A few weeks ago, I asked people on Twitter for their general thoughts on insta-love. (Insta-love, essentially, is when a character makes an immediate romantic and/or sexual connection to another.) I asked them, could insta-love be plausible? Can it be written well? Here’s a few responses that I received.
The majority of them said that insta-love couldn’t be done executed well or realistic.
But why not? Is it unrealistic to go through some tough shit with someone by your side and then want to pursue a deeper relationship with them? For a character to go through a tough time and to grasp onto someone to pull them out of a dark hole, that’s wholly possible. S. Usher Evans offered a really interesting point:
So does that make insta-love acceptable, per se? This particular character needs someone to hold onto and to help them in times of stress, and perhaps this initial relationship can grow into something larger.
Yes, insta-love can be used as a plot-filler. And yes, insta-love can be used as something to propel drama in a novel. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that insta-love is absolutely impossible. I always hear about these sweet stories about how grandparents got together (for better or worse) through insta-love. There are always stories about how people start relationships through a mutual attraction and then a development of something greater. If it can happen in real life to a smaller extent, is it totally implausible to say that it could happen in young adult literature?
Futhermore, I’m sure you’ve all read The Great Gatsby. If my mind serves me right (I read this book last year), wasn’t Gatsby absolutely in love with Daisy although he barely knew her? If a classic novel that is praised by literary critics can contain aspects of insta-love and deemed a piece of literary art, why can’t insta-love be deemed even slightly plausible or well-written in young adult literature? Not that I’m condoning Jay Gatsby’s actions (because he was quite the creep). I definitely think that a healthy relationship transcends any trope in literature, including insta-love, to be completely honest.
So, yes. I’m not totally against insta-love. I’m not a huge fan of it (I’m more into the slow-burning type love, but I do think it has potential to cause lots of angsty romances, and if you didn’t know, I’m a huge sucker for drama-filled love stories. I feel like insta-love can bring out the inner personalities and the weaker vulnerabilities of characters, and perhaps that can be developed into a great aspect of a novel.