Unpopular opinion: villainization of other love interests

I’ve read a lot of stories on here that follow the same pattern; Any person that might be an obstacle to the two main character’s relationship (e.g. ex-lover, other love interest) is made into a terrible person. I’m talking about manipulative, abusive, and even criminal (kidnapping, attempted murder of the main LI, etc.) characters.
I think a lot of authors choose to go this way bc it makes writing these supporting characters off a lot easier and makes for good drama, but sometimes it just seems a little excessive. Especially when not just one (I’m kinda here for the drama), but every other love interest is like this horrible villain.
IMO it takes away from the main LI’s charm. If everyone else is terrible, of course, the MC and LI are going to get together. But if there are other great options, and they still choose each other, I find that way more romantic.

Not trying to bash anyone though, I still really enjoy reading stories like this.

Do you agree?

Edit: phrasing

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I agree with you! But i cant rly say anything because I had a second LI in my story who was super nice but then i killed him off lmaoooo

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yes yes yes yes yes. I dislike when this happens so much

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Something I HATE, particularly about love triangles, is that the two LIS always hate each other for literally no reason. It isn’t explained; they just see each other, and their knives go out. It makes me irritated because it’s unrealistic and, frankly, toxic. I’d love to see the two LIs working together and being friends while navigating the fact that they’re both crushing on the same person. It’d be more nuanced and create an interesting tension rather than just making them rivals.

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I think it may be a version of favoritism: the author may like one of the LIs so much they in turn make the others bad.

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I completely agree! Though, i especially hate it tho when the “rival” love interest has done nothing wrong but gets treated like crap just because they’re romantically interested in the Main LI :face_exhaling:

Or they use that character to give the MC an ego boost just bc the Love interest chose her instead of the rival. It gives pick me vibes