What is a love triangle?

I do not own this image it was taken from the internet.

I have recently been inform by a very knowledgeable source (my cousin) that I do not understand the definition of a love triangle and I am misinformed about what a love triangle is. This conversation came about as we were talking about Mockingjay Part 1. If you haven’t seen it then you are missing out and stop reading this blog post as it may spoil it for you.

The official definition (according to Wikipedia) of a love triangle is “A love 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”.

For me this means if the main character likes more than 1 person that is a love triangle. Also if the main character knows someone likes them and encourages them or atleast does not inform them that they are not interested in the same way as they are interested in someone else that to me is a love triangle.

I brought up the point I was angry that Katniss kisses Gale in Mockingjay while spending all of the film wanting Peeta back. I personally think that was not fair on either Peeta or Gale as she was encouraging Gale by kissing him while also wanting Peeta. So this to me is a love triangle. My cousin’s argument was that Katniss is not committed to either Gale or Peeta and has not declared her love to either so it is not a love triangle. She is not encouraging either as she herself does not know she is in love. I can see the point that my cousin was trying to make however I would still class this as a love triangle as Katniss knows how Peeta feels and must have an idea about how Gale feels too but she is still undecided between the two.

The relationship between Bella, Edward and Jacob cannot be called anything other than a love triangle because Bella declares her love for both characters, however does say she loves one more than the other. These kind of triangles are the bane of my existence, I avoid book that have these kind of love triangles in.

Now if a book has a main character in who is in a relationship, married or otherwise as long as they are in a committed relationship and they then find someone else or get with some else while in that relationship (but are unsure of who they want) I would not refer to this as a love triangle, because that is cheating. I am going to a entire separate post on cheating as I recently watched The Crucible play and so have some thoughts that apply to books too about it.

The grey area of love is if a person has not committed to someone and knows they like one person but does not stop interest from another character then is this a love triangle? So the overall question is what is the definition of a love triangle?


20 thoughts on “What is a love triangle?

  1. This is really interesting! The King Arthur legend is (at least to my understanding) what people refer to as classical love triangle, so this would be cheating and not a love triangle then right?
    I’m so totally with you as regards books with live triangles – I avoid them.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ok I have another one (been pondering about the topic all day): Gone with the wind. Rhett is into Scarlett, Scarlett is into Ashley (and into Rhett which she realises far too late!). Is this a love triangle? She is not cheating on Rhett physically but emotionally…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh that’s a hard one. I haven’t read the book (please don’t hate me lol). I think it depends, personally from what you said it is a love triangle as she is ‘into’ two characters (even if it is a late development). ummmm emotionally cheating is a grey area as if someone thinks about cheating but doesn’t act on it then they haven’t actually cheated have they? Don’t know if that makes any sense lol 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post, I skimmed over some of it since I have not seen mockingjay part 1. I think there’s lots of different types of love triangles, unrequited love, girl cannot make up her mind, it makes it interesting, no point in having them all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to agree with you about Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. Even though Katniss hasn’t fully committed herself to either male character, she clearly feels something for both of them. That’s all you really need to have a love triangle: a character’s personal recognition (whether public or private) that he/she likes or is in love with more than one person. If the character acknowledges it either way, the reader knows as well – and that admission to the reader / audience is the most important part.

    Other than that… yeah, I’m with you and Sophie. I’ve read about enough love triangles that I’m tired of them now.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve never actually realised that a lot of the relationships I refer to as love triangles were in fact cheating, which is SUCH a great point! I think, in that case, a love triangle is where one person has feelings for two other people who have those feelings back BUT this is person is not in a relationship with either of them? It’s definitely a confusing question, but an interesting one

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great post! I wish we could abolish ALL love triangles! They’ve gone beyond annoying and it usually winds up making me really dislike the character who can’t make up their mind. The whole Bella/Jacob/Edward thing ruined the Twilight books for me. I’m a little more willing to cut Katniss some slack because except for indeciveness regarding Peers and Gale in Mockingjay I really liked the strength of her character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I agree The Peeta and Gale one is not too bad but I hated the one in Twlight. Mostly the love triangles are just put into books to make some drama now, I wished they were just left out 🙂


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