Unveiling the Intricacies of Bisexual Love Triangles

Read on for a deep dive into the intriguing and steamy subgenre of bisexual love triangles!

LGBTQIA+ Reads Recommendations Romance

Love triangles are a trope as old as time. This writer has sat through many, many female main characters’ stories and read on voraciously as she battles against her heart, her head, and two enticing romantic options. Bisexual romance love triangles take the complexity to the next level, as characters grapple not only with the choice of who to choose but also coming to terms with their own sexuality and identity. Whether our MC has explored their preferences yet or is still testing out their attractions, bisexual love triangles add a new layer to an already juicy romance trope. In this article, we’ll explore love triangles between two women and a man (often abbreviated as ffm or f/f/m). 

The Three Corners of the Triangle

There are three main types of love triangles, each adding a different sense of tension and conflict to a story. A classic love triangle involves person A, who has romantic feelings or involvement with person B as well as person C, who may or may not know about the relationship between the other two, but B and C are not romantically involved with each other. 

A mutual triangle creates a triad between A, B, and C, where all three individuals have romantic attractions or relationships with the other two people in the triangle. This adds a polyamorous spin to the traditional love triangle, amplifying the romantic complexity of the relationships.

And finally, the unrequited triangle. Possibly the most challenging to deal with (and common in real life) of the three, an unrequited triangle occurs when person A has feelings for person B, who has feelings for person C. In some cases, the triangle completes itself with person C having feelings for person A, and everyone is left unsatisfied. 

yellow to pink ombre background with a love triangle of two women and a man next to a triangle with hearts on the corners.

Themes and Tropes

Readers of bisexual love triangle stories can expect some of the classic tropes from the romance genre, melded with fresh insights and explorations of bisexuality and the reality of loving multiple partners at once or loving someone who does not return the sentiment. 

Rivals to lovers — and, on the other side of the spectrum — friends to lovers, are two prevalent themes in romance novels in general, but especially in the bisexual love triangle subgenre. Rivals to lovers feed off of the love triangle trope in a delicious progression where two people go from being on opposite sides of a situation (or a person) to slowly accepting and admitting their feelings for one another. The slower the burn, the more this writer is hooked! Friends to lovers is a classic theme in stories surrounding bisexual identity, and the first half of the trope is quite common in real life. Whether you end up with or even pursue a friend you have a crush on, many people realize for the first time that they are bisexual through a confusing attraction to a friend. This real-life experience is reflected and explored thoroughly throughout the genre. 

The subgenre is also laden with tropes that have more to do specifically with bisexuality and fuel the fire of conflict in the story, like forbidden love and secret crushes. Whether you’re reading a nonfiction retelling or an epic fantasy romance, there are many times and places in the world (whether our world or a fictional one) where announcing your bisexual identity would not be safe or socially acceptable. Sometimes, love is forbidden due to societal judgment and closed-mindedness, sometimes it’s the social context that makes a relationship inappropriate or complicated (ex. Dating your sibling’s ex). Whatever the context, books featuring bisexual love triangles explore the experience of loving both men and women and the complex emotional entanglements that come with involving multiple romantic partners. 

History of the Subgenre

Depictions of romance and representations of bisexuality have historically been blurred by narrative interpretations. A longing glance, hand-holding, hugs, and even eye contact can be construed in countless different ways. Throughout time, particularly in the last century, romance and intimacy become much more publicly acceptable. So, as you can imagine, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the first story featuring a bisexual love triangle was written. 

Bisexuality has been spotlighted in literature for hundreds of years and has been included as a non-essential plot element or side plot for even longer. Bisexuality was featured as early as 1748, with John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, or Fannie Hill, which follows Frances “Fannie” Hill through her experiences exploring sexuality and romance, including bisexual relationships. 

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland book cover

This writer won’t claim to have found the first book featuring a true bisexual love triangle as a main point of exploration (if I do, you’ll know), but one early work with profound cultural significance is Henry and June: From a Journal of Love by Anaïs Nin, published in 1986. The story is based on Nin’s experiences and tells the tale of her journey of getting to know and later having deep emotional and physical relationships with a woman named June and her husband, Henry. The story delves into Nin’s experiences of befriending and eventually falling in love, first with June and then with her husband, and highlights the complexity and deep connection found in her relationships with each person. 

Henry and June by Anaïs Nin book cover

Recommendations Featuring Bisexual Love Triangles

If the history has you intrigued, you’re a lover of fresh takes on classic romance tropes, or you’re just plain ready to dive in, here are five recommendations for bisexual love triangle stories you’ve just got to add to your TBR. 

Cool for the Summer by Dhalia Adler 

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler book cover

When Lara’s romantic dreams come true and the boy she’s had a crush on all through high school is actually interested in her, she feels like things can’t possibly get any better. That is, until Jasmine, the girl Lara spent a wonderful, confusing, romantic summer with not too long ago, transfers to her high school. When she’s finally got it all, why can’t she get Jasmine off her mind? 

No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace 

No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace book cover

When Olivia’s twin brother, Liam, finally starts dating, she can’t help but feel a little left behind. Fueled by a desire to get her best friend back and a bit of jealousy, she strives to drive his girlfriends away. Luckily for her, he’s emphasizing the casual part of casual dating. Until Zoey comes along. When Olivia’s attempts turn to unexpected fondness between herself and Zoey, she struggles to untangle her web of desire and loyalty. 

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova 

Labyrinth Lost by Zoradia Córdova book cover

Alex is the most powerful bruja in a generation. There’s just one problem. She hates magic and definitely doesn’t want to let it rule the rest of her life. When a spell goes horribly wrong and sends her whole family vanishing into thin air, Alex, Nova, and Rishi must travel through unfamiliar lands and keep a leash on their wandering hearts if they want to save her family. 

The Faerie on the Trail by R.L. Mooney 

The Faerie on the Trail by R. L. Mooney book cover

Abigail has always been a misfit in her remote village. When she meets a mysterious, beautiful stranger who gives her a map to the Faerie Circle, she jumps at the chance for adventure. She meets Tauri, a fae royal determined not to follow in her father’s footsteps, and Declan, a nature fae who offers to guide her through the strange new land. As the three of their stories collide and a prophecy awaits, the trio yearns to explore the reason that fate brought them together. 

The Space Between Us by Megan Hart

The Space Between Us by Megan Hart book cover

Tesla is perfectly happy in her life as a barista, watching well-caffeinated customers come and go and quite settled into her routine. That is, until she meets Meredith, a beautiful force of nature who stirs Tesla’s life of mundanity into a whirlwind. She finds herself drawn into a beautiful, intense flurry of a love triangle with Meredith and her husband, Charlie. But when one of the three begins to draw back, the gaps left between the three are wide and painful. They battle with grief but also begin to consider new possibilities. 

The world of bisexual love triangle romance is broad and varied, just like the relationship style itself. Whether you’re looking for a fantasy adventure or a dramatic contemporary romance, hopefully, one of these recommendations finds its way onto your favorite bookshelf. 

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