Book Pet Peeves #9: Insta-Love

September 1, 2014     erinbook     Feature, Pet Peeves

#9 Insta-Love
Oh dear god, here we go. This is a big, controversial pet peeve that is on a lot of people’s list. a lot of people have talked about this before but I have my own points to give on the topic so read on!
Authors such as Ann Aguirre argue that insta-love can happen in real life, and it does among teenagers. Let’s just start there then, I don’t call that love. Certainly teenagers experience what they think is insta-love but I would call it something more akin to insta-like/lust. Sure, you can look at someone and go “I like them” or “I want to bone them” but that’s not what I consider love. Love takes time to develop, and sure, it can come from the original like/lust that these teenagers can feel. But I do not believe in love at first sight, or insta-love.
I’ll tell you what really happens in a lot of “insta-love” cases. 1) It goes away, because like is not the same thing as love and like does not make a lasting romantic relationship. Neither does lust. 2) It turns into something creepy and obsessive. Seriously guys, that’s not cute. 3) Over a long period of time it changes and develops, growing into something strong and lasting. This does not happen over night. Ever. 
Insta-love bothers me, most of the time because it’s sort of lazy. Why create a beautiful, lasting, sprawling love story when you can have the instant raman noodle version? Would you want your own love story to be relegated to just a few pages? Would you want it to be defined by such a small number of words? I doubt it. Then why shouldn’t a character’s love story grow over an entire book as a real one would over time?
But that’s just me and my preference. What about you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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6 responses to “Book Pet Peeves #9: Insta-Love

  1. I totally agree that it happens with teenagers and it's definitely not called instalove. It's definitely lust because how can you love someone you just met!! Instalove is just so unrealistic! I hate reading about how a character can't live another day without another character when they just met the day before. Ughhh.

  2. I'm one of the few who don't mind instalove. I mean there are these really bad ones that I can't stand either, but most of the time, I would be fine with it or even agree with it. I think what's more important is how the author develops the relationship between the two people. I don't think it's about the time, but all the emotions and effort put into it. I honestly think love is a personal thing, and it can happen in a day or over a couple of years. The burden the author has to bear is making it's readers believe.

    • And that's totally cool! I'm glad that there are people who enjoy it. If we all agreed on everything then life would be pretty boring. But I do agree that the burden is on the author to make any relationship believable, insta-love or not, and I will always prefer an author who has worked hard to do that over one who has not.

  3. I wonder if YA's seeming need for the type of relationships that girls of that age crave makes those insta-love scenerios "necessary" in a way. The author doesn't have time to develop a real time relationship because so many times the love interest has to be the mysterious new boy in school because he is the one who brings out her previously unreconized powers, lol. That is why I prefer books whose couples have been together before the start of the story's timeline. I too say down with insta-love and you are right, a better term would be insta-lust.

    • I think it's possible to do a complex relationship with a boy-brings-out-girls-powers story but some authors won't put in the extra work to make it happen. Then there's others that certainly will!

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