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The perfect man…

The perfect man…

The perfect man…

Last month the Guardian reported on an interesting survey undertaken by the Festival of Romance, an international convention on romantic fiction. They interviewed 58 romantic novelists to find out what qualities are important in a man. These were the results:

The perfect man, according to romantic novelists (% agreeing), is:

Essential:

  • Loyal (91%)
  • Honest (89%)
  • Personal hygiene (88%)
  • Kind (86%)
  • Sense of humour (86%)
  • Intelligent (85%)
  • Principled (81%)

Desirable but not essential:

  • Weight (65%)
  • Great in bed (62%)
  • Height (60%)
  • Self-confident (60%)
  • Good looking (60%)

Not important:

  • Good car (79%)
  • Religious persuasion (77%)
  • Political persuasion (64%)
  • Social standing (55%)
  • Wealth (53%)

So it’s more important, according to romantic novelists, that a man be honest, loyal, kind and shower once a day than it is he be rich or handsome or a superb lover.

And Book Trade reports: “The survey also revealed that romantic novelists believe that while people no longer expect everlasting love, they still hope for life partners. And while most romantic novelists say they prefer to write books that end with marriage or a commitment to a relationship, in society people don’t need marriage to prove they love each other. Romantic novelists confess to being romantics at heart (86%) although their real life is not as romantic as their books. Half of them have been disappointed in love (50%). They think men have, however, become more sensitive in recent years (76%) although women know that their best chance of finding a romantic man is between the covers of a romantic novel (64%).”

Following the results of the survey of novelists, the Festival of Romance opened up the poll to try to ascertain the nation’s ideal man. The results are yet to be posted, but I very much enjoyed filling out the survey. The questions, I thought, could have been more in-depth; for example, questions like ‘weight: essential, desirable and not important’ weren’t very clear – what weight are we voting for? Still, it was an excellent exercise in really thinking about what’s important in a partner, and I smiled when I looked back on my completed survey and realised my protagonist Rafe in my novel Burning Embers is a pretty good match to my ideal man.

If you’d like to find out the survey results, visit http://festivalofromance.co.uk/.

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