I have no shortage of so called “book boyfriends”.
These are the boys – or men – that you read about in books and think ohhhh I’ll take three of those, please. They are ruggedly handsome, with messy hair and The Jaw (as my dad calls it – apparently the male lead in movies always have a prominent jaw line? I hate to admit it but I kind of see his point and it really does make me laugh).
As someone who has been reading romance novels for a very long time now, starting off light and simple all those years ago with the classic Jacqueline Wilson novels and slowly progressing into the steamier alternatives of contemporary romance and the delightful fantasy romance of Sarah J. Maas, I am no stranger to this idea of the ~ultimate luuuurve story~.
You know the one. There is either a ‘meet cute’ situation, or a hate-to-lovers epic story, or even a friends-to-lovers, but they all pan out the same way. They meet (or re-connect), get to know each other, their first impressions of each other were probably wrong, something comes along that derails it for a short time (an ex, a lie, a wrongful assumption) before they realise they are just right for each other and absolutely cannot live another day apart and off they prance into the sunset.
So where is this in real life?
The closest I get to a romantic story is a drunken snapchat from a boy with barely legible typing of words that I shall not even repeat.
Where is my Rhysand, my Cardan, my Heathcliff, my Darcy, my Grey (lol), my big story? (Ok, maybe not Cardan. He’s a bit of a dick isn’t he. BUT, I haven’t read The Wicked King yet and I can’t wait to hate to love him more)
I mean, I guess I am only twenty one years old. Maybe it just hasn’t come along yet. But I also think I am kidding myself on if I think it will ever be anything like I have read in any book.
We have to remember that these men are fictional characters. As much as we really wish they did, they don’t exist in real life, and they never will.
So are our book boyfriends giving us an unrealistic outlook on love?
I would say they are. For years I have imagined this perfect love story that I am finally mature enough to know will never happen, but a girl can still dream, right?
There lies the problem, though. I love reading them! I love pretending that this could happen to me or someone I know someday! I want to live in that fantasy world where men act like that! I want to end all my sentences in exclamation marks to express my pure and utter joy!
(In fairness, if it happened in real life, I would probably be cringing and saying wondering if he was being serious.)
But will I keep reading these books till the end of my days?
Edit (14/1/19): Something occurred to me last night, after posting this blog post. I don’t know if it was something I read on Twitter and subconsciously took in as I scrolled mindlessly, but it popped into my head that this post isn’t the most inclusive. I think it is important to check ourselves and call ourselves out when we find ourselves wrongly missing out an important bracket, or there will be no real and positive change in the future. I talk about book boyfriends in this post, because that is how I see it in my head. But, this doesn’t apply to everyone reading this I am sure. I thought about going back through the post and changing the language to be inclusive of all sexual orientations, but decided that I wanted to write this instead after noticing my mistake. The feelings that I talk about throughout this post are universal, I’m sure, no matter whether it is your book boyfriends or book girlfriends that consume your thoughts. What’s important here is that we are all day-dreaming and enjoying reading and having our love/hate relationships with this fictional characters. Ok. That’s all. Make sure to check your writing too, and everything else you say online and in person.