*Cups hand to ear* Is that the sound of pitchforks I hear? I'm sure it is. Whenever a similar thing comes up on posts, and I express my distaste there's always one or two that are quick to leap to the defense of insta-love. A mumble of how someone's uncle met a girl and they were married in a week. The thing is yes, I know it seems like instalove happens in real life, but I don't personally buy that it happens there any more than in books. Bear with me for a second and you'll maybe see why I say that. It can happen in a book too and it can happen believably there too. BUT in my opinion, there is a big difference between instalove and fast love (and if you end this thinking I'm a crack-pot and of course instalove is a thing, that's fine. It's the awesome thing about opinions, we're all entitled to them and entitled to express them. It's the differences in the world that make it interesting).
So before the hoarding masses come for me in their mob with pitchforks and torches, I'll explain a little more. These are just my interpretations and opinions too, so feel free to disagree. In fact, I'd love to chat with you about it in the comments if you do.
Now, before we go any further, I'm going to attempt to define things a little more. At least, my own understanding of it.
Instalove: First glance = "I love you more than I've ever loved anyone in the whole world and ever will love anyone."
Fast love: First glance = "You fascinate me and I want to know more about you." The actual progression to a deeper emotion then starts to occur.
I'm sure you can see the very clear (but very important) difference between the two. In the second one (fast love) the falling in love process might only take a few hours of intense getting to know you before people are offering up engagement rings and planning their gift registry. It might be a day. A week. A month. More. But the "love" at first sight is really nothing more than attraction. I have read more stories than I can mention which have the POV character bandying around the word soulmate after that first glimpse.
The "getting to know you" stage is what makes it believable. It's the difference between between me personally buying into the relationship or not. I love when the first glimpse inspires butterflies. When the POV character is desperate to learn more about this stranger. Add in a few mutual interests, or something for the characters to bond over (shared heartbreak maybe) and I'll be eating that story up any day of the week. Tell me that they're desperately in love before a single word is uttered and the only thing faster than the falling in love will be my eye roll as I lose any connection I might have had to the characters.
And because I have to say it, there are certain stories/genres that get a bit of a bye on this issue. Which stories? Paranormal (especially ones with shifters and some sort of imprinting system like a few real animals do have) and possibly fantasy/sci-fi if there is a justified reason for it (again, whose to say that the Dalgorns from Zargorn six don't have an ESP that auto-detects the love of their existence after all).
What do you think? Do you love instalove? Get bothered by it? Couldn't give a toss either way? Leave a comment below, I'll be back to answer them. For now, I think I hear a crowd gathering at my door . . .