Let's Talk Transcendental Love: When Love Is All That Matters

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

We’ve all said our piece on insta!love. It’s unfavourable, that one. I could say a thing or two but honestly, it'll probably do little to enlighten you. So I've come to the next best thing: transcendental love. Confused? Unfamiliar? (you aren't, trust me) Well let me explain. 


While I said I had no words to give, I’ve got to bring the insta! back into the picture. Insta!love doesn’t bother me all too much. I’m great at spotting it from a mile away but as long as it remains innocent, I remain game. It’s a big thing now, insta!love. Inescapable, some may say. If you can’t beat them, join them. Or at least subdue the anger (life’s a better place when you’re a calm clam.) You see, the thing that really fires up my rant machine (a nasty thing this is, full of profanities—they should send me to finishing school) is when the insta!love drags home an uninvited guest. What gets my eye twitching is none other than soul-consuming, insult to self-preservation, irrational actions and declarations of love, or otherwise known as the: 

“I know we met yesterday, but you, babe, are the love of my life. You’re my bae—or otherwise known as that word we all thought was short for babe but turns out urban dictionary says otherwise. Death shan’t part us (even though just yesterday life was getting on fine without you), and should fate deal us a heavy hand, I’d still defy reason, logic and life itself to reel you back to me.” 

Sorry. I get carried away. But the point is, let me introduce you to the

love that transcends the barriers of time, space and reality. 

Now I did a little digging. Spiritualists like to think of transcendental love as the process whereby both parties give themselves into love; sacrificing self or self-interest. In the context of Romanticism, transcendental love follows the same gist; love is a healing force, love is salvation, love transports the self into another realm. Lovely. Does that sound just a teensy bit familiar to you? We see it a lot, this, especially in Young Adult fiction (but definitely not limited to.) 

Under the Young Adult tree, Romanticism has become less of a branch and more of an integral component; a requirement, if you must. There’s no denying it. Sure, there are probably some fantastic works out there that don’t have romance in them, but guess what? The ratio is probably 5:4, leaning in favour of romance. BUT don't get me wrong; I’m not being a romance snob. Hell no. I love a bit of romance. It opens up a can of emotions—sweetness, rawness, laughter, lightness, angst. It’s a great way to connect to the audience. The thing is, I like my romance done tastefully or if better worded, I like it done appropriate to the context. You know what exists? Too much of a good thing and when I see romance overdone, especially in relation to it’s situation, I do this thing where I drown. In disappointment. In distaste. In bitterness. 

You see, half the time we get some REALLY INTENSE romance that just doesn’t seem…pertinent. I can understand why characters in a dystopia, for example, would be a little more rushed with their feelings and emotions. Time’s a’ticking. Chances are the government, or whoever's the big bad wolf, is probably breathing down their necks. Because everyone's just out to chomp us teens who hold all the information (but that’s for another day). Point is, I feel for them and I get it. So fine. I won’t complain. BUT what aches me in a dystopic setting is when things get pushed pass heighten emotions and into the territory of “But what and why?” 


What do I mean by that? I mean when the characters stop giving a damn about the fact that they’re being chased down by some baddies who, in real life (where we have this concept called time), would most probably round the corner in about T-minus 2 seconds. Instead reality is conveniently put on pause, life dulling in comparison. Here they are, seconds away from becoming potato mash, but hey, who cares about that when you’ve got some time for a feel-me-up, yolo (don’t give me that look), it’s now or never, KISS. RIGHT WHEN THEY’RE ABOUT TO BE MURDERED /TORTURED /WHAT EVER THE HECK IS APPLICABLE. 


I don’t get it. Why not save the saliva swap for a when they actually make it out of danger (which would probably be sooner if they’d used that time to escape). And let’s not get me started on those “Just met two hours ago but now that you’re in danger I’d die in your place because I think I wuv you”. Please. Just spare me. 

But this is just my little two cents. Now I want to know what you think. Is this something that bothers you or is it justified? I want to know the situations that you can stand and the ones that seem ridiculous. 

30 comments:

  1. This post is hilarious because it's true! Insta love is annoying, unless its a situation like u said end of the world and the environment is different, I can deal with that. Transcendental love...interesting. Now I'm thinking of when I've seen this recently. More likely, where have I not seen it. Seems like it's everywhere, it does bother me. Sometimes, I can deal with it ..depends. I do remember my first love feeling transcendental, so I get that sometimes the characters will act that way. But I didn't jump in front of a bus or werewolf to save my first love, either. (That's why he's currently very hairy and a werewolf, I'm pretty sure). So I think I draw the line based on the extent of their behavior. Erratic behaviors, more like it. If they do a ton of crazy ish I'm not buyin it, but if it's a lot of pretty words,mthats doesn't bother me. :)

    -Dee's Reads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's everywhere now, isn't it? I don't mind it too much either because your so right, these feelings are often captured in writing because they exist--they're something someone out there has felt. But it looses my interest and sense of plausibility when it becomes erratic! The crazy stuff just makes me think, "Really?!"

