I will preface this saying that I would love to see a YA novel where there is no love story between two main characters, or with none at all. Maybe with the side characters, but I really want to see a book that doesn’t have love as a main selling point of the novel.
No, not love triangles.
But more love interests. characters falling in love multiple times. Fall in love, heartbreak. move on. fall in love again, and the cycle repeats. I can count on like two fingers where I see the main character go through more than one love interest. Want to guess?
First one: Throne of Glass.
Second one: A Court of Thorns and Roses
There are possibly more, but my mind is crowded by all the OTPs that only had to fall in love once.
And I get some people shit on those books because of how some certain love interests became (which I understand since I can’t say I saw those wild personality switches happening), but I’ve seen others frustrated with the MC because “omg, why can’t they make up their mind?”
Christ, people. Those MCs are 19 – 21. Do you really expect them to find their soul mate that early?
Right now, within the first chapter you’re almost guaranteed to meet the protag’s love interest. And 99.9% of the time, that person is – gasp – their soul mate. Their true love. Their one and only. Their star in the dark sky, their lifeline in the drowning ocean.
But first loves are not the only love stories out there.
What about the ones who struggled to let go but had too, and eventually found someone who could heal their wounds? What about the ones who fell in love, but realized that they had grown and needed someone else? What about the ones who simply fell in love too quickly, too fast, and realized after that they weren’t the perfect match? Where are their stories?
I understand that perhaps multiple loves are not the most fairytale-esque stories, but god do I think they’re still amazing. There is something particularly romantic about going through so many people until you find The One, no?
I don’t want to bash or spit upon all those who found their soulmate in their first love. If you are, I congratulate you, and I admire you. I could only wish for that kind of fairytale. But I would like some variety in these stories of falling in love to show to people – yes, including teens like me – that if you had a fall-out with your first love, that you wonder if you’d ever fall in love again, you will. There will be someone out there for you, and it might take a little trial and error, but they’re there. And they will love you not like your first love, but your true love.
And I realize this is probably the cheesiest thing I’ve ever said, but I don’t regret it, not really. This is something I so desperately want, and I want a less of a negative view on it too. We get so spoiled by having authors give us the first love interest and keep them as their eternal ones that we have a knee-jerk reaction when we realize that’s not how it’s going to play out. I want this to change, please. Give me different love stories. Give me variety. Give me more love interests.
16 thoughts on “Give Me More than Just One Love Interest”
Rose from Vampire Academy dates Adrian and Dimitri. Sydney from Bloodlines dates another guy before she dates Adrian. I loved that these girls had more than one relationship, even if it mightn’t have been ‘love’.
Ah, that’s right! Thanks, Nemo, I had forgotten about those. And I agree, it really was a breath of fresh air to have them have more than one relationship.
Interestingly, I’d love to read more books with different love interests as well, not just the “first love” kind. I agree that it’s a bit more realistic, and it hasn’t been used much in books. Great post, Claudia!
Mara @ Mara Was Here recently posted…My Sister Rosa: This book is my kind of crazy
I’m grftaeul you made the post. It’s cleared the air for me.
en @Jack, Mijn opmerking was bedoeld ter verduidelijking en zeker niet als aanval. Fijn voor Henk dat Jack het voor hem opneemt, heeft Henk helemaal niet nodig, zijn roem is wat mij betreft wijd en zijd bekend en ook door mij gewaardeerd.Als medebestuurder van de zesde stad van het land vind ik dat er een stadscampagne behoort te zijn en dat de T in zijn soort de slechtste niet is.
Wow, really interesting point, Claudia! I never really thought about it that way, but yeah, it’s true, it is weird to think that people would meet their soulmates as their first loves. I definitely agree that more love interests would be awesome, but at the same time, not more love interests in a short period of time, if that makes sense? It might just be me, but with love interests in real life, I’ve never switched really quickly between them, so I’d like to see that in books as well. It would probably be really hard to depict though 🙁
Really interesting post, Claudia – it was really refreshing, and I haven’t heard many people talk about this before! 🙂
Geraldine @ Corralling Books recently posted…Conversations: Reading Book Series – yay or nay?
At last some railinatoty in our little debate.
If you dont mind, where do you host your web page? I am searching for a good host and your blog appears to be quick and up all the time
Awesome.. I love me a hot, sexy, man with a great smile , eyes you can get lost in, and tattoos. Thank you for having a site like this one:-).
When the producers of the CSI series hear about this, they will start filming a show using this technique next week.This will drive prosecutors crazy all over the country when juries expect to see test results in the court room that they’ve seen on TV.
I’m 34 years old and every time I’ve come across a love story in YA Fiction (which is ALL THE DAMN TIME) I’ve often wondered out loud: “but these people are, like, 18 years old!! They’re going to have MANY MORE romantic partners – not just this ONE.” In this respect, YA relationships are so unrealistic it’s laughable.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees it! I do know of people who’ve married their first loves and kudos to them, but I don’t think it’s as common as YA makes it appear, you know?
You’re so right! I can’t really think of any other series that has more than one love interest, that’s not a love triangle. I remember finding it so jarring that ToG had more than one, and I mourned the loss of the first love interest until his personality changed I started to dislike him as a character. But I found it so refreshing that their love was real and wasn’t tainted as fake etc.
I can understand why not many series’ have this, considering if it’s done wrong it would be annoying for the readers to fall in love with one love interest only to have to learn to like a second love interest in the next book because of reasons. If it’s done wrong then you end up hating the MC or something like that…
But when it’s done right it’s so amazing and it really could add to the story!
Jordon @ Simply Adrift
Jordon @ Simply Adrift recently posted…5 Things I’ve learned since moving out of home & across the world
This is really interesting! I mean, not all of us is going to find our “soulmate” in our teenage years. Most of us take years, tons of tears and heartbreak before finding the right one. And I do want to see them portrayed in books. But on the other note.. Not all books actually, explicitly said that the love interest is the one. We only know that the characters feel that way and as the book ends, they live happily ever after. But that doesn’t mean that they’re with each other… right? They might’ve broke up at some point in the not important future after the book ends.. who knows..
Tasya recently posted…Announcement: Exams and Moving to WordPress
So I just found your blog and I am so in love with this space! I clicked on this post because it’s something I totally agree with. The thing I loved about ACOTAR and ToG is how there are more than one love interest, and the heroines end up with different people as their character grows – something that is far more realistic than having a “boy meets girl and they live happily ever after” story. Basically I’m tired of books being fairy tale stories. I want something that I can relate to and that won’t give me a headache from eye rolling (even though I happen to be one of the few who found The one in my first one). I appreciate and understand that it’s not everyone’s reality and I’d like the books I read to reflect this. Otherwise it just comes across as being naive.
Beautiful post! And stunning blog 🙂
Nihaad – Read & Seek
Authors PLEASE take a hint.