Appeal of Love Triangles
It seems like nearly every story I read has a love triangle of some sort within it. Reading story upon story of girl likes boy and boy got me thinking: why are these stories so appealing? Could it be that both readers and writers are using them to fill a void in their lives? Does the secrecy and betrayal spark a fire within those who come in contact with them?
In order to answer some of these questions, I focused on one of the most popular love triangles of my generation: Edward versus Jacob. I talked to many fans of the Twilight saga and asked what they liked about it. Needless to say, all of their answers were different, but they did have one thing in common: every fan had picked a side.
My discovery made me realize a few reasons why fans enjoy love triangles. The more characters there are to choose from, the more likely an audience is to find one they like. If the fans didn’t like Edward, there was always Jacob to fall back on. If they didn’t like Peeta, there was Gale. If they hated Stefan, there was Damon. There is always another character to love, and that allows the stories to attract more readers.
A lot of people live vicariously through the stories they read and write. Love triangles make this more appealing because most people would like to have others fighting for their love. The love triangles make the stories more dramatic and keep things interesting. A lot of people say their favorite scenes in Twilight are the ones where Edward and Jacob are fighting over Bella. And, who doesn’t like to think about Gale staring longingly at television screen back in District 12?
Every reader has their own reason for enjoying love triangles. Whether or not writers understand those reasons is another matter. Either way, love triangles work!