      Delete
  2. I'm dying... of laughter! Seriously girl, love this post! I've said this so many times: I hate instalove... but I have to admit than depending on how the story is treated I can bear it. But there are some cases that are just a no no for me... and that might be what you called here the transcendetal love or what I call: "instalove taken to its limits". I've seen it in too many books. And it makes me wanna kill myself sometimes, no kidding here (well, maybe a little... basically my instincts tell me to throw the books at a wall but the other part of my brain that hates books in bad condition stops me).

    so yeah! the day authors realize trascendental love is the most horrible thing in the world and decide to stop doing it, it would be an AWESOME DAY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha I'd throw it too! I've had so many instances where I'm really engaged in the storyline but as soon as those crazy lines and themes pop up I suddenly become weary and the book just looses it's magic because I'm distracted! Ohoho, if only that day would come...

      Delete
  3. "Even though just yesterday life was getting on fine without you." -SO Good.

    I'm the type of reader who loves romance in novels, but like you said, romance with genuine emotions that build over a series of moments/connections/etc. Insta!love can kick it!

    Is it bad that I just want to write "!"'s between "Insta" and other words? Insta!love Insta!sleep Insta!ramen.

    Also, I love 5ever this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg, I feel so tempted to put the ! in all the time. I can't help it. It just feels like I'm heightening the meaning of instant xD

      Ngaw, now you are just the sweetest! <3

      Delete
  4. I'm really glad you wrote about the way it is viewed in life nowdays! That was very interesting to me, because I guess it's an element (and one I don't think I've actually seen in a book for a while, which I'm pretty happy about, since I more often than not dislike how it goes) I have never thought about out of a novel.
    One of the things I love so much, apart from the way the fantasy can be so unique, about MG novels is that there is hardly a romance element most of the time. And that's definitely something I appreciate- it can get too much, otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh your so lucky that it's been absent. I think I conjured this post out of disappointed curtesy of back to back "romance over plot" books. I don't read MG all too often but when I do, I definitely agree with you. Sometimes a break from romance is very much appreciated!

      Delete
  5. I just googled "bae" and apparently it means "poo" in Danish. So effectively, when used in an affectionate terms, you're calling the other person "poo". Now every time I see that word I'm going to burst out laughing like the immature teenager I am. ;)

    More seriously, this is a really interesting discussion, because this transcendental love, for me, can either work, or not work. For me, it depends on a) the characters, and b) the character's situation. If the characters are likeable them I'm naturally going to be rooting for them to get together--and I'm probably not going to mind as much if the romance is perceived as "unrealistic" to others. And situationally--as you said above--a dystopia with a transcendental romance kind of does make sense... even if it might be horrendous to read. But really, for that to work for me, I've got to like/relate to the characters.

    Great post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHAHA I saw that too! Honestly though, I don't get the obsession with the word :/

      You're so right. I never thought about likability but now that I think of it, that is a huge factor. Because that way, you feel invested in the character, right?

      ^_^ <3

      Delete
  6. I personally don't mind it half the time to be honest. I do see where your coming from and I agree - therefore it's beyond thrilling when authours manage to make the "love at first sight" occur properly and have me cheer them on. Although I think the characters themselves have a lot to say whether or not I'll like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I love when "love at first sight" unfolds with this natural property. It's exhilarating as a reader. But yes, you're right--they characters themselves have a lot to do with how much we can or cannot stand it. Thanks for stopping by <3

      Delete
  7. Haha, this post had be laughing my ass off because it's SO TRUE! The amount of "OMG I love you even though we literally met 2 seconds ago" in books right now is unbelievable.
    I don't mind Insta-love either - when it's done right of course, but Transcendental Love is the most annoying. I can definitely think of a few dystopians with those kind of kisses in it - mainly Allegiant - and it just annoys me.
    Brilliant post, Jess! I absolutely loved it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RIGHT?! It's in every second book I read =____= Oh Allegiant...how could I ever forget it...
      Thanks Samantha! <3

      Delete
  8. Yessss! It bothers me, oh my god. Honestly, I'm a hopeless romantic and I obsess a little too much over guys that I think will be potential boyfriends if you get what I mean. But no matter how freaking hot a guy is or how in love with him I am, if a thug was chasing us down the street with a gun in his hand (this is my substitute situation in place of a dystopian society with a government wanting to kill us or a demon or whatever), I would probably forget about this other person. Yes, that sounds extremely selfish of me, but SELF PRESERVATION. OH MY GOD GUYS JUST THINK ABOUT YOURSELF FOR ONCE. IT'S LIKE THESE CHARACTERS HAVE A DEATH WISH.

    Yeah, that's all I have to say. Basically, I agree with you completely. It's irritating and irrational.

