Why Can’t I Stop Falling in Love With Fictional Characters? // An Exposé of Yours Truly

I don’t think I’m alone in the feeling of falling in love with fictional characters...

…or at least I hope I’m not. I’m not just talking about falling in love romantically, either. There are so many different ways that I can fall in love with a character. Sometimes, yes, I want to be with them, but sometimes I want to be them. Sometimes I wish I could be their best friend and sometimes I wish I could be a part of their family- no matter how it happens, I fall easily for people who are nothing more than just words on a page.

Just because I want a reason to talk more about the characters I *love* and because I’m interested to know if I’m the only one who finds themselves in love with fictional entities, I decided this would be a good idea for a post. I’m expecting to fangirl a lot in this because once I start talking about my favorite characters it takes a lot for me to stop. :’)

But someone please stop me once I mention Richard Campbell Gansey III for the 1000th time.

*clears throat* But anywayyy, I’ll be discussing a lot of different types of love and I hope that it will be able to give you some recommendations of what you should read if you’re also looking to fall in love with a new character. Onto the post!

I fall in love with characters because they exceed my standards.

This is going to be an ode to Emma Mills and Maggie Stiefvater for writing boys that actually have made me cry because of how much I wish they were real. I am well aware of how much I’m living up to being a teenage girl right now by having written that sentence, but I am entirely okay with it because of Gansey and Gideon Prewitt and August Shaw and Harry Potter and- I’ll cut myself off there.

I lose pretty much of semblance of my sanity when I think of any of these three characters because I just think about how sweet, chivalrous, and intelligent all of them are, and then it makes me happy. Plus, the fact that none of them are actually *perfect* and they all have their clear flaws, and yet they STILL just continue being their unproblematic, caring, thoughtful selves. I’m sorry, but it is entirely unfair that they have the audacity to be fictional and not real.

Maybe I should blame it on the fact that most fictional boys I fall in love with are written by women. Or maybe I should blame it on how they’re written by adults who might not know how teenage boys actually act. Or (and probably the most likely) I just haven’t met enough boys to actually find one who lives up to the high standards set for me by all of these fictional characters. Whatever the reasoning, I cannot stop falling in love with these boys that are decidedly not real because they very much so surpass all the qualities of boys that are in fact real.

Books Mentioned: Foolish Hearts, Famous in a Small Town, The Raven Boys, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I fall in love with characters because I wish I could be their best friend.

I could go on and on about how much I want to be with Gansey (except I mostly just want him to be with Blue, you feel?) or anyone else, but at the end of the day, the strongest love I’ve ever felt before is the love I have for my friends. On a much smaller level, I feel a lot of that same platonic love towards characters that I just know I would be best friends with.

I think one of the fictional characters I’ve fallen platonically in love with the most is Anne Shirley. I know I’ve mentioned this many times before, but my idealistic self can imagine nothing better than to grow up alongside Anne in Avonlea. Running through flower fields, naming every animal and bush we encounter, braiding each other’s hair. Anne is such a kindred spirit. Her fiery temper and wit would balance out my wide-eyed, sweet disposition and we’d be an unstoppable pair.

My list of characters I would want a best friendship with goes on. What I wouldn’t give for study sessions with Hermione Granger, to eat a waffle with Nina Zenik, to spend a day solving puzzles with Reynie Muldoon, or even bake cupcakes with Lara Jean Covey. I’ve fallen in love with these characters because I can truly see myself being friends with them, and I would give anything to be able to dive into their worlds and live a day alongside them.

Books Mentioned: Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Six of Crows, The Mysterious Benedict Society, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I fall in love with characters because they make me want to a be a better version of myself.

You can learn way more about yourself from a book than you might think. Reading isn’t just going on the journey of a character, you’re going on the journey with the character. I may sound like an overzealous elementary school librarian saying that, but hear me out. As a reader, you to live through the main characters and maybe even realize that you’re capable of what they’re capable of, too. At least for me, my goals always seem more attainable if I’ve seen someone else reach them, too.

Whether you watch your dreams play out directly on page, like with a character getting the scholarship they wanted or spending their time volunteering or getting the role in a play or in a more abstract sense, like watching a character learn to love themselves and their talents, you can vicariously live through the characters. For me, this helps motivate me to be a better version of myself- maybe one that my favorite character would be proud of. If they can do it, I can.

I fall in love with characters because I want to be a part of their family.

I could write a whole post on fictional families that I love (and maybe one day I will). Family relationships are something that I think most books are lacking in, so when I do find a novel that explores family relationships, I’m automatically interested. When it turns out that this family is close-knit, boom, I’ve fallen in love.

