Waiting for our Mr. Darcy seems innocent enough, but what if it’s actually hurting us in the long run?
It’s safe to say that we’ve all had a crush on a fictional character or two at some point — for me, it was Fred Weasley from Harry Potter, Robin Hood (the cartoon version, of course), and Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls. Side note: looking back, I see that I definitely had a type.
Not only is it normal to fall for a guy in our favorite TV shows and stories, it’s totally understandable — gushing over and daydreaming about fictional characters allows us to figure out what we like, while escaping our often disappointing, lonely world by letting our minds live elsewhere for a time. It’s no wonder as to why we’re so drawn to fictional men.
But while there’s nothing wrong with having a crush on a fictional character, it can pose a few problems down the line for us, especially when trying our hand at a romantic relationship with a real life man.
Fictional Characters Aren’t Real
I know, I’m pointing out the obvious here. But I mean this in a bigger sense than “this person doesn’t exist.” A huge issue with idealizing a man who isn’t even real is we often end up having unrealistic expectations of the real man in our lives — and this is where romanticizing fiction becomes detrimental, because as lovely as fictitious stories are, they can’t exist.
When we approach our relationship with preconceptions of how a man is supposed to act, we’ll be let down.
I for one wouldn’t be so keen on constantly being compared to Wonder Woman because I know I’d come up short (both literally and figuratively speaking). So when we approach our relationship with preconceived notions of exactly how a man is supposed to be or act, we’ll be let down when we realize our guy is a fallible human being, and we might even end up resenting him for being normal.
We Don’t Actually Know Our Favorite Characters
Part of why we love fiction so much is that it skips right through the boring, monotonous parts of life and gets to the good stuff. But this means we don’t really know the characters we have a thing for as much as we would if they were real. We see all their best, most heroic, funniest, noteworthy, or deep moments without ever having to know them in the context of everyday life.
A real life guy isn’t going to be as easy to love as a character created by a professional writer.
The truth is, a real life guy isn’t going to be as easy to love as a character created by a professional writer. And the more we get to know him, the more we see his annoying habits and his less-than-perfect, uninspiring, dull, even embarrassing moments. But with knowing those parts of him, we’ll also know the best, most admirable parts of him.
Why Loving a Real Man Beats Loving a Fictional One
There’s no doubt whatsoever that having a meaningful relationship with a real person takes an incredible amount of dedication, patience, and faith. But it’s also so much more rewarding than a crush on Mr. Darcy that’s bound to be unrequited.
It’s easier to be alone, but it’s definitely not better.
Loving a real life guy challenges us to grow — attempting to share a life with someone else will inevitably take us out of our comfort zone as we get used to their quirks, our capacity to think about more than our own desires will expand, and the reward of being given true companionship is worth all of the demands that come along with being in a relationship with a real person. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easier to be alone, but it’s definitely not better.
Having a little crush on a fictional character is fun and can help us figure out what type of guy we like, but it doesn’t compare to the value of a committed relationship with a real man.