The love triangle is such a complicated part of a story that authors can easily mess up. And let’s be honest, a lot of authors screw this up. So let’s start with the definition of a love triangle from Urban Dictionary, which I feel is most appropriate.
When two people both love a third person, and that third often loves them both. The object of their love may be conflicted as to whom he/she wants, and generally nobody emerges from these very happy. Love Triangles, as it is widely agreed, really f**** suck.
In most parts, I don’t have an issue with love triangles but they are being over used in almost all stories and it is the same scheme. For instance, the girl is in love with the newbie but her male best friend is the one that love her the most and she leads him on because she really doesn’t want to break his heart because she really doesn’t love him like that anymore. This is done in the reverse, with wolves and vampires, humans and fairies whatever the author feels like creating.
The love triangle doesn’t need to be predictable if you are going to use it. Nor does the girl, boy or whatever creature being used need to experience insta love or do they need to have the worst personalities to be found on earth. The worst personalities include: no personality, I get everything I want and will continue to do so personality, my parents are dead/hate me/ don’t care about me and I hate the world but not really personality etc. . . . I can go on and on about this. But I won’t.
No every book requires a love triangle to make it interesting. The best friends can be together without a dark stranger showing up out the blue. The protagonist can choose the new person, without feeling guilt or the protagonist doesn’t have to choose anyone and go about their merry way.
As stated before this issue isn’t the love triangle itself but more so how it is done. Crap happens and sometimes (although it may be rare as a teenager) you fall for more than one person. The best way to do a love triangle is to not do it. If you are on a writing path of the protagonist having to choose between two people who are completely polar opposites, then stop. Please let it go.
I do not need another three part book over someone who cannot make up their mind and enjoys leading people on.
BUT in the event that you still do it anyway, give your characters some substance . . . please.