Instalove vs. Instattraction

Instalove. It’s one of the biggest cliches in YA books that readers hate. And yet, in my opinion, it’s more realistic than love triangles. *Hides behind a rock while people throw books at me.*

Maybe I should be a bit more clear.

shutterstock_248940832I don’t think you can actually FALL IN LOVE instantly. But do any of the characters in those instalove books actually fall in love right away? Or are the characters just attracted to each other? I mean, it’s not like they glance at each other, and the first words that fall out of their mouths are, “I love you.” But they are attracted to each other right away. And attraction is different from love, and instant attraction is more realistic than instant love. So maybe we should call it instattraction. Huh? Huh??? Yes? No?

Moving on.

I don’t have a problem with instattraction because, especially as a young teen, if a hot guy talked to me, and seemed nice, then yes. I confess. I would maybe sometimes immediately think, Hm. I can see myself with this guy down the road. Please take note that I did NOT instantly think, I love you! Take me away and marry me! It was pure attraction. It was a fleeting thought of wonderful possibilities. And that, my friends, is not instaLOVE. But it is attraction. And attraction is very realistic at first sight. (Am I repeating myself too much here?)

And those of you who don’t believe in instattraction… Really? Seriously? You have never walked into a room and locked eyes with someone and felt that lightning bolt thrill? You have never seen someone with a smile so dazzling and eyes so piercing (I apologize for the cliches) that all you wanted in that very moment was for them to speak to you? And when you did have your first conversation, you never had the feeling that you could sit and talk with them forever? Never ever?

I’m not saying instattraction is the healthiest start to a relationship. But I do think it’s a believable beginning that could lead to something deeper.

It’s the same way in books. Two characters meet. They find each other attractive. Then they have their first conversation, and hey, there’s chemistry! The relationship might not work long term, but it is the basis of a beginning. Some people call it instalove. I call it instattraction. And I think it’s very plausible  (especially in YA books) for two people to feel chemistry and desire to be in each other’s company after one, yes, ONE conversation. (Again, notice I didn’t say the “L” word).

What do you think? Do you love/hate isntalove? What books did this happen where you instaloved/instahated it? ;P

13 thoughts on “Instalove vs. Instattraction

  1. The night I first met my husband, our eyes locked over a firepit, and I thought, “If anything ever happens between us, I’m going to remember this moment forever.” That’s instaattraction. And I loved it.

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  2. I think you’re totally right. Instatraction is a great word. It fits within my romance story as well. Very fitting for teenagers. Not that instatraction always leads to a relationship, but for sure it’s a real thing. I think it’s definitely fair. When my husband and I first started dating there was definitely an instatraction. We spent a weekend together with a group of friends at a huge christian concert event and naturally gravitated toward each other the personally don’t mind love triangles, as it adds tension to the overall story. However, I think that it has to be done right, and not ‘over done.’

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  3. My hubby and I are another insta-attraction story. 😀 In fact, my very first thought when I clapped my eyes on him was, “Maybe he’s the one.” A thought I immediately stuffed down hard because I was only 16 at the time!…but, we were married by the time I was 19. 😉

    So, it happens for sure. 😀

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    1. Yay!!! I LOVE hearing these stories! It makes instalove–I mean, instattraction–so much more believable, because it’s true. 🙂 I also love that you met him when you were sixteen, just another testament that sixteen isn’t too young to meet your true love. 😉

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      1. Definitely! Although, looking back now?…I was probably too young to get married when we did. I don’t think I was self-aware and mature enough. BUT it made for a lot of teenage angst 😉 and everyone’s love story is unique and beautiful in its own way, even with the “mistakes”!

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  4. Oh, thank you, thank you for posting this!!!! All the instalove bashing was driving me slightly bonkers. I mean, what teenager seriously never fell for someone the instant they saw them. I know I sure did, over and over many times. They are teens, of course this is a reality and it drives me nuts when people bash it. And BTW, I totally agree with calling it instaattraction. I think that’s a perfect name for it. That is the way God designed us, to feel attracted to certain people so we can get to know each other better and decide if there’s more to discover about the relationship, possibly leading to marriage. It is normal and healthy part of being a human. I actually feel bad for all the instalove bashers. Did they never experience the magic of butterfly’s or the beauty of a first love? They sure missed out. Thank you for being willing to defend this story troupe. Things are popular for a reason and get recycled over and over, like this particular troupe, why? Because it rings true for so many and brings back those memories of first “love” and all the passion and excitement of being a teen.

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I was afraid I would get bashed for defending instalove, so it’s good to have people back me up! 😀 And I’m with you, I totally experienced instattraction too many times to count in my youth. It’s normal! Especially at that age. And when I read a book, I personally love knowing who the character is going to fall in love with so I can go ahead and begin investing in that relationship.

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  5. Great thoughts here! I think I’m totally okay with “instattraction” because – yeah, that’s a real thing! I think what I’m not okay with is instalove (of course) but also when nothing is built upon the attraction but sillyness or more attraction. I think that, in order to make it believable, it needs to build. Either by conversation, argument (cuz come on, aren’t those the best? when the guy is just infuriating but you just KNOW they like each other…haha okay maybe that’s just me?) or some other means by which the attraction can grow. Otherwise it’s just this “oh he’s hot” and then a few hundred pages later, “yep still hot” um, okay, where is the build, the deeper things that take more effort to pull out through conversation. I like there to be something significant that then connects the two vs just that initial attraction 😉

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    1. YES! I totally agree! I think they can be attracted to each other at first sight, but then, like you said, there needs to be something to build on that relationship. And, oh my word, I love LOVE the relationships that get deeper by argument and tension. They seriously are the best! Give me lots of tense (and humorous) dialogue between the two, please. 😉

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  6. Definitely a fan of insta-attraction. My husband fits exactly what I like in a guy, so naturally, when I first saw him, I was like “oh crap” and immediately decided I needed to stay away from him because I was NOT dating in college. Yeah, see how THAT worked out. It’s a thing. It’s popular to bash “insta-love” and even strong attraction, especially in Christian circles. But like I tell people, you’re going to be married to their body as well as their mind and soul. Sure, you need to make sure the inside is solid, but please make sure you like the outside as well!

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    1. Right? You need to love them inside and out, because physical attraction is a thing. 😛 And how funny that you made an effort to stay away from your husband and still ended up with him! Romance at its best. 😉

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