Breaking Up With My Book Boyfriends

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and came across a post from one of my bookstagramer buddies. She had complied several memes to describe herself. I was humored by the effort and accuracy of said memes and found the majority of them relatable. However, one of the memes she chose to describe herself made me think and question my life.

This meme was somewhere along the lines of those “single, taken, mentally dating a fictional character” graphics. For years I have joked about how I only date superheroes and have ranted about all of my “book boyfriends.” But that was when I was single.

I found myself staring at this meme. I backtracked. I questioned my life. My future. 

“I’m in a real actual legit relationship with a real actual legit boy.” My thoughts raced around my head like overactive clockworks. “Like…an actual living breathing walking talking person and we have an actual mutual interest in each other.”

What did this mean? Was I suddenly one of the only bookstagramers that wasn’t allowed a book boyfriend now? Could I no longer comment “lol, totally relatable” when others fangirls posted about their relationship with a fictional character? I was in a real crisis!

With these thoughts lurking in the back of my mind, I inevitably moved on with my life. However, these trying questions were raised to the surface again soon.

My boyfriend and I were at an arcade, ready to cash in out points for a prize. Naturally, I considered getting a Funko Pop and immediately made a beeline for them.

“Look! Poe Dameron!” I squealed with pleasure at the sight of the Star Wars pilot’s figure.

With barely any hesitation, my boyfriend rolled his eyes, walked right toward the POP in question, and punched the box. Right in Poe Dameron’s expressionless collectible face.

Scandalized, I watched in shock. My boo? Punching my fictional boo?! Wait, no…I can’t have TWO boos…?! 

I laughed off the violent act towards the Star Wars memorabilia and instead redeemed my points for a coffee mug.

But those troubling thoughts were polluting my innocent book brain.

“You love him. You’re betraying him, Scarlett!”

“It’s too bad you can’t swoon over those fictional characters anymore. It used to be so much fun.

“Tom Hiddleston is wearing a suit and sunglasses. Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look. Ugh! You traitor.”

This is obviously silliness of the highest sort. The love I have for my boyfriend can never be felt for a person who does not exist. It is legitimately impossible. My boyfriend and I have the same great Creator and are connected together by more than emotions. A character has an imperfect human creator and has no real connection to me, emotionally or otherwise. 

That being said, my crisis was soon put to rest. My boyfriend knew what he was signings up for before the new Six of Crows book came out. He had already heard me go on and on about Kaz Brekker. He knew how much I loved Sherlock Holmes. That is one of the things he loves about me. Weirdly. Strangely. Questionably. Yes, he actually said that my ranting was “cute” and finds my attachment to fiction “adorable.” I mean, who would have thought?

Out of respect for him, I can’t fantasize about these men or put unrealistic expectations on my boyfriend. The closest I’ll ever get to that is forcing him to wear a Eugene Fitzherbert T-shirt. But when my heart get the feels whenever I get to that one chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I no longer go into a book nerd crisis. Instead I enjoy the moment and give my boyfriend and extra long hug later.

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Scarlett Mc.

Writer, artist, designer, and bibliophile. Works part time at an antique store, part time at her own business, Books of Art. Currently working on her first novel.

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