    Tori @ Bookish Affairs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl, we're in the same boat. I love a bit of "potential bf" pining ;) BUT ALL HAIL SELF-PRESERVATION. I don't understand where it goes in these dystopian worlds. I, for one, would totally unfortunately abandon these "new lovers" of mine. Definitely not selfish. Because Tori, at least you and I will live LOL

      Delete
  9. Omg I hate the yolo love as well (that is actually a great way to describe it, I'm going to use that from now on haha). I love my fair share of romance, but as I get older and read more books, the stupidity of some characters make me roll my eyes. A lot. Like you, I get why the romance is fast-forwarded in certain settings, but I hate when authors throw it into their books for the sake of having a romance to be marketed towards impressionable teens. Why are they trying to sell the message of 'you need a man to be happy' to these young girls? That's what frustrates me the most about instalove. Girls are strong and powerful on their own. We don't need no man (sometimes)! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Urgh! yes! I hate the idea that girls have to rely on or be coddled by testosterone. We're quite capable on our own! HAHAHAHA yolo love could catch on, right? It has quite the tune :b

      Delete
  10. Haha I seriously love this post! I'm a sucker for slow-burning romance because it means tension and ooo's and ahhh's and NOW KISS moments, so for me instalove is insanely annoying. I can't help but be bothered by characters who claim to love one another 150 pages into the story. And I STILL can't understand that, even in dystopia. :( I think it's because I feel like romance in dystopia is often forced and really just shouldn't be a forefront topic; there are so many other things going on! That's not to say it can't happen, I just would prefer it in a slowburn format that makes me swoon.

    But I don't always mind instalove. :P Sometimes it isn't so bad and I hardly notice it! Other times? Yeah, I'm probably banging my head against a wall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love me some slow burn as well! *high five* It's the best bit of the romance, tbh! OMG YES DYSTOPIAN ROMANCES ALWAYS FEEL FORCED! I hate it. I'm always thinking, "Right, sure...you're about to die but hey, there's always time for some loving." If I was in a dystopia, it'll be all about me LOL

      I find myself banging my head on the wall too much nowadays. It's a miracle we don't have concussions yet.

      Delete
  11. Jess, you keep surprising me. I mean, I didn't even know of that word before! ...and it's not what I expected. I mistook it for transexual love. Oops!--hey, don't judge. I don't know...we do find it in YA A LOT. But I guess I got used to it? Sometimes, it is too much, especially when in life or death/delicate situations but it also depends on the characters and how much I care for the romance. Let me think of it more though, I did only learn about this today, you know? XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHA that's an honest mistake, girl! The words look so familiar. It's everywhere now, isn't it? I probably shouldn't care as much as I do or otherwise I'd have to be hating on everything and I want to be full of lovvvveee :b But I agree--how much you actual invest in the characters does have to be factored in. If I'm sailing the ship and waving it's flag then perhaps...I wouldn't mind as much, you know?

      Delete
  12. I was laughing so much throughout this post and nodding because it's SO TRUE. This type of love just makes me go "... Oh come on REALLY" because they're usually so distracted by spit-swapping that they don't notice the evil people running after them or whatever. :|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! And sometimes I get so annoyed that I just want to reach into the pages and give them both a good and thorough shake!

      Delete
  13. I'm probably the one person who is usually okay with insta-love as long as it's more insta-attraction and not "I will die for you right now because this one day with you has changed everything blah blah." But when it comes to Dystopian, I can't deal. It gets me so on edge! Literally, the world is crumbling. And I get it, you want to spend the last few moments with someone you love. But if you have the power to save the world, focus on that first and then you can spend 5ever with your bae LOL :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHA the bae always seems to get in the way, right? Imagine all the complications that would be dissolve, had all these protagonists put themselves first! Oh, yeah. I'm definitely not fussed at all about insta-attraction. That, I totally understand!

      Delete
  14. Haha, yes, those moments where all hell breaks loose and they are just standing there making out. It's one of the things I also dislike about movies.. I can deal with a little rushed romance (as long as it has an understandable build-up) if the story asks for it, but sometimes I just wish they left it aside. Not every story needs romance, especially when it doesn't make any sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHA yes movies! They always seem to want to make kissy faces in light of danger. I get so anxious for the characters because we all know that shit's about to happen.

      I totally agree with you. I don't know why romance seems to be present in everything nowadays. I'm not being bitter (kind of :P) but, wow, I'd like to have a bit of a break, please.

      Delete
  15. I'm picky as hell when it comes to love. Instalove can sometimes be okay, and other times I'm just screaming WHYYYYYY and shaking my fists at the sky. This depends on all kinds of things, though. The writing, the time frame, the setting, how well the relationship and tension has been built between the two characters.

    I think the main thing that annoys me with love/romance in YA novels (and I've seen it a few times in dystopia) is where after meeting approximately three times, they're declaring LOVE. And wanting to be with each other FOREVER. And willing to do ANYTHING for the other. I just don't find that believable. Love takes time, dammit, and so does the feeling of wanting to be together forever, and risking your life for someone else. Those kinds of declarations are HUGE and I guess I just get a bit pissy when they're thrown about willy-nilly in a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm half/half with instalove as well. Sometimes it works but most of the time it's a fail.

      YES! I kind of feel like it's an insult to the whole concept of love, if you get what I mean. Because the whole experience is suddenly rushed into a span of days and it just feels like it's been degraded--like it doesn't matter enough to invest time in. The other day, I read my first slow burn relationship in MONTHS and it felt so refreshing. I kind of don't want to go back to all these rushed declarations anymore!

      Delete