Love triangles and love Vs come in all sizes and colors. Some are sloppy and generic, while others are painfully inquisitive of the human condition.
Let me backtrack and use the good ol’ ABCs to explain. When A likes B, but B likes C, and C likes A…that’s a love triangle (and it can get more complicated). When A likes B and C, and they both reciprocate those feelings…that’s a love V. You’ve probably come across more Vs than triangles.
I’m 99.4367512788% done with the whole lot of them, especially the Vs.
That’s right, I’m anti-love-V.
IT’S TRUE! Love Vs are overused and too many writers don’t do them justice.
Don’t shoot me just yet. Let me break down my thoughts about these pesky cockroaches.
1. Most love Vs seem to be sloppy plot devices
- Extra drama that doesn’t develop the characters or plot
- Contrived and implausible conflicts tacked on to make the MCs seem more desirable
- Generic formula: Plain and normal Jane — who’s crumbling around the edges because she doesn’t know how amazing she is — meets flawed and dangerous Mr. Gorgeous — who’s desperately lonely yet could never be held down until Jane’s innocence or mystery came along.
- BUT WAIT! Jane’s lackluster or jerky boyfriend, or her BFF who’s been secretly yet obviously crushing on her, keeps getting in the way of Jane and Mr. Gorgeous sealing the deal. Poor Jane doesn’t know where to lay her wishwashy heart.
- OR! The witty, cute Underdog moves somewhere and has to fix something. But that’s not all, folks! He gets the added bonus of two girls flocking to him: one smarty pants and one take-me-now
2. Love Vs can damage your character’s character if not handled correctly
- Characters start losing focus and acting way out of character. They soon resemble that other guy from that other book. Bye, bye, uniqueness.
- The female MC ends up needing a man to help fashion her identity (even the Hunger Games is guilty of this)
- The “bad boy” suddenly stops doing “bad things” for the sake of his love; he was just misunderstood, not “bad”
- The indecisive characters “stuck in the middle” seem flaky and untrustworthy
- It isn’t cute that they never mature enough to take control of their lives or responsibility for the damage they’ve caused.
- Guilt is underplayed or nonexistent. That isn’t play dough you’re tearing apart, that’s a heart.
- Serious jealousy isn’t attractive as it’s more about insecurities than passion or playfulness. Love Vs guarantee insecurities coming out in the ugliest ways.
- The character’s tangled emotions don’t excuse their infidelity. Nothing excuses physical or emotional infidelity!
- I wasn’t going to call out anymore characters, but Elena from Vampire Diaries, aka Brother-hopper. You nearly ruined their brotherhood. At least Katherine was upfront about wanting both brothers; and for the most part, she didn’t cry about it.
3. Love Vs typically get dragged out.
- Love Vs are usually tacky
- It’s even more depressing when it’s obvious who the “winner” will be. Why does it take the MC a whole book or series to figure it out? Don’t tell me it’s just because!
4. Love Vs lessen my sympathy
- If only both “options” would leave the MC more often.
- The MCs can’t make up their minds, but they get mad or hurt if their “options” pull away, give them less attention, or mess around with other love interests of their own
5. These relationships are being built on shifting sands rather than a sturdy rock.
6. Still no excuse
- Love CAN BE complicated, but why not admit it’s mostly that way because the individuals involved are making it that way. They keep breathing on the fire, wondering why it’s growing.
- They choose to give into their desires, then they say sorry and feel bad for the umpteenth time. Just tell the truth, you human, you want your cake, the ice-cream, and the cookies, too.
7. Love Vs aren’t the kind of love I’d wish for anyone.
- I invest and put all my feels into a couple, only to feel vulnerable and defensive every time the character’s by the other love interest.
- Then I’m supposed to root for “my guy” to win? Why would I want “my choice” to be with such a flaky, disloyal person? To go through love like it’s a freakin’ game? I wouldn’t accept that myself, because I know I deserve and can have a more substantial love. So I wouldn’t root for someone else to chain themselves to such a Titanic.
8. The “loser” of the love V typically becomes a heartless jerk or dies
- A cop out ending. I see through you, writer.
BUT, like I said, there are some books that do go about love Vs in a productive and inquisitive way. Supposedly, “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver is a good example.
I can’t think of anymore right now, but there has to be. That’s where you can help me and other viewers. Tell us your perspective of love Vs and guide us to books that do them justice.
More of this: