Don’t get me wrong, I love young adult novels. So any critique I write of them here is purely out of the love in my heart. But one thing I have noticed is that the guys who act as romantic leads in these novels would be, hands down, the worst boyfriends in real life.
Obviously, girls are receptive of these characters, and often idealize them, but am I the only one who would want to deliver a swift kick to their groins if I met them in person? Here’s why I, personally, would NOT react positively if these guys tried to say some of this crap in my presence:
They are too intense
I don’t know about you guys, but if I heard my boyfriend say, “You are the blood within my veins” or “I need you like oxygen to breathe” when we were 17, I’d be a little freaked out. It’s like, whoa, dude, slow your roll a little bit. We aren’t even in college yet and you’re already spitting this eternity crap? What if we go to college at different places and then we break up at Thanksgiving like every other long-distance couple? Did you think about that, huh?
Well, you better consider that reality before you equate me to oxygen. I don’t want to say you’re giving off “stalker vibes,” 'cause that’s a little harsh, but cool off.
They are too corny
Grand gestures stress me out. (For instance, I love "10 Things I Hate About You," but hate the ending so much because it gives me an anxiety attack.) This is why I sometimes have to look at YA novels as a brand of science-fiction. Boys are proposing left and right, handing out promise rings like it's their job.
I cannot stress enough how much of a red flag this is for me. How about you wait 'til we’ve lived together for a few years, see how we handle IKEA and then you can put a ring on it?
They are drama magnets — not every relationship has to be a love triangle!
I’d be suspicious of any dude who wanted to fight another dude for my affections. I’m not that great. In high school, I couldn’t handle the thought of one guy liking me, let alone two. It just seems kind of desperate, guys. (OK, so maybe I’m a little jealous that these girls all have hunks fighting over them. But still.)
Their parents just don’t get them. Ever.
Am I the only person who went through high school wanting to hang out with my parents? Quit whining about how misunderstood you are, bro. Parents give you food and occasionally stammer through an awkward “wrap it up” sex talk. What’s so terrible about that?
They fall in love at first sight with basically anything that moves
Again, my suspicion rears its ugly head. I just don’t believe that these guys are falling in love right away.
Popular boy who has only had eyes for dimes falling in love with a quiet nerd? I love this concept. It keeps reeling me in; I swear it is the best. However, I don’t mean to be too cynical, but when has this happened in real life? It’s a little suspicious to me. I’d be like, “Hot boy, why are you so into me? Is this a bet? You know what, it probably is a bet. You’re a jerk. You couldn’t have handled this jelly anyway.” Even if he fell for me for real!
Where were all of these emotionally complex guys at my high school? They mostly just expressed feelings by grunting, “She’s hot.” Have you met a 17-year-old boy, ever? The only time a 17-year-old boy has fallen in love at first sight is when that video of Kate Upton dancing in a bikini came out on YouTube.