Whether we’re single or happily committed to someone, these are the men who will continue to be dear to us, to whom we are loyal in ways that our actual boyfriends will just have to learn to accept.
The Music Boyfriend
“This is Drake. I love him and he loves me and we are in love. Leave us alone, please.” – me to my actual boyfriend.
The Coffee Boyfriend
Like any good boyfriend, the guy who works at the coffee shop you always go to knows exactly what you want and is eager to give it to you. Over time, he’s learned to read your subtle cues and anticipate your moves – he can tell when you’re hungover and knows that means it’s large soy latte time. He can tell when you have that slightly rushed air when you’re running late for work and practically has your regular order ready before you reach the counter. He says cute things like “We sure love this girl around here!” when you bring in your parents when they visit, and then gives you a knowing look that says, “Hey, let’s me lame and cute for your mom so she thinks you’re doing great at life. I won’t let on that I’ve seen you in here with a million hangovers and several different guys.” It’s possible he’s genuinely crushable in general, but really, this guy doesn’t even have to be attractive for you to be wildly in love with him – he gives you coffee. He’s kinda the glue that holds your life together.
The Work Boyfriend
If you’re a very lucky professional woman, you have your Work Wife — your best co-worker friend who makes the days more bearable via gossiping over gchat and secret eye-rolling in meetings — and possibly her male counterpart, the Work Boyfriend. He’s a person who you probably wrote off as being undateable early on (either one or both of you in relationships, or you just know you wouldn’t work romantically), but you still flirt and joke in a meaningless way that gives you a little something fun to look forward to at work.
The Boyfriend Who Doesn’t Know You Exist
You ride the same crowded elevator every day at work, or end up waiting on the subway platform together, or some other circumstance by which you find yourselves regularly in close proximity without having to ever speak. You haven’t let your complete lack of any real interaction with this beautiful bystander stop you from inventing an elaborate narrative wherein you are married with kids (who you have named and have little subplots of their own) and a lovely but modest house where you’ve leveraged your perfect love connection into the construction of a whole life that is the perfect balance of classic and modern, strong yet understated, and endlessly interesting and dripping with good taste – just like your fake elevator husband. The truth is, sure, he’s cute, but more than anything, the game of adding a little bit of detail to your fantasy life together has become a fun way to pass the time and give your imagination a workout.
The Fictional Boyfriend
You know he’s not a real person. You do know that. You aren’t insane (contrary to what this list might imply.) But that doesn’t stop you from inevitably comparing every flawed human man to his fictional perfection in moments of frustration or disappointment. If only.
The Boyfriend You Imagined As A Kid
When we were little, long before the days of real boyfriends, we used movies and TV and observations of our older sisters’ adolescent relationships as the basis for constructing our own image of what the perfect boyfriend was. Even as we’ve grown older and developed both different tastes and a stronger grip on reality, we’ll always have a soft spot for what our much younger selves believed our true love would be like (and no matter how old we get, or what wonderful men we end up with, we always feel a little like we’re cheating on this imaginary dreamboat.)