Now, I know a lot of people have talked about this lovely phenomenon. I normally don't like to add my two cents into things that are so discussed, but I--for whatever reason--feel like I have something a little bit different to say.
I was thinking the other day that maybe this had become less of a trend in YA releases of the past year or so. Then I read The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse. Alenna was "inexplicably" drawn to Liam, who is a likable enough character, but she quickly progresses from being attracted to him to declaring her love for him. Sometimes a fast relationship makes sense, but in The Forsaken I think Alenna and Liam spend time together maybe three times before she's saying she loves him. Heightened situations = heightened emotions, I get it, but...Meh.
The biggest defense of instalove is that when you're a teenager things are magnified. You think every event in your life is the biggest thus far; you think that boyfriend you've been dating for two weeks is the love of your life. I get it! I can excuse it in some cases. All relationships need a foundation, though. You can be attracted to someone without being in love with them. You can be in love with the idea of someone. You can know you want to spend a lot of time with them. I just believe that in order to be "in love" with someone you have to know them. You don't have to know every detail of their life or their opinions on everything, but I think knowing someone's disposition and how they look at the world is vital.
I feel like this is making me sound cynical, but I'm really not! My parents met around Christmas one year, were engaged on Valentine's Day, and married in September. They had known each other less than a year and have been married for over 30 years now. My brother and his fiancee met in October 2011, were engaged in June 2012, and will be married this December. By the time they're married they'll have known each other just over two years. By some standards that is no time, and by others it's normal. I see love in my life, and know that when the right person comes, you can know very quickly. But knowing someone is the right person for you doesn't equate being in love with them. I knew almost immediately that my best friend would be my best friend when we met, but I didn't love her like I do now, after having been close for more than 7 years. It's not quite the same thing, but in a way it is.
I think that is my biggest problem when it comes to the relationships in a lot of young adult novels. A declaration of love or undying devotion is romantic, and maybe typical for a teenager, but I think it's representing a relationship ideal that just doesn't exist. Even I have to remind myself from time to time that that is not how mature relationships work and being truly in love with someone comes with time and familiarity.
What do you think of my opinion? Do you agree? Do you disagree? I'd love to know!