30 September 2011


Late last week I read a fantastic review of Amy Lane's Clear Water by the lovely Tracy from Tracy's Place. And Tracy's review (and the ensuing discussion) got me to thinking about insta love. (Yes, again!) I guess you could say that I have (to put it mildly) a bee in my bonnet about insta love. When I originally posted my thoughts about Clear Water I made the following comment:
If I had to put my finger on one thing I didn't like (and FYI this hasn't influenced the grade because it is a 'me' thing and not a 'book' thing) it was the speed with which Patrick and Whiskey fell in love. I'm not such a fan of the insta love trope any more, although to be fair this occurred over 6 weeks rather than days (or hours :)
But why is it that I have a problem with insta love versus the slow cooker variety? (I know, terrible analogy :) After a lot of thought I think it is because, with insta love, I don't believe enough time has passed for there to be a solid foundation of trust between the characters. The shorter the time period the less time they have to be sure of each other's intentions (and no, I have no idea how much time is 'enough') and...I need to be sure. I need proof. Why? In Clear Water, Whiskey didn't in any way, shape or form seek to hurt and/or manipulate Patrick. (Unlike Patrick's ex-boyfriend.) So why couldn't I take Whiskey's words and deeds at face value and believe the love he expressed for Patrick regardless of the time frame? Because I don't trust the character I most identify with (in Clear Water that would be Patrick) to know instinctively that this love is...'legit'. I don't trust me to know. I don't trust me because I have no confidence...in myself. No foundation of belief. Which, according to the unnamed expert, comes back to the positive mirroring one receives (or in my case did not) as a child.

So, where does this leave me? Working towards developing my confidence? Having faith in my own abilities and...trusting myself? Yes to all of the above.


  1. Interesting realization, that! I know that there was much confusion, as others who've read the book (like myself) thought that six weeks of being together all the time was plenty of time to develop non-insta-love. Esp vs the usual six hours that we read about too often.

  2. Orannia, I understand your reservations. In many cases, I believe that in these stories it's a case of "instalust" or chemistry with a deep connection between the two main characters. The beginning of love. The truth of love, those deep feelings where trust plays such a huge part, develop slower in a relationship and over time.

    Some of these stories are too short to convey that development, yet in other stories it's worked in and those seem to be more satisfying.

    I find myself looking for those longer stories with that deep satisfying feeling. So, I do understand where you're coming from. However, sometimes I can appreaciate a good, short, love story where the characters just "click." The beginning of love can be both beautiful and exciting.

    We all bring our own issues or experiences -- trust and otherwise -- to our reading experience. I think it's great that you're aware of yours. :)

  3. Eventually you have to leap, that's the only way you can know you can trust someone.

  4. Chris - that a number of people have thought 6 weeks was plenty of time has been what got me thinking about it in more depth. Because, looking at it logically it is plenty. But...I seem to not see it that way. Now I know why and it's a good thing - for me and for any books I read like Clear Water :) I now feel guilty that I didn't appreciate Whiskey & Patrick's relationship as I should have *heads desk*

    Hilcia - yes! I think Clear Water is the latter in that there is time for the deeper connection to develop, but...without overt proof I don't ever quite believe it. The more I find out about me the more I need to learn, but...baby steps :)

    heidenkind - *nods* When I read Gathering Storm one of the characters (Vinnie) came to the realization that he didn't trust people implicitly until they gave them power over him and they didn't abuse it (or him). And that resonated with me. I think I need to learn (or know implicitly :) that if I take that leap and get knocked down I can survive it. I can't live my life as I am now...not taking that leap. Well, I could, but I'll be as I am now, in limbo, and I know that won't make me happy. Thank you. Your comemnt led me to that realization :) *hugs*

  5. Makes sense to me. Trust is one of the most difficult feelings in romance, and is often not conveyed very well imo, because I need definitely more than a simple 'telling' that there's love or trust.
    As for real life: good luck with taking the leap, hon! :)

  6. Janna - yes :) More show, less tell! And thank you!

  7. There's a lot to be said about arriving at a blog discussion a few days late. I can just agree with all the wonderfully articulated words of wisdom from everyone else who commented already! LOL! It's true! ... but also very lazy..

    I agree with your issues on insta love versus the slow cooker kind and most of the time I totally agree. I mean.. can you even compare a bowl of 3 minute ramen noodles with a bowl of homemade soup that took all day to prepare? Not usually. HOWEVER... sometimes the ingredients used in the homemade soup isn't too your liking? What if you're allergic to shellfish and the homemade soup is clam chowder? You'd choose the ramen soup, I bet. Okay, now my analogy is getting a little out of control here...

    Basically it's the specific ingredients--characters and their chemistry, that is the most important part of a good love story, whether in real life or in books. Sometimes instant is good enough and you can believe in the beginnings of something wonderful to grow and flourish. Sometimes you need the slow cooked kind to believe it is meant to be.

    As for you, as always, I admire you for thinking these things through as it pertains to your own life. I think it helps you "know" yourself a little better. I think believing in the possibility that you can love and be loved is half the battle. Then you do just have to take a leap and see where you land. Sometimes the leap--and not knowing exactly where you're going-- is the most thrilling part!