Okay but?? How am I supposed to resist a family that enjoys eating waffles together and invites all their friends over for meals and has so much for love for every single last sibling, no matter how young? Am I not supposed to instantly fall in love simultaneously with every March sister because their sister dynamics are perfect? How would I ever be able to resist a forged-together found family entangled with whimsy and magic and love?

The answer is, I definitely cannot resist any of those. Which is why I so often find myself falling in love with fictional families. Just give me the sibling relationships and parent-child bonds and found families and dare me not to fall for them.

Books Mentioned: The Boy Who Steals Houses, Little Women, The House in the Cerulean Sea

I fall in love with characters because I get emotionally attached way too easily.

I’m really calling myself out with this one, but it couldn’t be more true. In real life and with books, it does not take a lot for me to become emotionally attached to someone or something. What can I say, I’m a sensitive enneagram type 2.

This is why I end up rating a lot of books based on how connected I felt to the characters- because if you can get me attached, I am attached. This is also why I cry a lot while reading (and while watching shows or movies) because I get very invested in my characters and whatever happens to them. Needless to say, if I get emotionally attached, I am in love and I will not stop talking about a character. I’ll probably make a Pinterest board and then make it my singular personality trait on my blog.

My peak emotional attachments belong to: the Golden Trio, the gangsey, and pretty much anyone from Percy Jackson. I would say I’m especially attached to characters if they are associated with a nostalgic book or series for me, but to be honest, Gansey is proof that I can become attached at any given moment. :’)

Books Mentioned: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Raven Boys, The Blood of Olympus

What I’ve learned about myself from this post is that I’m probably unhealthily in love with way too many characters at this point. Can you blame me, though? Sometimes I can’t get over how lucky we are to have so many books with so many characters in existence- even if it’s only fiction, they give me so much comfort.

Thank you so much for reading this post! I hope that you could be led in the direction of some new characters or that this provoked some thought on why you love (or don’t love) characters. I’m thinking of all of you, and hoping that you’re staying safe and healthy even with everything going on in the world right now. I’m trying my very best to not disappear off the face of the blogging community again, so it’s with true hope that I say I’ll see you all again soon. :))

Why do you love characters? Do we share any of this is common? Can anyone else not go three sentences without mentioning Gansey or is that just me? I would love to talk to you in the comments.

Credits for image in my featured image >> Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

41 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Stop Falling in Love With Fictional Characters? // An Exposé of Yours Truly

  1. This is such an awesome post!! Can I join the “running through flower fields, naming every animal and bush we encounter, braiding each other’s hair” with Anne Shirley?? That sounds amazing… 😂 Also eating waffles with Nina! Such a great post. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to every single reason you’ve mentioned here!! I tend to love fictional characters because sometimes I see parts of me in them, they really seem to exceed normal human beings haha.

    I like Draco Malfoy, Alec Lightwood, Jace Herondale, Leo Valdez, Nico Di Angelo, Annabeth Chase, Alex Fierro and so many other characters!! There are some characters you cannot help but be drawn too, and so many of the characters I like are like that.
    Great post, and I recently discovered your blog, so I’m going to have a nice time reading all your posts hehe<3

    Liked by 1 person

    • That made me smile! I love the way you put that, that’s definitely how I feel about a lot of characters as well, and it just makes me love them even more.

      Well, this list is just phenomenal. I don’t recognize all of the names but the ones that I do- *chef’s kiss.* How did I not mention Annabeth Chase in this post?? I’m so glad you brought her up here.

      Thank you so much!! I really appreciate your comment and you stopping by. 💛

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! Thank you:)) Ahh, the friendship dynamics in the Percy Jackson novels are seriously the best. I was trying to think of which one of them I would most want to be friends with while writing this post, and all I could come up with was…all of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I relate so much with this post Olivia, especially about getting way too emotionally attached!!! I also can’t go a single book without falling in love with one character or another 😂😍 Also, your raving over Gansey has reminded me I really need to continue with the Raven Cycle series!! I loved him in the first book and I don’t even know why I haven’t picked up the sequel yet 😅

    Fantastic post Olivia!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy you could relate! Me too, I just go in expecting to become emotionally attached these days.😅 Haha, I really am kind of obsessed with Gansey- if you read the rest of the series, I hope you enjoy it! The Gansey content only gets better (and the rest of the characters, too, I love them as well).

