Tired of one girl being torn between two young men in your typical YA love triangle? The love triangle might not be going anywhere, but it can certainly be resolved more creatively. Here are some suggestions.
A popular YA trope that is commonly voted “trope that most needs to die” is the love triangle.
The standard love triangle involves a young woman choosing between two young men, both of whom are yummy and interested in her, and both of whom she gets warm squishies over.
Yes, the typical love triangle is all about female indecisiveness.
Pause for a massive sigh.
There are a limited number of standard outcomes to a love triangle situation:
The young woman gets her act together and picks one. Boring.
One of the two young men dies, leaving the young woman with only one option. Problem solved.
But we’re writers. We should be able to think more creatively about how to resolve these most vexatious situations. I have some alternative suggestions.
The young woman gets her act together, realises she’s better off without a man, especially considering she’s only sixteen and should really be focussing on her maths assignment, and picks neither.
The young woman dies, leaving the two young men bereft and probably the best of friends.
The young woman chooses one, they enjoy each other’s company, then that one dies and the young woman switches to the other. Everyone’s a winner. Except for the guy who is dead, but he got the girl first so he’s probably at least half okay with that.
Everyone dies, dragons take over the earth and rule much more sensibly with never another love triangle in sight.
One of the young men turns out to be the villain, so the young woman couldn’t possibly choose him (or possibly definitely does choose him).
One of the young men turns out to be an alien and thus sexually incompatible with the young woman. She is sad for a while, but fortunately she has a back-up love interest, so all is well in the end.
The two young men turn out to be bisexual or homosexual and they end up together, leaving the indecisive girl alone (as she deserves for messing them around so much). The two men bond over the girl’s terrible treatment of them.
The young woman turns out to be an alien and she eats both young men in order to get the strength to lay her eggs that will soon hatch and take over the earth.
One of the young men loses his body, but fortunately his soul is spared and transferred into the body of the other young man, to share with its original inhabitant. The young woman then gets to be with both of them. Score!
The young woman decides to throw out society’s rules and be with both young men. Polygamy!
The young woman rewrites society’s laws so she can be with both young men. They’re fine with this because she has become really freaking powerful.
One of the young men turns out to be the young woman’s long lost brother, so she can’t be with him. Lucky for his rival.
The young woman visits the Great Cat for advice on which young man to choose, and spends the rest of eternity opening tins of tuna. The two young men find worthy partners elsewhere and live happily ever after.
The young woman’s long lost twin sister reappears and one of the young men falls in love with her because she’s almost exactly the same. The original young woman goes with the other guy.
Giant killer aardvarks.
The zombie apocalypse occurs and both young men gnaw on the girl’s arms.
One of the young men is recruited to guard the underworld. Because his work now keeps him away from the young women for such long hours, she picks the other one.
The young woman goes to law school and falls for a sexy lawyer.
The young woman’s parents arrange for her to marry a nice young man with an accent from her own culture and they are very happy together. The two love interests cripple each other in a bar fight.
Out of jealousy, one of the young men kills the other one. He is caught and ends up in jail for life, and the young woman marries a nice school teacher.
The young woman realises what she thought was reality was only a simulation, and neither of the young men exist.
Or the good old classic: it was all a dream.
Okay, don’t use that one.
I hope this post has given you some ideas on more creative resolutions to love triangles. Or maybe we could not write them in the first place… but that might be asking too much.
This post was inspired by Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
How do you feel about love triangles in YA? Any suggestions on more creative ways they might end?
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