My Ideal Book Boyfriend – E.M. Tippetts
I’ve never been one for the princess in a tower and guy looking on from afar dynamic. My guys know the women they love, and that’s why they love them. Many of my couples start out as friends, or at least “friends,” going through that period of pre-romance when they socialize and get to know one another.
HE HAS TO HAVE SINCERE FEELINGS FOR THE WOMAN BASED ON QUALITY INTERACTION.
All of my women are strong in one way or another, though not all fit the mold of being opinionated and intransigent. One is calm and unflappable, and thus has people dump on her all the time. One’s mouthy and immature and thus wrong for most of the book. One’s emotionally damaged and over-cautious and demands that guys and the emotions they evoke stay at a distance. But however the strength manifests, the guy cannot be afraid of it. He can be respectful of it. He can be unsure of how to deal with it, but he cannot feel threatened by it. For me, that’s an instant turn off.
HE CAN’T BE AFRAID OF A POWERFUL WOMAN.
I don’t mean well-intended condescension. I just wrote a book about a schizophrenic who decides to break up with his girlfriend for her own good, which is definitely condescending in its own way. What I’m referring to in this point is that obnoxious air of indulgence. The guy who sees a woman as a child and therefore “cute” or “amusing.” That is, in my opinion, the most unattractive quality a guy can have.
HE CAN NEVER TALK DOWN TO THE WOMAN HE LOVES.
He doesn’t have to cry all the time or anything like that, but he needs to show that he has feelings and be mature enough to accept vulnerability, rather than play games to hide it, or get violent. Speaking of which:
HE HAS TO BE EMOTIONALLY VULNERABLE.
Do I think every man who’s ever lost his temper and hit the woman he loves is irredeemably evil? No, but I do think he has a problem that needs to be addressed, dealt with, and resolved PRONTO. I’ve been very disturbed in a lot of “romance” books that I’ve read where the men physically manhandle the women. One example that comes to mind had a man grasp a woman by the arms so tightly that he bruised her. I confess, I’m a stickler on this one. Women who find this attractive need to stop finding this attractive. Really. Seriously. And to be fair, I don’t approve of women hitting men either, and am also disturbed at how some books portray them shoving guys, throwing heavy objects at them, and slapping them. Not cool, people. Okay, I’ll get off the soapbox now.
HE CAN NEVER, EVER, EVER, COMMIT AN ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE WOMAN WITHOUT PAYING THE PRICE.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean he needs to have a six-pack (though hey it doesn’t hurt), or perfect genes. Rather, he needs to show that he takes care of himself. He needs an awareness of fashion, even if that awareness is that he has no sense of fashion and thus gets help. He needs to hold himself to the same standard he holds women to, because I think there’s a secret here worth knowing. It almost doesn’t matter what shape, size, or color a guy is. Attractiveness in a guy comes from him accepting himself, being the best self he can be, and demonstrating to his partner she deserves only the best.
Which is just me, I know. I’ve got two sons of my own who are in intense cuddle training. I hug them every chance I get while they’re still little and not (too) embarrassed by me. You know, I’m doing it for the greater good, and the partners they’ll eventually have. Totally selfless motives here.
HE HAS TO BE PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE.
“A fast-paced blend of high-stakes drama and average teenage concerns (sex, appearance, friends), capped with a welcome message of hope.” – Kirkus Review of Castles on the Sand
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