Romance and Me: The InstaLove Connection

Filed in Romance and Me , The Latin Lover Posted on April 4, 2012 @ 3:00 pm 12 comments

Hey Everyone!

Today I thought I would talk to you about pet peeves. Romance novels certainly have quite a few of the usual clichés (soulmate connection, misunderstanding crisis, big love declaration at the end, etc.) and we romance lovers tend to tolerate and even enjoy them at times. However there are some that we just can’t accept.

One of those pet peeves that irritate me more than anything is the instalove connection. I’m sure you have already come across it in a novel or two when the hero and heroine meet, lock eyes and bada beem bada boom feel the Earth-shattering love, soul-deep connection after having known each other only for 5 minutes /2 days/ a week, etc. (recurring mentioning of the words destiny, fated, special bond, etc. usually appear) Any time I read this happening to a fictional couple it drives me hair-tearing-out mad.

Yep, just like that. Why? Because I’m of the opinion that loving someone is about substance. I don’t love someone because of their soft hair and gorgeous eyes, but because of their courage, integrity, warm heart. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that instant attraction, lust at first sight definitely exists, but attraction/lust is something very different than love, and the two should not be confused. And though love is about something much deeper, it doesn’t have to be abstract.

Love is about knowing that other person with all the little details that make them unique: their generous selflessness when it comes to their younger sister/brother, the way their eyes crinkle whenever they are suppressing laughter, but most of all love is all about the memories.

The memories created together (remember that time when on their way to a Caribbean resort the H/H got a flat tire and spent a night in an open field and the romantic night they spent stargazing after they stopped bickering about why there was no spare tire in the trunk (= due to too much luggage -> heroine’s fault); and the memories of each other (how the heroine realised she loved him when the badass and ruthless businessman hero took care of the stray kitten, etc.).

One of my favourite things in romance novels is the journey of the characters from meeting to realizing they have fallen in love (and why exactly they love each other). And so when I’m cheated of my favourite part I am disappointed and frustrated.

So tell me,

What do you think of the InstaLove Connection?

Do you think two people can be “in love” without knowing almost nothing about the other?

What are your pet peeves when it comes to romance novels?

Favourite/most hated romance clichés?


About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • Karen April 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    The only thing worse than a love triangle to me is insta love!

    I just never buy into it even by the end of the book. I can see instant attraction and the hope for or potential of love but bone deep soul connection – no.
    Even in the paranormal world where they “smell” their mate. It always works out of course that they are perfect for each other but it doesn’t seem like they actually chose each other.
    I’m a little more forgiving in novellas because I know the author doesn’t have as much time to make it work but it’s something I consciously have to let go.

    • Stella April 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Oh yes, the mandatory proposal before the end draws near also drives me mad! Why can’t authors believe that readers will be happy with a couple happy and in love trying to take and live their life 1 day at a time? Why propose and get married after only 2 months, etc? It feels rushed and I seriously fear for the success and happiness of the couple’s marriage :-/

  • blodeuedd April 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Yes I do love the oh soulmates! But it all depends on how it’s handled, mostly it annoys me.

    Sure first time I saw bf I thought hot damn! Cutie pie alert! And I never felt like that before, but that’s it, I was attracted, I sure wasn’t in love. To be in love you need to know the person

    • Stella April 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Yes Blodeuedd, of course their is sympathy and attraction but to love someone is to know them to know WHY you love them (and for their blond hair is not a valid answer.. 😉

  • miki April 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    they can feel instant attraction yes but love no. it’s something slowly building and that’s good because for the readers it can show that yes you can find your soulmate but it will take some works no magical time instant. I don’t like when the heros jump in bed together after a short time… it’s bother me a lot because it doesn’t feel right to me

    Now about the paranormal…yes they know but in several they still have to accept that and thus there is a courting when they learn to accept the other for what she or he is. an example in urban antasy between kate and curran ( ilona andrews) they are attracted to each others but there misunderstanding, fight and learning. It take time and that’s one of the better part of it .
    idem between mercy thompson and adam…they knew to discover and accept what they are feeling.. it’s not something immediat

  • draconismoi April 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    This is actually one of the key things I use to distinguish between a PNR and UF w/ obligatory romantic entanglements.

    True mates? Fate? Instant soul binding obsession blessed by some deity figure? HELL NO. STOP.

    And so the book is deleted. Or returned. Or thrown across the room. Whichever works in the situation.

  • aurian April 5, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Lol, I do agree with you Stella. Instant love is very difficult to sell to me. I hate it when they fall into bed the same hour they meet. And I absolutely hate the epilogues when the married couple has the perfect baby. Such a wrong message: you can only be happy as a woman if you are married and have children. Why not just have time to life together before adding to the family?

  • sienny April 5, 2012 at 7:25 am

    i believe in insta-love, but in reality? nop, it’s a hard to trust :))

  • LSUReader April 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    This is one of those times when a “willful suspension of disbelief” is required in reading. Instant attraction? Check. Instant love? No way. Characters, like real people, need to know each other to develop love.

  • Gaby April 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you Stella! I don’t believe in insta-love either, I believe it’s instant attraction/lust. I hate when this happens at romance books, it’s not realistic, too superficial.

  • Marlene April 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Insta-lust, absolutely. Insta-love, not bloody likely. The whole “fated mates” thing is starting to get overdone, even in PNR. I’ll be glad when that trope goes out of fashion. At least a bit. Please?
    I think it’s the build-up of the relationship that’s so much fun to read, anyway!

  • JessS April 10, 2012 at 5:58 am

    I do not like the instlove connection AT ALL! It’s just so unrealistic and usually just makes me think the characters are really dumb, because by loving someone that sort of means you trust them and want to spend your life with them and if you’re willing to decide on that when you barely know someone then you can’t be very smart, or cautious. I also don’t like the whole “soul mate” or “fated” thing, because I’m not overly spiritual/mystical and so I don’t believe in stuff like that and find it a little strange.

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