Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why We Love Them in Books...But Not In Real Life

I've actually been wondering about this for a while now: why do I always seem to prefer the mean, grumpy, stubborn guy in books, but can't stand them in real life? When you think about the person you want to spend eternity with, I'm guessing you're thinking of someone sweet who'll bring you flowers every once in a while and kiss you goodnight, not someone who you argue with all the time and who...I don't know, fights evil creatures for a living (not that that wouldn't be cool).

I'm sure there are some guys who I'd date whether they're in a book or in the real world. Some examples would probably include Jace from The Mortal Instruments, Will from The Infernal Devices (Jem would probably end up being a friend in either world), and Ren from Tiger's Curse. Yes, I'd definitely date them. I mean, how could any girl resist THIS:

So yeah, there are several book boyfriends that would probably be great boyfriends in real life as well, but what I'm trying to get at is that the things that attract me to any guy in any book would probably have me disliking him in real life. As I mentioned on Twitter about a week ago while reading 'Of Metal and Wishes', I won't actually fall in love with the male lead until he gets angry at the main character (unless of course it's Augustus Waters...if he got angry I'd probably cry). For example, Four is a wonderful, wonderful male lead. I fell in love with him from the very beginning, probably because of how hard he was on Tris. I know, messed up, right? But the fact that they came together after all that, that is what I love about any good romance.

Now that I think about it though, even in the real world, two people coming together after endlessly sparring with each other - or even avoiding each other - could be quite romantic. Of course, I'm judging this based on my knowledge of romantic comedies and 'Pride & Prejudice', so don't quote me on it. I'm starting to realize that I've pretty much been contradicting myself in every other sentence, so let my try this from a different angle.

In novels, when a guy is mean, stubborn, or grumpy, he usually has a good reason. In the book version of The Vampire Diaries, Stefan ignores Elena and practically runs away from her every time she tries to flirt, yes, but only because she reminds him of Katherine, the woman who betrayed him. Edward does the same to Bella in 'Twilight' because otherwise he'd end up drinking her blood and killing her. Then of course there's Will, who is mean to Tessa because anything else would result in her death, and Ren, who at one point keeps pushing Kelsey away because he knows he's selfish, and that selfishness could get her killed. In all these books (and I haven't even started in on all those angel-human relationships), the dude has A VERY GOOD REASON for being mean. However, in reality, that is barely ever the case.

If a guy is mean in real life, he's probably just not  a very nice guy, and definitely not the type of person you'd want to spend forever with. Most likely, he doesn't have a heart-breaking back story, and it's very unlikely that he's being mean to you to protect you. And if any of you try saying that maybe he's just trying to get your attention, I'm going to have to dissuade you of that notino by telling you that that type of behavior usually stops by elementary to middle school. But hey, if he's that one guy who never learned, go for it! (Wait a sec...why am I giving relationship advice??).

Really, the main point is that in stories, the "mean" guy has hidden depths, and is either trying to protect you, had a terrible, scarring past, or is busy saving the world. In real life though, a mean guy is simply just a mean guy. Phew, glad I finally figured that out (sort of). But really, now that we've separated our book worlds from the real world, there's no reason we can't enjoy some of this:

Happy Reading (and Loving)!!!