I will start by saying this isn’t a romance, but has your classic love triangle within the plot.

The problem is, within my writing, I got in too deep with my first two characters' love story, and now he just seems too perfect.

I’m at the point now where I’m introducing the second guy and, quite honestly, I can’t write him. I can’t see my audience picturing him and her together the same way as I’ve written the initial couple. It’s not natural, it doesn’t make sense, but the whole plot line is that he helps her escape, and she only goes with him because she falls for him. How can she fall for him when I can’t fall for him myself, as the writer?

How do I write him in a different way to the initial male, but good enough that the audience root for him, and not the initial companion?

  • People fall in love with faults. Your new man can make her vulnerable and willing to show her faults. She may even be a worse person with him, but when she shows her imperfections and he shows her his and they bond over their shared secrets, your audience will be in on the secrets, too. And the reader will be just as excited about this new love.
    – Tallima
    Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 1:40
  • 2
    Make it a physical. Maybe she doesn't 'like' him, but that's the guy she trusts in a crisis. When there's action, and no dialog, they're on the same page. Like horse and rider, not much to talk about but they feel each other. Rather than just 'rescuing' her, make it something they have to do together – in other words he takes a risk helping her escape, but it's an example of them intuiting what the other is planning. It can be something she isn't able to 'intellectualize' so maybe she doesn't quite trust it.
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 2:14
  • 1
    If he "helps her escape", why does she need to fall for him in the first place? If that's the only reason for it, do you need the love triangle at all? Maybe there's another way to accomplish the same result.
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 17:20

3 Answers 3


First, consider how much you actually want the love triangle element. If you've managed to write a compelling, believable couple with good chemistry, you've already done better than a lot of romance writers. Does the extra relationship add more to the story than it takes away?

If so, try thinking of it in terms of satisfaction. What does your protagonist want out of a relationship that Love Interest A doesn't provide and Love Interest B can? Even if the latter relationship would be less appealing in the long term, a sufficiently strong unfulfilled desire could give her the motivation to at least try it out temporarily—especially if it's an impulse decision. Is your protagonist the type to jump headfirst into things without thinking? If so, it'll be easier to justify the switch; if not, you might need to give her some extra incentive.

No one's perfect, after all—and if they are, that's a good sign to reexamine the character. Putting desires aside, what does Love Interest A do or say that she dislikes? A recent particularly-potent bout of whatever it is could weaken her attachment at the critical moment. (Take care to have that tension build naturally over time, though, lest the break feel cheap or contrived.)


Old Loves, betrayal, plot twists:

So if you really want a love triangle, you need to make a reason why the love between A and B get split by C. Why do people fall in love inappropriately?

  • A and C were previously in love, or at least have intense chemistry. Maybe they were first loves. The relationship between A and B might even be a little illicit. It doesn't matter if A and B seem perfect together, the older thing between A and C is intense and/or at least confusing for them. You could even have a very traditional society where A and C don't know each other well, but are betrothed. Social pressure makes A vulnerable to following a relationship with C because culture says she should.
  • A or B have deep secrets. B may have a history of cheating, a history he hid from A out of shame. A finds out about it, and she's pissed he hid it. Or B might have previously hurt someone A truly cares about. Even if A and B are in love, discovering your love killed your brother in a car crash years before (and hid the facts) might devastate a relationship. A could have met B while searching for her brother's killer - then discovers she's fallen in love with the very person she was seeking to take revenge on. The inner conflict causes her to act inappropriately.
  • A has ambiguous/deep trust issues with men - and C is a girl. A wants to explore her sexuality before she gives herself to B, and C is attractive, or reminds A of a girl she had a crush on in high school. The deep underlying conflict is tearing at her, and in a moment of uncertainty, she has to know if she really wants girls instead.
  • B and C were former lovers. A wants to know about B's past, and discovers there is something deeply compelling about C. He's charming, handsome, witty and in every way perfect. A's uncertainty about B's sexuality gives a moment of weakness an opening.

If you want, you can even combine these - mix and match as desired. So A could be an amateur investigator and met B while A was searching for her brother's (accidental) killer, then fell in love. She meets her old crush, C, after she discovers B knew C as well. C reveals the secret that B and C were lovers, and that B killed A's brother. The hurt and betrayal about B makes A decide to give her experimental desires for C the chance A was too shy to indulge years before. If you wat to get really kinky, A,B and C can all get together in the end!

Complicated? It can be as simple or complex as you want. There's nothing wrong with A simply feeling unworthy of such a perfect guy and consciously or unconsciously sabotaging the relationship with an illicit relationship with C (like A has done before whenever she got serious). The options are as endless as human imperfections, mistrust, and weird coincidence.


If the love triangle is no longer in service of the story, just don't write it. MC is happy with her current partner? Let it be so. You might need to restructure some of your plot going forward, but if you think it will ultimately result in a stronger narrative overall, it's worth doing.

Alternatively, if a character is "too perfect," that could be alienating to the readers... maybe make it alienating to your MC. A partner with no apparent flaws might be at first incredibly attractive, but as the relationship goes on it would make her doubt his honesty. No one is that perfect. Or perhaps it makes her question her "worthiness" to be with him. Having another character who is more obviously flawed but also open and vulnerable would be a suitable foil that becomes much more appealing to the MC's needs at the moment.

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