If men really want to know what women want, they should buy a stack of romantic novels. Seriously. If you are a man and you are reading this, then I imagine that your reaction is on the lines of ‘F*** Right Off’, but stay with me here.
Romantic novels represent our fantasies, they set out blueprints for our dream man, they detail how we like our men to look, behave and think.
If you are a smart guy and you still don’t know why women look straight past you when you’re trying to chat them up, you can do no better than to pop into WH Smiths, pick up the Mills and Boon monthly selection and spend a couple of evenings doing a spot of clinical analysis. (Of course, my booklist is readily available, but being British, I don’t like to mention it).
You will, no doubt, probably in the middle of Chapter 2, come to the conclusion that it is impossible for you to grow three inches and suddenly become a human rights lawyer, a wine-grower, or a rich businessman. And you would be right. But this is not the moment at which you throw Rebel Bride on the fire and go down the pub. It is just that you have missed the point.
Sure, the books always describe the hero as having perfect surface qualities. What is more interesting is that my Mills and Boon editor once told me that you could never have a hero who is a soccer player, an antique dealer or a pop star. You can take it then, that women want somebody reliable, who’s not going to run off with their family silver or score an own goal with their sister. They want somebody who is a considerate lover (lots of stuff on the internet about that, chaps) and somebody who dresses well (likewise).
And most importantly of all, they listen to the heroine, because she is the most important person in the book. Hey, are you reading this? Hey? Come back…