There's only one good way out of a love triangle-- bring in another character to make two couples.
The more common ways out, however, are--
- Kill someone off
- Make someone a bad guy
- Leave someone hurt and despondent
Now, assuming both guys (aren't all the triangles a girl and two guys? Seems like it.) are equally likeable, none of those solutions are going to make readers (or viewers) real happy. (Yeah I know, there's the occasional "everything just works out fine" but really, how many of those are there?)
But it gets so predictable. Last week my husband and I weren't even half-way into the pilot episode of a new (to us, anyway) tv series when we started discussing when the one guy would die since the other was clearly going to be the love interest in the long run.
Which brings up another peeve.
Why is it that tv shows feel the need to draw out romantic tension to the point of the insane??? I'm sorry, but if you let the characters get to the point where the only natural thing to do is put them together, will you please for the love of all that is good and holy STOP TRYING TO WRITE CRAZY SCENARIOS TO KEEP THEM APART! It's ridiculous.
But we've bought into this as a society. Shows tank when they give in and put the characters together. Now in terms of writing, I figure there are 2 reasons for this. One-- the show was not strong enough without the romantic tension, or it got so wrapped up in the romantic tension that it can't survive without it. Which I call bad writing. Two-- the characters shouldn't really have been put together to begin with. Which I also call bad writing.
Okay, I'm putting away my soapbox now. And having some chocolate. :D