Friday, April 26


Do you believe in love at first sight?

I bring it up because I recently read (and reviewed over on Good Reads) Grace Duncan's Choices and one of the things that bugged some other readers was the "insti-love" between Bathasar and Teman. Now, I would have liked the falling in love to have been drawn out a bit more, but that has more to do with how angsty it would have been and how much I love angsty romance. I definitely believe in love at first sight (I'm pretty sure all of my characters do, too).
Of course love at first sight doesn't always work out well.
Once upon a time when there was a starry eyed teenager sitting in 9th grade algebra doing her best not to fail. One day, somewhere round abouts the middle of the year, a new student walks into the room and our starry eyed heroine's heart starts to beat a mile a minute. And as luck would have it, there's an empty desk right by hers... sigh. I think we had a grand total of six conversations and truthfully, he was a bit full of himself, although as memory serves, he was really only average. But that didn't stop me from making a royal fool of myself over the boy.
Love is a powerful emotion and I honestly don't know what triggers it, especially when we're talking about insti-love. When I first met my first husband, I didn't quite like him (sorry, hun! I believe it had something to do with that outburst about me wearing a pentacle; I didn't know quite what the follow up was going to be!)  But by the end of the class period (we met in a college lit class) I'd decided he was worth enough of a shot to go out on a date with. The first date went very, very well and I think we were engaged within a couple of months. Obviously we're not married now, but we are good friends (and he's married to a wonderful woman), so it definitiely all worked out for the best. (But when readers start saying my writing isn't HEA enough, I kinda gotta ask what makes HEA? I've been married three times, so it's not necessarily a wedding ring.)
I'm very sure I didn't fall instantly in love with the man I'm married to now. We met at a party and hit it off really well, but it was just friendly chit-chat; we're both introverts and neither of us knew too many people there so we sort of found a quiet corner to talk. Or not talk. But little by little we got to know each other and became good friends and eventually started dating. (Actually we dated on and off several times before we hooked up for good).
I used that slow build (although a little faster than *years*) in my third novel Hanging by the Moment (due out Sept/Oct from Dreamspinner Press). There was an instant attraction, but the boys got to know each other over a series of weeks, through text messages, late night phone calls, a crisis or two, and of course some old fashioned dinner dates.

But my first book (Heart's Home) was much more the instant attraction type of love, although there was that whole werewolf thing going on. Wolves and their dang mating instincts! I let my belief in love at first sight influence me there a lot.
Right now, I'm clacking away on what I'm hoping will be my fourth published novel and that got me thinking about romance writing, love at first sight, and what attracts us to a mate to begin with (and more importantly, what keeps us together with that mate). Dillon and Andy don't experience love at first sight--in fact, initially, Dillon tries to give Andy the brush off because Andy is not his type at all. Eventually he gives in because if it's just going to be a one night stand (which is all he's expecting) than it doesn't really matter what Andy looks like. (Andy is hot, by the way, he's just Dillon's type). But the more Andy gets Dillon to open up--and vice versa--the more Dillon realizes that even though they don't have much in common (at least not on the surface), Andy makes him happy and happy isn't something that Dillon has been in a long, long time.
So what do you think? What is love? Is it really just a chemical reaction in our brains? Is there such a thing as a soul mate?


Pickleweasel said...

I've been thinking about love a lot lately so decided to actually read this one instead of letting it collect in my inbox to read later along with the other alphabet posts!

I believe in -something- at first sight. Maybe not love, but extreme attraction, sure. I've experienced that myself. There are different types of love anyway, even within romantic love. Love changes over time, too, as you know. And then there's attraction at first site then love not quite at first sight, but after first hours spent together getting to know someone. That's what Teman and Bathasar had in Choices, and I understood it though they do fall in love quickly. I saw it as realistic for them, since some people have a tendency to fall hard and fast. Plus, the love still grows and morphs as they are together more throughout the book.

I believe in love starting early sometimes, sure, and morphing over time. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

Your personal experiences are interesting, thank you for sharing! I've had my own fair share, from slow build to really being in love with someone while being friends so that once we got into a relationship, saying "I love you" was hard to wait to do, but I did since I didn't want to scare him off. That relationship has since ended, and I was the one who ended it, but I did truly love him!

Hanging By the Moment sounds like it's going to be an amazing read. I'm really looking forward to it!

Heheh. I should read Heart's Home, wolfy instincts can be fun!

And Andy and Dillon sound like fun to write, and to read! I did read about the WIP and it is exciting.

What keeps us together indeed... for me, that's the part I'm not sure about since it was inertia that kept me in one relationship for 5 years. But also lack of honesty to myself about what I needed.

I believe love is different for different people. It can be chemical, it can be spiritual, it can be both. I don't believe in soulmates as much as believing that there are multiple potential people out there who could be near-perfect (because I don't believe in perfection in the real world) mates for any one person. Hence why I can dig polyamory as well as monogamy. And why I do agree with "there are plenty of fish in the sea". I like to believe there are multiple someones for everyone, and if that person finds just one of them, then great! If they find more and they can all work it out, also great! If something happens that requires the relationship to end but a person finds someone to love again, also great! I'm quite flexible when it comes to my beliefs on love, I think.

Thanks for getting my brains running this early in the morning... because now I have the energy to do a little writing for Grace for our RP where we have two college boys who are ridiculously in love! And theirs was a slow build but they each grew to love the other when they were friends, so when we finally let them get together two years later (forget about orgasm denial, relationship denial is harder!) they are able to love each other fully immediately. Is fun times.

H.B. Pattskyn said...

I'm pretty guilty of falling fast and hard myself, which is why I didn't have any problem believing Bathasar and Teman.

And yeah, relationship denial is *much* harder. My husband and I spent about a year "not dating". He absolutely refused to commit to the word "dating" because every time he had in the past the relationship went south...but it was *so* hard to hang in there and not date and just hang out "as friends". It was worth it in the end, though!