Why I’m Starting to Hate Mates in YA

Let’s spill the tea on some romances ๐Ÿ˜’

I don’t think I need a disclaimer, because if you’ve been reading my blog for while you know that reading is subjective, and no, this is not a personal attack on you…maybe on your favorite books but not on you.

That said, let’s discuss Mates and relationships in YA…and my v v salty thoughts on it.


The first time I saw Mate used in YA was in S.J. Maas’ ACOMAF. I didn’t think much of it, and I liked it as part of the story.

But hear me when I say:

I HATH CHANGED MY MIND

Romance in YA is seemingly mandatory. I don’t agree…which is a discussion for another time. But lately, I feel that authors have gotten especially lazy.

Why should two people have similar interests or personalities that fit together when they could just be Mates?

Viola Davis is not impressed either

Here’s an example:

I was reading a Evenfall, where two girls were developing a relationship. They held hands, gave longing looks, had complimentary personalities, and had everything that usually indicates they were about to be an OTP of mine.

But then she LEFT HER for a brooding fae because she “felt a bond”. He literally threatened to kill everyone around her, and also was verbally, and borderline physically, abusive. And yet she stayed because of this bond.

And guess what? They were MATES.

Are we sacrificing real relationships for a cop-out?

And the fandoms aren’t helping. Literally every time a couple gets together in Throne of Glass the fandom assumes they HAVE to be mates. Like, can a genuine attraction to each other be enough? Why is the epitome of a relationship a bond that’s out of their control and basically forces them to be together?

I’m not saying the ToG or ACOTAR fandom is the healthiest. But every time there’s a potential ship, it can only happen if they’re mates. ๐Ÿคฆ 2 million people manage to get married every year without having that kind of a bond okay.

Side note, being Mates eliminates all need for open and honest communication. Because you’re literally inside each other’s head and hearing every thought and want, every hour.

Idk about you, but that sounds like my worst nightmare. I like working through my feelings, and I don’t want someone there every time I have a strong emotion, trying to tell me it’s okay.

There’s something to having a personal journey and private thoughts, and yet when you have a mate you become the same person. Not in a good way, as in you know each other really well. As in, you fix each other’s problems. Every time. What personal growth can come from that??

And it’s almost always physical, not even emotional. Which… Look I’m demisexal. I don’t place a lot of weight in physical relationships unless I’m really attached to the characters. So if they don’t have any connection? I’m not on board.

Couples should make each other better, should make each other smile, and should have complimentary personalities or interests. Even if they’re total opposites, sometimes that still works.

More often than not, being Mates forces two characters together who have sexual tension, but literally nothing else to their relationship. And considering most of these people are immortal…a purely physical relationship isn’t going to last very long guys.


What are your opinions on this? I realize I’m probably polarizing a lot of people ๐Ÿ˜‚

Marrill

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