Insta-Love: Why All The Hate?
Why does insta-love get such hate from book reviewers? Why are book readers turned off from books that others claim contain insta-love? Why is it that sometimes these books in question do not actually contain insta-love? Is everyone crazy, or just confused?
Insta-love is not the bane of YA books like many believe it is. Because quite frankly, it’s not happening as frequently as you think it does.
Most people probably think Twilight is the worst, the most heinous, the biggest criminal of insta-love if there ever was one.
But it’s three months into the narrative and 200 pages (which is 40%, which, I stress, is nearly halfway) until Bella thinks she might be in love with Edward. That’s NOT insta-love. That’s plenty of time for an emotionally undeveloped teenager to fall in love. I certainly said ‘I love you’ to my first boyfriend much faster than three months after I met him. And you know the funny thing? Most break-ups occur between three and five months. You can have a whole relationship with someone in the time it takes Bella to say “I love you.”
I think the big problem is that readers think that the attraction part of the romance is instantly ‘love’.
Instead of complaining about emotionally underdeveloped teenagers being ‘in love’, consider the following:
- It’s OK for a character to be attracted to another character.
- It’s OK for that attraction to develop into a crush.
- It’s OK for that crush to lead to infatuation
- and for that infatuation develop into love
- Equally, it’s also OK for these teenage characters to think that their crush means they are soul mates forever with the dreamy boy of their dreams. Because they’re teenagers, and everything is life or death.
I know a girl who’s supposedly been ‘in love’ with 27 boyfriends by age 26. I know girls who wanted to marry their high school boyfriends. This is real life, not fiction. Why is it so hard to accept in fiction that a teenage girl, in love for the first time, might just be romantic enough to believe it will last forever?
There is an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where Sabrina has to pass a trial to prove her true love for her boyfriend, Harvey. When she passes, her aunt comments that, “She’s sixteen: it’s always true love.”
It’s OK for two characters to feel a strong connection. I mean, fuck what is wrong with reviewers who complain about this? Have they never been in love? Do they want one of those really unromantic love stories where the girl marries her ‘long-term friend’?
Love doesn’t have to take years to develop. Who invented this rule that you need to know someone for a specific length of time before it’s love?
On a personal side, within 24 hours of meeting my now-husband, I knew he was THE ONE.