Friday, June 10, 2011

Romance Heroism 101: The Beginners' Class

Sometimes when a relationship ends, I can't decide which is worse: the pain of the breakup, or the pain of charging back into the dating game.

Now, this isn't an issue for me right now, but I have an increasingly large number of male friends who are at this point. And boy do they need help. So, of course, they turn to me--the erotic romance author--as if I have all the answers.

But after thinking about it, maybe we, as romance writers and readers, really are a good resource. We do live, breathe, and sleep romance. Or at least I like to think so. We're a love-minded bunch and if anyone could give a guy advice on how to woo his woman, it's us.

I've started the list--you have to help me finish it. What qualities in romance heroes do we like to see in our men? What can a guy do to up his chances with "the ladies"? (With all values adjusted for personal preference, of course :D)

1. Never stop learning and improving. And no, an erection does not count as "personal growth."

2. Be passionate about something--but don't hog the dinner conversation going on and on about that graphic artist the cubicle over who cannot stop using Comic Sans. We probably don't care that much, unless you're dating another graphic designer. If so...bonus points for you!

3. Respect your parents, but don't be a mama's boy. Please, for the love of God, if she still does your laundry on a regular basis...

4. For that matter, it's really sexy if you're self-sufficient. Knowing how to cook, clean, and do laundry lets us know you're not looking for a replacement caretaker. We don't like those chores any more than you do, but we might be willing to go halfsies on them. Ok, maybe more like 60-40, but if you're pitching in we'll feel better about doing the rest.

5. No, you don't know every trick in the bedroom. See tip #1.

So what quality does your (dream) man have that should be added to this list?


PG Forte said...

Ooh, though list! I must have thought of half a dozen qualities that I personally demand...or, you know, lucked into. ;) But they might not be universally applicable.

How's this one: Be sincerely interested. I think there's probably nothing sexier than a guy who can make you feel like you're the most fascinating person in his world...or at least in the room. lol!

Oh, and how about: Be compassionate. I think that's probably non-negotiable for me along with be open-minded and,for the love of God, don't take yourself too seriously.

Charlene Sands said...

Hi Skylar,
Very funny... my hubby is self-sufficient. It's nice that I don't have to worry about him. He cooks. He cleans. He draws the line at washing my car, but I do appreciate a considerate man!!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Skylar,
Oh, the list, so important. I raised both my son and daughter to be independent, so I totally agree about doing his own laundry and making an attempt to pick up a house. But I assume you're talking starting out with someone new.
Integrity is a biggie for me. Who wants a guy who isn't honest (with himself or others). I'm thinking a certain BIG story here (well, several, lately). Be honest!
It doesn't matter how a guy "performs" if you can't trust him.
Another test, that should still be important out there in this new dating world, how does this wannabe hero treat public servants? (waittresses etc)
Nice blog.

Meg Benjamin said...

Barbara Cartland (who was Princess Diana's step-grandmother) said Diana's problem was she read too many romance novels. I'd respond that Prince Charles's problem was he didn't read enough romance novels. Dipping into an occasional book doesn't hurt!

PG Forte said...

Et tu, Barbara? Et tu?

Mia said...

Hmm, definitely someone who can laugh at himself and not just make fun of others. If he finds himself ending a majority of his "jokes" with the words "just kidding" or "just teasing" then he needs to go to some comedy classes.

I'm with Lynne on the integrity-honesty items. If the only way a man feels better about himself is through the "conquest" then a relationship will always have issues. Most importantly, don't lie to himself about what he wants. Just because all of his friends are in relationships doesn't mean he should be.

Finally, he should spend time with his male friends. I want to know that he can maintain a relationship with others above and beyond the sex aspect. Male friends - not necessarily 'bromances' - tells me that relationships are important to him.

Sharon G. said...

A man who isn't afraid to be emotional. He doesn't have to be sloppily sentimental, but it would be nice to know that I'm not the only one who is truly moved by a beautiful piece of music, or a poem.

Skylar Kade said...

Oh y'all are so true! Honesty, integrity, genuine humor, open emotions...

Definite must-haves!

Susan Bloomingdale said...

How about a guy who supports you and what you stand for? It's not fun going through life having no one there who truly "Gets" what you are doing and why. You need someone who may not always agree with you, but sees the bigger picture as to why you are doing it in the first place. Someone to sound ideas off of and who won't be afraid to help you in what is important to you, just as you would do to him.

daydrmzzz said...

I've been with my hubby for over 21 years now and I'd have to say these were a few things that have kept us together:
Independence, Humor, Passion, Spontaneity, TRUST, Integrity, Honesty,Compassion, Goal oriented, and must Love family