We are drawn to romance. We long for those 6 beautiful words to wrap our stories in a tidy little bow: ‘And they lived Happily Ever After’.
Libraries are filled to the brim with classic literature containing fantastic love stories. But here is the thing, those men aren’t real and they aren’t necessarily practically romantic. Did you hear that my love jaded friends? It isn’t just you who feels misled.
I should clarify something early: I love those books and the characters inside. Romeo is one of my favorites. Wuthering Heights is my favorite book and Heathcliff is all kinds of dreamy in my eyes. However, in a real practical way these are not men you want to take home. Romeo might be the go to romantic icon, but he also married his rebound girl (yeah, he was on the rebound when he met Juliet) and then he killed her cousin the next day while in a brawl. That’s not exactly a man I want to bring home over Christmas. Then there is Heathcliff. I LOVE Heathcliff because he’s brooding and masculine and all those other buzzwords that we ladies drool over. However, he is also mean and vindictive and when he doesn’t get his way he spends years torturing everybody. Ah romance!
These are the men that we look to as romantic icons. But I thought I might add to this list with a few men from modern “literature”.
You will notice that literature is in “quotation” marks. That is simply because people don’t read anymore, so “modern literature” consists of movies and shows.
[Break for a brief tangent: with phones and the invention of the tablet and all other virtual “contact”/lack of human interaction I’m more and more legitimately scared that we are turning into the society from Farenheit 451—that’s a book…go read it]
Tangent over. Are you still reading.? Stay with me because the fun listing is about to begin!
Men of the world, I am going to let you in on a little secret. Please listen up because after I leak this secret I will no longer be invited to the secret girl meetings where we convene to discuss new ways to torture you men. We like to call it emotional warfare.
The secret is this: The real perfect man that we all want is not the beef on the front of the Harlequin cover and he’s not the guy described inside. The real man that we want is confident but not cocky, let’s you have your way a lot but also calls you out when you’re being ridiculous, and doesn’t look at other girls thus allowing you to live in the delusion that there is no other more beautiful than you. He pays when he takes you out and opens your door without constantly declaring himself a southern gentleman. He hangs out with your friends occasionally even if he hates them, never agrees with you when you’re complaining about yourself (because he knows it’s a trap and the only response is to change the subject and back away), he can joke with you, and he’s also just a little bit nerdy but not socially awkward. That’s it!
So with that in mind let us move forward. Without further ado, I present to you the list of the real great me of modern “literature”:
Jim Halpert -The Office
- Jim is the adorable, snarky, mischievous genius who was also super patient and romantic and insanely monogamous. I was in love with him for the better part of 3 years.
Rhett Butler -Gone With the Wind
- Wealthy and charming, but also a little scandalous and willing to call Scarlett O’Hara out on her schemes and manipulation.
Nick Miller – New Girl
- Nick Miller is the underachieving man of my dreams. He has no money but he is super honest and sweet, and he says ridiculous absurd things that are accidentally sweet.
Michael Bluth – Arrested Development
- The only stable member of the Bluth family, he is also my sarcastic dream man. He is sometimes a good father but he is always a super driven, hard working, genuinely sweet but horribly jaded dreamboat.
Indiana Jones –
- Does this one need explaining? He is a genius professor who loves to travel and go on adventures. He has that “I genuinely don’t care if you like me, but let’s face it, you obviously like me” swagger. He also has a constant 5 o’clock shadow.
Marshall Erickson –
- Marshall has it all. He has only been with one woman and has been super faithful and loving to her the entire time. This quality puts him on par with other mythical creatures like Big Foot and the Tooth Fairy. He is also crazy tall so you can wear heels, and he’s bulked up but not so fit that I feel bad about my refusal to go to the gym.
Iron Man –
- I’ll let him explain it:
Lumiere – Beauty & the Beast
- Foreign and romantic at heart, he is suave and helpful and makes Disney magic happen!
John McClane – Die Hard
- This man fights angry russians and terrorists on an almost yearly basis for a woman that divorced him. Imagine what he would be like in an actual relationship.
Elliot Stabler – SVU
- Oh Elliot. He rescues hurt women and children who have been attacked and he brings the bad guy to justice, all the while maintaining the same “come at me” facial expression.
Sirius Black – Harry Potter
- Wrongfully imprisoned and fiercely loyal. He should have his own movie. Plus he’s all suave and cultured, and from a crazy family which typically makes people more interesting.
Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars
- He has excellent self control, he has mastered the force, he can get you out of speeding tickets using the Jedi mind trick, and he has a vague accent.
Ron Swanson – Parks & Recreation
- Self sufficient and hard working, he is also very blunt and honest. He eats steak with a side of steak.
Chandler Bing – Friends
- He’s almost completely broken emotionally, but he knows it and he makes up for it with jokes and wit. He is the accidental perfect man.
Harry – When Harry Met Sally
- He is blunt but charming. He is a loyal friend to his Sally and when he screws it all up he fixes the problem with a grand New Years Eve gesture.
Danny Castellano – The Mindy Project
- He’s kind of harsh but he’s really honest and super sweet one on one. He turns out to be a really sweet guy who is still honest and calls people out on their BS.
Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock
- He’s successful and confident and relentlessly consistent. He takes care of the people that are important to him and always lands on his feet.
Shawn Spencer – Psych
- He’s impossibly confident and hilarious, and has built a profession on a ridiculous skill. He is super likable and always laid back.
We all fantasize about the classic Romeo-types, but these men here are the real dream. Because women talk a big game about the perfect man, but the real things that we want are much simpler. Here, allow Liz Lemon to sum things up for us in this horrible quality video that I recorded:
I enjoy reading your blog TLC!