10 Boyfriend Types as TV Characters — What They Teach Us Off Screen

By Sydney Odell

The nerdy guy who’s way too smart (Leonard, Big Bang Theory) 

Sure, you may not be able to explain exactly what he does to your parents, but he makes you feel smart by association and that’s enough. While his passions may be a little outside your understanding, that doesn’t mean you can’t find common ground. Share as much about your hobbies as he does about his own and see how he responds. If you’re still scrambling for things to talk about over dinner, that’s okay  – sometimes, opposites are just too different to attract.

The guy who doesn’t share food (or anything else) (Joey, Friends) 

This guy knows what he wants, and he’s not afraid to put labels on it fast. He has about as many boundaries as he does excuses. Being in love means being vulnerable, and if he isn’t willing to share his time, love, or effort for your relationship, you are in no way obligated to share your life with him, either.

The mysterious guy who just can’t commit (Don, Mad Men) 

Don’t be fooled – while his aloofness can seem sexy in the chase, the game of smoke and mirrors will soon become exhausting. In the end, it’s more about being there for the meal you slaved over all day than slipping into bed in the middle of the night again, reeking of scotch. Kick him to the curb before his suitcase is already packed for the next lady and you’ll have claimed a point in the self-respect department.

The awkward outsider (Schmidt, New Girl) 

In the beginning, you find his quirks to be endearing and original, but after a while, the eccentricities just become too much to handle. Everyone’s a little odd, but if you can’t handle the way he refers to Christmas as “White Anglo Saxon Winter Privilege Night”, it’s probably time to admit you actually kind of want someone who matches your basic bitch lifestyle and move on.

The one who’s too good for you (McDreamy, Grey’s Anatomy) 

He’s always there—your perfect balance of friend, lover, and responsible babysitter to get you through your wildly unpredictable post-collegiate mood swings. That’s because he’s been there… or was10 years ago, and chances are, your relationship problems have nothing to do with him. Use this opportunity as a learning tool to help you step it up in maturity level and realize that there are great guys out there, after all – you may just not be worthy of them yet.

The down-to-earth best friend (Jim Halpert, The Office) 

You’ve probably already been accosted by every single co-worker, all asking how your old friend ‘Tom’ is doing and if you two are ever going to tie the knot. Despite the fact that you’ve never actually admitted you were dating, the crazy chemistry you share is something everyone will be ready to remind you about when it’s over. And in the end, that’s okay. It’s as good a time as ever to realize platonic relationships between the sexes can exist, after all.

The bad boy with the sensitive streak (Eric, True Blood) 

Most days, he’s probably the underworld jerk hell-bent on manipulating your sexual desires until you have fantasies about driving a stake through his selfishly cold heart. Then out of nowhere, he becomes this loving, protective partner for all of a day or two until he’s back to his old tricks. If you can’t decide whether the guy is fundamentally good or evil, there’s a big chance that you should just walk away.

The guy who only thinks with his penis (Barney, How I Met Your Mother) 

He’s the type of guy your Sunday School teacher warned you about: charming, generous, dressed to the nines—all sin, no win. You’ll most likely meet him at a place you wouldn’t dare be at sober, though these guys are everywhere. If his first post-coitus reaction is a high five, it’s best to chalk it up to life experience and not worry about waiting around for date #2.

The overly optimistic go-getter (Chris Traeger, Parks and Recreation) 

It’s refreshing to leave the bitchiness of sorority catcalling and enter the ray of sunshine that is your latest beau. Hanging out with him makes you feel like there is a world of limitless possibilities and you two are capable of accomplishing anything. Sadly, after a few months, you just can’t seem to match his insane enthusiasm for, well, everything. But that’s okay—he’s probably got a silver lining for that, too! Take the positive outlook on life and learn how to ground yourself, and your relationships, in emotional moderation.

The dead weight (Jess, Gilmore Girls) 

Let’s face it – there’s not a lot to say about this guy because he doesn’t really add a lot to the plotline of your life. Sure, he may be a nice companion to binge-watch Netflix with, but do you share any common identifiers aside from your love of House of Cards? If he doesn’t like leaving the house or making something other than ramen for dinner, it may be time for a relationship makeover with someone who is closer to your equal. Don’t let him suck you into his mediocre path! Stick to your goals and fight for someone who has the energy to tackle the world’s demands with you.

Photo courtesy: Fox

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