I met my husband 10 years ago (TEN, wow! That went be quickly!) in a study session for my college chemistry class. (I know, chemistry. hahahahahaha Heard that joke a million times, moving on.) I met him and it was like, BAM! It was like those cartoons where the character gets hit over the head with a mallet and sees the stars twirling around their head in circles over and over again. That is how strong my attraction for him was.
After that, even though we were in two different majors and only shared one core class the entire rest of our college careers, I saw him everywhere. At the library, at the Student Union, walking to and fro from our different classes—I'd never seen the guy before IN MY LIFE and suddenly, I couldn't go a day without spotting him. Sometimes, not even an hour. It was WEIRD.
I don't believe in soulmates. Never have, never will. I don't believe in love at first sight. But do I think there's a possibility that you can meet someone and feel over-the-top, can't-think-about-anything-else attracted to them? Heck yes, I do. It happened to me.
My husband and I saw each other every day that summer, we said,"I love you," at six months and FOUR YEARS LATER, we got married. Everyone's journey to love is different, but my love story is what I based Nikka and Zyander's love story on.
If you've read the series, you'll notice that neither of them have(thus far) said, "I love you." In the first book, they are together for all of a week before they spend the rest of the book separated. (Sorry if that's a spoiler!) It would be odd for them to say they loved each other in a book where they only spend a week together.
In Aeris, they have more of an opportunity to get to know one another, but I still don't see them as being intimate enough for a love confession. They are getting there, but these things take time.
My point, and I do have one, I've thought carefully about how I want the relationship between my two characters to proceed, and in the end, I decided to write what I know. What I know, is that it takes time to fall in love and to say the words. Attraction happens in an instant, but true love takes development.
It's sad that we live in a world where characters come together for A DAY, and tell each other, "I love you." I just can't picture that, myself. It's sad that we live in a culture that judges every other story based on another one they've read. Either love happens too fast to be believable, or not fast enough. I'm sorry to admit that I've been pretty judgmental about that myself.
Think carefully, when you write, about how quickly your characters become intimate. Fast or slow, make sure that you have a good reason for it, in your mind.