Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award for Dauntless!!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Romance Stuff #4 - Finding a Good Guy

A lot of people say that romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations about men and relationships. I hope that I don’t do that. I hope that you can tell my “heroes” are regular flawed people with good character. They say stupid things they regret sometimes. They get moody, jealous, angry. They make mistakes. Sometimes they get scared. But they are men of integrity and honor, they respect women, love God, and they put others before themselves.

Although romance novels always have a “hero,” in real life heroes are just those guys who know how to love properly and treat people well. They don’t have to be the strongest, or the smartest, or the handsomest, or the most romantic. They just need to be good men who love God. In fact, we girls can and should be heroes too!

In case I have unwittingly given you any unrealistic ideas about men in any of my books, allow me to set the record straight.

Good Men Still Do:
Get grumpy when they’re tired
Get “hangry”
Say stupid things
Feel scared and insecure
Watch/play too match t.v./sports/video games
Fart and burp at inappropriate times
Disagree with you
Have bad days at work
Have annoying habits
Leave the toilet seat up
Procrastinate Doing Chores
Forget Things
Fail to understand your feelings
Lose their tempers

These are areas about which you will need to communicate honestly. Gently express what bothers you. Request the things you want. Honor them where honor is due. Don't play games or expect them to read your mind. And patiently negotiate your way to a positive relationship that will be a blessing to both of you.

Good Men Do Not:
Habitually lie to you
Cheat on you
Hide money from you 
Cheat in business
Avoid working and expect you to support them
Manipulate through pressure or guilt
Belittle through threats and insults
Bully physically or emotionally
Hit you – ever!
Intentionally ignore your or your children’s feelings
Neglect the physical needs of you or your children
Become addicted to pornography
Commit crimes
Abuse drugs or alcohol
Ask you to lie for them or cover up their issues

The first list might seem a little silly, but the second one is deadly serious. If you find yourself in a relationship with a man like that, get out while you can. If you are already married to a man like that, then let me be clear. This is not okay. It is not normal. And most importantly, it is not your fault! Stand up for yourself, get support, get counseling, and establish healthy boundaries against unacceptable behavior. If your church tells you to just be quiet and put up with it, find a new church!

But for those of you who are, or will be, in normal up and down marriages with regular real life people, exercise love, forgiveness, and understanding. Nobody’s perfect, but if you choose a man with good character and a heart after God, you will be able to grow a life together. 

What do you look for in a man? Who have been some of your favorite literary "heroes"?


  1. Aside from where romance is concerned, I often feel the need to call out representations of history that make it a matter of 'goodies' and 'baddies'. Very rarely was it ever as 'black and white' as that- because people are complicated and the guys we like to support were not perfect, nor were all those on the others side wholly evil.....I like a more nuanced, objective view.

    As to the Romance issue- I'm sure us ladies to things that annoy guys right? I mean some men surely cannot stand being taken clothes shopping- or really don't want to talk about makeup?

  2. LOL, I'm sure we do a lot of things that annoy and frustrate men.