Does Insta-Love Only Exist in YA or Is It Actually Exist in Real Life?

insta-love
YA books have many tropes, especially in the romance department.

Enemies turn lovers, friends turn lovers, the prince(ss) and the pauper, the forbidden romance… Just pick your favorites. But there is one we all can’t handle and groan when it happen, in fact it can ruin our reading experience at some instance.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the most hated trope (beside love-shapes), the insta-love.

From Disney movies to YA books, Insta-love is always present. It’s just always there. Sometimes it takes longer, maybe 5 days before our characters started saying “I love you”s to each other. Sometimes it takes shorter, like a day, or a night, before our character 100000% sure that he/she is the one.

And it got us rolling our eyes and screaming to oblivion “YOU CAN’T LOVE SOMEONE YOU JUST MEET”.

Because we all know, to truly love someone, we need to truly know them.

As much as I hate insta-love, I have to admit that it managed to paint a picture to the reality of how we, teenagers, young adult, and sometimes even adult, fall in “love” too quickly and think that we’re in “love”, being very sure that our significant other is the one only to realize later that they are not.

Is it love really? Or is it just attraction?

According to Oxford dictionary:

ATTRACTION (n);

The action or power of evoking interest in or liking for someone or something

LOVE (n);

A strong feeling of affection

The difference aren’t very clear right?Β Love and attraction are different, but not all of us can distinguish them.

For someone who is experiencing love for the first time like most YA characters we know, it’s perfectly understandable for them to have insta-love. But maybe, what we are reading as insta- love is more like insta-atraction? While not as extreme as “I WANNA SPEND MY WHOLE LIFE WITH YOU” level like our YA characters, we all have experience the urge of getting to know someone better and spend more time with them in short time period.

As much as I hate insta-love, I can’t blame them because it actually mirrors our perception and misconception of love. Many of us misinterpreted attraction, and I think it’s normal since that’s how we grow and learn. Books only highlight some parts of our characters’ live, and all we know is, in those short pages between books, our characters fell in love and found their happiness. We might be wrong in naming the trope insta-love while it’s actually insta-attraction, or characters might be actually falling in love THAT fast. Only the authors and characters will ever find out I guessπŸ˜‰

What do you think of insta-love? Do you love them or hate them? Or just plain don’t care about them?

On Growing Up and Letting Go

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25 thoughts on “Does Insta-Love Only Exist in YA or Is It Actually Exist in Real Life?

  1. Kaja says:

    Great post! I dislike insta-love, but I do get (and like!) insta-attraction and insta-lust. It’s also not just a YA problem, I recently read an adult romance where the hero decided the woman he’d just met (like 2 minutes ago, they spoke 3 sentences and he didn’t even know her name) was THE ONE and proceeded to change his – and her – entire life because of it. So offputting.

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  2. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction says:

    I normally can’t stand insta-love in books, but instant attraction definitely happens in real life. And you make a good point that we often mistake attraction for love, so… And then there really are a few people who have whirlwind romances and then live happily ever after, so I guess it’s not impossible. But it definitely gets me rolling my eyes in books!

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  3. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity says:

    I think sometimes readers misinterpret insta-attraction for insta-love. For me, insta-love is when the characters are declaring their love for each other or willing to die for each other or something equally as ~big~ after only knowing each other for a very short time. Insta-attraction happens to a lot of people. You can really like someone, and want to be near them and touch them and want to know them without it being insta-love. And I do think that readers take the “i want to be with this person” as insta-love when it’s not.

    And even then, that’s not to say that insta-love doesn’t exist, anyway! Teen years are filled with raging emotions, and one of them is love. So to shame all insta-love relationships as unrealistic is … well, unrealistic. Some people do fall in love quickly!

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  4. Molly's Book Nook says:

    hehe I just wrote such a similar topic so if you read it you pretty much know all of my thoughts haha BUT yeah, I don’t usually like insta-love. There are a few exceptions if, basically, it’s just super swoon worthy because I’m a sucker for that. But most of the time i dislike it. It’s unrealistic

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

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  5. Puput @ Sparkling Letters says:

    Ahh I love this post so much! I never actually thought about it from the teenager’s perspective though, I just think it’s unrealistic and that’s that. I believe insta attraction exist, sometimes I meet a guy, talk to him, and I feel this huuuuge crush and urgency to get to know him better and all that but I never, ever, think that he’s gonna be the love of my life. Or that I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with him. I like that you see it from a teenager’s POV, which makes sense because just like you said, teenagers probably don’t know the difference between love and other kind of affection, especially if it’s the first time they fall in love hahaha it probably has a lot to do with most teenager’s naivety too. I just finished The Sun is Also a Star and the MCs fall in love in ONE DAY I just couldn’t even with it </3 anyway, great discussion! πŸ˜€

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  6. Krysta says:

    I think the difference between insta-love and real-life teenage attraction/emotions is that the characters usually act like once they fall in love, that’s it, they’re going to be married. Even if they don’t actually know each other! And that’s usually how it ends up in the story–they see each other across the room and three books later they really are soul mates. But most people in real life don’t end up marrying their high school crush and most people date more than one person.

    I understand the strong emotions mirroring real life, but I also wish we’d see more variations in how romance is approached in YA. And maybe an acknowledgement that insta-love can be unhealthy. I’ve seen people in real life attach themselves like that to the first person who ever asked them out and it usually doesn’t end well. You need to be your own person, not just have an identity as so-and-so’s girlfriend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tasya @ the literary huntress says:

      I really love your comment! I agree that insta-love can be dangerous, but there are some instance in YA where the mc grew up and see that their so aren’t who they are anymore. When they look deeper, things are more complicated than they seem. I can’t think of many example, but I think Shatter Me is one of those example, even though I don’t justify neither of the romance present in the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. cornreviewsbooks says:

    This is such a inspiring and well thought out discussion, I think we do confuse insta love and insta attraction. But I think it’s two separate things they both exist in YA and the line between them is them or can get blurred. I don’t like Insta love but sometimes I read a book that others say have it that read more like a instant connection wanting to get to know each other kind of thing. So now I know what to start calling that.

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  8. Jillian Lopez says:

    This just made me overthink the idea of love now hahaha. I think this is a very well-thought-out discussion, Tasya, and I honestly never thought of that. πŸ™‚ I think insta-love can actually happen in real life because if that person falls in love at first glance or at the very beginning of a friendship, (as much as how unrealistic it sounds) I can’t invalidate how that person feels πŸ™‚ Well yes, to me it sounds unrealistic, but I guess people just tend to fall in love faster and quicker than we think because not only are they attracted but also do they really want to be with a person more and spend more time with him/her. I find it really sweet in real life when you think of it, but the way books portray it makes it sound so ughh.

    Great post, Tasya! I loved it πŸ™‚

    Jillian @ Jillian’s Books

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  9. Cassidy Jiang says:

    Honestly, I’m not a good judge on this topic, having never dated anyone, so my views on romantic love are a bit stunted. Though, my opinion is that insta-love doesn’t equal love, insta-love can lead to love, but as you said, insta-love is more equatable with attraction.

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  10. Angela Lawrence says:

    Insta-love bothers me particularly when the two characters have never even said more than a sentence to each other and they believe they’re soulmates. There’s no way you can know what someone’s really like by just gazing into their eyes!

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  11. kirsty @ kirstychronicles says:

    I hate insta love. I actually did a post on this myself not too long ago which probably explains it better, but I just don’t find it realistic at all. It just annoys the crap out of me. Attraction is feasible but love is something completely different!

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