A common theme for many romance novels is that they use characters being torn between two people at the same time. A good example to describe a love triangle would be the relationships between King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and first knight Sir Lancelot. Both men love Guinevere; her confused heart loves both men back. In real life, we certainly don't look forward to situations such as this; it never makes for a happy or healthy home. However, in books readers crave excitement and unexpected twists. The love triangle is a device that provides tension, causes drama, and adds spice to whatever other plots might be present.
Let's talk about some reasons why authors use ‘love triangles’ in a romance story.
Why have the characters compete against each other for love?
Good romance stories often use conflicts and overcoming obstacles to keep their readers in suspense. Inserting a love triangle is an easy way to complicate the relationship without sacrificing the romance. The indecision of the character in question could have your readers connect with the story and the events taking place. It's much more than just a story when readers find themselves emotionally invested in the character's choices and what will happen to them because of those choices.
Why does someone become more attractive once they are unavailable?
For some reason there are people who find others more desirable or attractive when someone else is already taken. It could be that the ‘chase’ is what they find most desirable. People want what they cannot have. They sometimes don't notice what has been under their eyes the entire time until someone else points it out. It's like when stock goes up, suddenly everyone wants a share. Since this often happens in reality, it seems natural when it happens in story, making it easy for the readers to relate to both sides of the coin.
How do you resolve a ‘love triangle'?
If characters are involved in a love triangle, obviously someone's feelings have to change. Your readers are going to want a resolution to the problems occurring. If the story stays the same and you end the story with the character still uncertain of who to choose, then there's no real progression. You can't build the readers expectations up and then never satisfy them with a proper conclusion. They won't be pleased with the outcome. As your story progresses, the readers could change their opinions about who they want the character to be with romantically. If you are the writer and are in doubt about how to resolve the triangle, then you may want to let the characters’ interactions lead you to the surprise ending! We may not welcome indecision when it comes to love in real life, but it's easy to realize why we welcome them in stories.
Lexi is an author on http://www.Writing.Com which is a site for Creative Writing .