decision-making that plagues characters in these stories often parallel our own circumstances and fears. 

Three love triangles that have made impressions on many readers everywhere.

1. Gone with the Wind: Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler, Ashley Wilkes.

 The relationship between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with The Wind is considered, by some readers and viewers of the adaptation, an epitome of a classic romance. Others, on the other hand, may consider the relationship between O’Hara and Butler a classic example of an abusive relationship (quadrilateral if you count Melanie Hamilton).

 2.  The Great Gatsby: Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan

If there is one literary love affair that could possibly rival O’Hara and Butler’s tumultuous relationship, it just may be that of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. The smitten Mr. Jay Gatsby may be considered the world’s biggest romantic or stalker depending on your take.  (This was a required read my Freshman year in High School which is probably the only reason I read the entire novel.)

3. Wuthering Heights: Heathcliff, Catherine, Edgar

In a discussion of love triangles, where would we be without mentioning Wuthering Heights. Like Jay Gatsby, Heathcliff’s obsessive love has a strong hold over him, ultimately driving his over-arching desires throughout the story and proving to have a substantial impact on not only him, but everyone else around him.

Considered a tortured romantic soul, Heathcliff has lived his life deeply in love with his childhood friend Catherine who, to his revulsion, is torn between her shared desire for him and her desires for another.  (This novel, also a required read, caused me to have a nightmare.)


1. Casablanca
2. Gone with the Wind
3. Legends of the Fall

I must confess, I can watch Casablanca.  The movie is very political and the love triangle is not at the forefront of the novel.

Are you thinking, "How can she not enjoy a good love triangle?"

Remember, it's all subjective.  Read what you love to read!

As for me, if there's going to be romance, let it be between just two people. Then if there's angst, it can be worked out

As all romance readers and writers know. love conquers all!

Happy Reading,

Connie Vines


  1. Connie, I’m with you on the love triangles. I get impatient with dithering between two love interests. And, truly, it IS dithering or just plain mean to leave a person hanging. So I guess that’s why Wuthering Heights left me cold and Scarlett seemed like a childish chit to me.

  2. And in Casablanca they thought her husband was dead when they fell in love inParis so when they meet again it is truly painful and in the end Ilsa makes the only choice she can. sad as it was...

  3. I read a great historical love triangle years ago. She thought her sailing captin dead and married his best friend, who was also her best friend, only to have the husband return. Each of them were admirable men who suffered greatly with the love and loss, and angst. As a writer, I admire how the author pulled it off. I don't enjoy the premise as a weak plot device. Anyone else read that book btw? It might have been laVyrle Spencer. I should give it another read.

  4. It's nice to read your take on this, Connie. I've never thought that the love triangle trope was truly about love. To me, it's more of a protagonist's exploration between who she is and who she thinks she should be (usually as defined by society.) The love interests reflect both sides of that inner debate.

    I suspect that's why love triangles are particularly popular in the YA genre. Young adulthood is naturally prone to self-reflection and struggling to transition from childhood to adulthood.

  5. I'll admit to not being a fan of the love triangle. I think it has less to do with love for both men as it has to do with a conflict between what a woman's heart wants and what her brain tells her is the logical choice.


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