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Sometimes, the universe is a bitch. Today, for instance, which calls for writing about gratitude in regards to a spouse/significant other.

See, I no longer have a spouse. (Hooray! Much gratitude!) Not sure on the significant other status. (Boo! Ambiguity sucks big ones.)

"That's right, Ned. This is MY story!"

“That’s right, Ned. This is MY story! You stand there with your Miami Vice shirt partly unbuttoned and look pretty.”

That’s why I’m focusing on the significant others we find in books, aka BOOK BOYFRIENDS! It all started with Ned Nickerson in the early Nancy Drew books and then the Case Files that appeared in the late 80s and 90s. Then there was some dude in a Christopher Pike book named Gideon, the Vampire Lestat, Mr. Darcy … they all contributed to Isaac, Dave, Jake and Pete.

Though none of the book boyfriends I’ve written are purposely based on anyone in particular, I’m sure they’re an amalgam of real-life boyfriends past, in addition to the fictional ones mentioned above. I’m grateful for those experiences, which range from phenomenal to horrendous. Without living the entire spectrum, how can anyone write realistic relationships? They can’t. (Okay, they can, but how frigging boring would it be if every book boyfriend–or girlfriend–shit glitter and belched roses?)

Isaac: I’m so very grateful he became a poster boy for the tall, dark and tortured soul. I’ve known so many broken boys and men who just needed a second chance to get things right .. and a really strong woman to give it to them.

Dave: He helped me unleash the one-liners and “guy humor” I can’t always get away with in everyday life. His character is a warm hug and a belly laugh, proof that good guys still exist and they’re not always boring. And they don’t always finish last. (That’s what she said. BAM!)

Jake: I think Jake may be based on someone I knew in high school. Not someone I dated, but someone who had a crush on me and left sweet notes in my locker. We never even spoke more than a few words to each other, but I appreciated his sincerity. I suspect he came from a broken home. I only hope he found a Dylan to appreciate him.

Pete: Farmboy is the closest thing I’ve written to an all-American boy/man. I’m grateful that he showed me the transition boys have to go through, and that there are still stand-up guys. He has moments of being an immature asshole, but I love that he appreciates a strong girl, and doesn’t feel that it makes him weak. Rather, he and Lindsey are a “power-equal” couple. Love that.

Please feel free to leave a comment explaining why you’re grateful for a significant other — real or fictional. What makes them stand out? And what did they do to earn your gratitude?

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