Imaginary Gentlemen: Perfectly Imperfect

Hannah White, Staff Writer

Females are, by default, at times more attracted to fictional characters than to the actual males with whom they are surrounded. People – mostly the menfolk of society – puzzle over the reasoning behind this. Never fear, for this article will go deep into the female mind. Boys, take note.

Let us start by examining the thoughtful concern extended from fictional men to the main female characters. They sincerely desire the girl to be happy (not that real guys don’t, but fictional men do it a little better). In real life, males are at times dysfunctional when it comes to comforting weeping women (this may be partially due to the fact women’s emotions are completely irrational).

Fictional men know how to cheer the girls up. Observe the following examples:

Example 1:

Real guy: You look sad. Are you okay?

Real girl: Yes. *sniffle*

Real guy: Okay, cool (awkward silence ensues as the male is unsure what to do).

Example 2:

Fictional guy: You look sad. Is everything all right? (notice the better word choice).

Fictional girl: Yes. *sniffle*

Fictional guy: Please don’t lie to me (strokes her cheek and then proceeds to sweep her up into a romantic kiss, effectively cheering her up).

Men in books and movies also seem to have characteristics that girls never-endingly search for in “real men.” Their gentlemanly charm never wants. They know what to say and how to make a girl feel like she is worth more than everything in the world – what girl wouldn’t want a guy who makes her feel like that?

It’s not to say that fictional men are completely perfect – think Mr. Darcy for a moment, if you will (for those of you who are males or who grew up sheltered, this is the charming creation of Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice). He is well known for his pompously annoying personality, but his flaws only make him the perfect match for Lizzie’s nature. If this confuses you, refer to Jane Austen’s work (I suppose a movie rendition will do if you’re short on time).


Besides, any man who can say something as beautifully put as, “It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you” can be considered a girl’s dream-come-true. If a guy can tell me such a thing with complete sincerity without having memorized it, I will say yes before he even asks me on the date. I’d marry him on the spot, too. To be mentioned, Pride and Prejudice (and the majority of other swoon-worthy characters) were created by women, so naturally they can relate better to what women look for in a relationship, and, to be honest, the female imagination at times makes things slighty unrealistic.

Girls also relate to the main female characters of fictional works (again, remember that they tend to be created by women), so it follows that they wish to date (or even marry) fictional men. A lot of times in fiction, the nerdy girl gets the popular guy, the destitute young woman gets the excessively rich gentleman, or the plain girl gets the extremely attractive guy. Many girls see themselves in these female characters and fiction gives them hope. Girls want guys who will like them despite their flaws, which fictional men do, hence girls are attracted to them.

The problem arises in that actual guys (okay, yeah, and actual girls) are awkward human beings. In books, interaction between characters isn’t awkward; in real life, stupid hormones get in the way, leading to emotional and/or fuming females. This translates into girls wishing life were fiction and guys were attractive actors (girls might be lying to themselves on this one, since they are still excessively attracted to guys, actors or not).

But here’s the deal, guys (and when I say guys, I do mean the males of society). No matter how much a girl dreams of fictional men, what she really wants is a real guy. Just because a guy isn’t some dreamy fictional character doesn’t mean that he isn’t a super incredible guy who can make a girl’s dreams come true. So, my dear menfolk, don’t be offended when a girl is into a fictitious character, because in reality, she’s probably into you, too.