So after a good character development session today, the thought came to me about book boyfriends. You know the Mr. Darcys and Christian Greys of the world. Before I go any further with this post, I would like to give a shout out to my own first book boyfriend. Mr. Mamrou Chiba (aka Prince Endymion) of Sailor Moon.
He was the reason I started to daydream about love, decided that marriage might not be a bad idea when I grew up, and found myself having a thing for intelligent, dark haired men who like to wear shades and suits whenever they think they can pull it off. He was my first book boyfriend. And to this day, I still find myself swooning whenever I pick up any of the Sailor Moon mangas and come across him in a scene.
Now back to my main topic. What I really want to talk about is the impact these men/boys have on women. Some may say it’s just an unrealistic crush on a man who doesn’t exist, but I believe their impact reaches deeper than that. I think these men do something to women on a subconscious level that changes the way we pick future mates. They change what we consider to be non-negotiable in relationships, alter our view of what a healthy relationship is, and even give us hope when we have a bad break up.
Which is why I think we, as romance authors, should put more thought into what we make our heroes to be. We should pose the question of, ‘Would I want to date this guy or have my mother/sister/daughter/best-friend date him?’ If the answer is no, then maybe we should re-think having him as our hero. Because he just may become someone’s first book boyfriend, and the pinnacle of the perfect man in someone else’s eyes.