[Think Aloud] – #11 – Embracing Instalove In Post-Apocalyptic Settings

Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud.


Table Topic:
Embracing Instalove In
Post-Apocalyptic Settings


You don’t know when you’ll die, so yolo.


If the world is bleak as heck and you’re unsure if you’ll wake up tomorrow, wouldn’t you try to live every moment to its fullest? Sure, you can try spinning the wheel of fate hoping to survive but sometimes that’s not enough to get by. I mean, c’mon, if you’re dodging Death every eight minutes, I think you owe it to yourself to be a bit more lenient on your expectations on life. Any semblance of romance in post-apocalyptic environmentsbe it forbidden, love-shapely, or instaloveshould be embraced with open-arms because YOLO.

(I’m completely serious.)

But perhaps you like to be alone. Or maybe you’re extremely hopeful in surviving and finding your OTP. There’s nothing wrong with either option. It’s just that while you choose how you think you ought to live…sometimes life chooses for you, and you just gotta run with it. I’m not dismissing slow-burning romances. It’s just that these love-at-first-sight feels might actually have something going for them.

It seems common to merge contemporary idealism [regarding romance] with the gritty realism of harsh, danger-ridden environments but is that a realistic approach? Friendships, in theory, would be difficult to come by in a Darwinist culture and the onus on cultivating that prerequisite in order to attain romance isn’t always the best alternative. There can be romances that develop over time but there should also be the possibility of relationships happening instantaneously—based on insatiable lust and attraction, (or maybe not)—and these tropes shouldn’t always be quickly cashed in as storytelling flaws or shallow romances if it fits the imagined setting. This isn’t to say that you’ll be forever branded as sleazy (although I’m sure naysayers will raise their pitchforks at the thought), it’s that you have one life to live and you’re essentially living on borrowed time.

So go forth and enjoy that dodecahedron romance with every character archetype you come across. And hey, if the enigma that’s out to get you is actually the one you just got together with, at least you’ll have that to take with you into the afterlife.

Afterthought Prompts:

 Gosh that was random—I’m not really sure what I can ask LOL.

  1. Does your thoughts on instalove change when looking at it through the scope of a post-apocalyptic world? Should it?
  2. How do you find the precedent of romance within post-apocalyptic doom-and-gloom themed novels? Does it stray too far from true survivalist behaviours?
  3. If you’re dodging bullets or narrowly escaping death every moment of your life, do you think that would affect your standards on romance?


Post Inspiration:

During a recent Top Ten Tuesday list, there was a lot of chatter regarding the overwhelming dislikes in romance to delve into instalove. And you know me, I totally thought, “I wonder if I can challenge that?” Yes, yes I can. This will likely be the shortest think piece ever.

24 thoughts on “[Think Aloud] – #11 – Embracing Instalove In Post-Apocalyptic Settings”

  1. I think we should embrace instalove in a post apocalyptic or apocalyptic world. The same rules don’t apply to this new world. You don’t even know if you will be alive tomorrow so why not love a person while you can? That’s my thought.


    1. I’m curious as to what rules you think would/wouldn’t apply in these worlds. Fictionally speaking, so many of popular speculative settings have been based off of historical oppressiveness (or, at least that’s what I’d like to think).

      Anyhow, love in itself “should be” pretty superficial only it doesn’t seem like many people enjoy this particular [overdone?] trope. It boggles my mind when so much emphasis is put hoping for a happily-ever-after in this perilous worlds!


  2. Love will definitely have a different standard in a post apocalyptic world. The stakes are higher in everything and that includes love. That means you either will swear of all love believing it will make you weak or welcome it with open arms. It depends on who our who your characters are.


    1. Right on–it’s peculiar to me though that some readers dismiss instalove as unrealistic especially when death is knocking at your door LOL. I think that was the purpose of why I wrote about this! I’m sure there’s a middle ground to being skeptical about love but being open to the possibility, but perhaps it’s a small minority that might actually go about doing this.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oddly enough, I haven’t read too many novels that has this ‘affliction’. But you brought forth interesting points. I mean, for haters of this type of romance, one can probably forgive this easily knowing that the world’s population has thinned. I mean, when else are these people supposed to find love, yeah?


    1. You betcha my goal was to turn them heads to look at instalove in a positive light. But more importantly, I find that instalove and love triangles are basically synonymous (or at least close enough) such that some readers need to be more accepting that it might not actually be formula writing but it’s in the heart of the world itself that these romances take place. Like, ain’t nobody got time for your YA contemporary slow burning drama llama romance, am I right?


  4. I don’t think I’d like instalove even in a postapocalyptic world, but I wouldn’t mind instalust or instahookups. This is a very interesting point, though – and one of the things I dislike (love triangles) does get better and maybe even interesting in some of the postapocalyptic fiction I’ve read, so I can see how other readers can view instalove that way.


    1. But instalust/hookups might be able to turn into a really superficial form of love. I’m sure that’s how it all starts (maybe?). I think the problem with so many instalove is that, to me, it gets shamed for skipping major friendship benchmarks when in fact it might ought to skip them entirely in these worlds.

      I haven’t been too burdened by blatantly outrageous love triangles of recent but have noticed greater awareness those that I’ve read to attempt to stick to one path rather than force-feeding both alternatives at the same time.

      This wasn’t very coherent, sorry.


  5. As long as it stays realistic with the characters, I don’t really mind. Baah. Who am I kidding, of course I mind. I’ve always thought instalove is lazy, but now that you dedicated a post about it, I kinda question myself…


  6. I haven’t actually considered this before…usually I get irritated with insta-love and give up on the book/series but with post apocalyptic books it doesn’t bother me. Maybe that is because of the whole impending doom countdown to death thing or maybe it’s just because characters in post apocalyptic books are always such awesome badasses that I don’t really care! Either way, there is definitely a different level of tolerance for immediate romance in post-apocalyptic books.


    1. (Oops, forgot there was a comment here.)

      It’s interesting how given the difference in circumstance do we give some leeway with romance and be like, “yeah, go ahead, that tree stump can be your cuddle buddy” Dare I say that readers can be hypocrites (myself included)? I would guess it’s unfair to any child of contemporary fiction that they aren’t allowed to experience a love-shape (and/or instalove) just because they have the privilege of an “easier life”. Bananas, I say!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Joey, I stopped to visit because Nicole featured your post in her Sunday Post. Glad I stopped by! very unique concept, your blog. I’m planning to spend sometime reading (S)he said. :):)

    I have seen instalove so many times in all kind of settings and even in real life that it doesn’t surprise me to see it in an apocalyptic setting, where it probably makes a little more sense 😉
    Great post!
    Hope you stop by and visit one day


  8. I usually dislike insta-love in novels. That immediate attraction isn’t love, it’s lust. However, I generally come across it in YA novels. However, when you take teenage hormones into consideration, the intense feelings they have for their crush, would feel like love to them. I guess I’m looking at it from my POV, and forgetting that the protagonist telling the story is a teen.

    As far as post-apocalyptic scenarios, I would think the survival instinct inherent in all mammals would kick in, and people would be humping like bunnies. I guess that’s why slow-burn romances like in the Hunger Games confuse me. What’s Katniss waiting for? She has two dudes after her. Why not be with them both? LOL!


Have some thoughts? Leave a comment below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.