      Thank you so much, Abby! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel this post Olivia, I really do. I feel so seen. Honestly you are not alone. I am in love with my own set of fictional characters (*cough, cough*) Will Herondale, Nikolai Lantsov (*cough, cough*), and all the reasons you gave are so valid! They really do exceed my standards. I would love to meet a boy who loves to read as much as Will. There are not many, I have come to unfortunately find. Or someone with Nikolai’s confidence, and sense of adventure! I couldn’t imagine anything more amazing! Also when you are reading you get to see the whole shape of a person and hear their thoughts and see how they react to certain situations. In real life that’s not the case. I still hope theres a Will and Nikolai out there and maybe in time, as I get to know more people, I might meet someone similar to them! ❤ and you too!! Gansey has got to be out there somewhere, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fact that you feel seen with this post is making me smile so much- thank you for this comment. :)) Ahh, I really like Nikolai too! I haven’t read too much with him but I remember his sense of humor was very entertaining. I love what you said about finding people in life that reflect some qualities of your favorite characters- that seems a lot more attainable than finding THE characters themselves, because of course that will never happen. I have hope for the whole “they have similar characteristics” part, though. Thank you again for this comment! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. LOVE this post Olivia!! I agree with all these points so, so much!! Even though I wasn’t able to finish The Raven Boys (I think my loan ended early welp) what stood out to me was that scene with Gansey and Blue in the hallucinatory tree and I was like I SHIP THEM. Also I think if I revisited the series, Gansey would be my favorite because the nerdy, enthusiastic archetype is one of my favorites (Phil Coulson from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is another good example of this!). My only complaint with Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables is that he was really only prominent in maybe two books, and the rest he was barely mentioned and I was like “I need more Gilbert scenes. PLEASE.”. To eat waffles with Nina would be such a dream, SHE BETTER BE DOING THAT IN THE SHADOW AND BONE TV SHOW BECAUSE IT’S JUST HER. To spend a weekend with the Marches’ Pickwick Club would be a dream come true too, how did Laurie get an invitation to join the girls because I need to know!! And I love it when we read about characters who have been through so much and yet they just rise above their circumstances because it just encourages us to keep going, day by day, you know? Also, it’s eerie but fascinating when we see so much of ourselves in characters, because we end up learning so much from them!! I wish more people knew how powerful fiction is because it just transcends into reality. I’ll stop here now hehe but again, wonderful post!! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, thank you so much, Eleanor! I’m very glad that you enjoyed it. :)) Oh my goodness, any mention of Gansey and I’m automatically fangirling. If you end up going back to the series at some point, I think the chances are high you’ll like it because Gansey is indeed that archetype. Now that I think about it, that’s my favorite too, and AHH I really liked Agent Coulson in the Marvel movies so I need to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D too. I also would always want more Gilbert scenes because I actually adore him.🥺 You’re so right, if Nina isn’t eating waffles in the Netflix adaptation then is it even Nina?? Wow, you put that so well- I completely agree that watching characters persevere has inspired me to be more of a perseverant person as well. Fiction truly is an amazingly powerful force. I loved reading this comment, thank you so much for all of your insight! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yesss, non-romantically falling in love with characters and wanting to be their friend or part of their family ❤ I want to be friends with all the Mysterious Benedict Society kids (Constance would probably write a poem insulting me because I'm so awkward and I would cry of happiness), and maybe be a part of the Weasley family.
    Ok, but can we go crash a De Lainey waffle dinner and bring the Dregs?? Because waffles???

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would say that’s one of my favorite things to do. ;)) Oh my goodness, you’re so right, Constance would definitely have a lot to say about me through her poetry, but I would be completely okay with that. And how did I not mention the Weasley family?? Imagine being gifted a Weasley sweater as part of the family, a dream.
      I think this is the most fantastic idea I have ever heard. We must unite the waffle loving fictional universes! Thank you for this comment. <33

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh gf, i’m the SAME HECKIN WAY. I love characters because I admire them, or because they had wonderful redemption arcs, or because I wish to be bestest friends with them, or because I fall in love with them, or I fall in love with them because they are all of the above :’) Heck yes to Anne, she would 1000% fill my eyes with even more wonder for the world. Nina would make me bolder. Polly of An Old-Fashioned Girl already makes me a better person, so knowing her irl would do that even more so. And as for fictitious boys i love, the list is embarassingly long…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. don’t remind me of gideon NOOO i miss him and his literal perfectness 😭😭 i don’t think i have ever met a teenage boy that kind in my life, but i desperately wish i would! i’m not usually one to crush on any fictional characters but i just love him so much haha. but yes i have fall in love platonically with so many characters!! my biggest one is percy jackson, especially because i know how much he cares about his friends ❤ loved this post olivia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know?? Every time I remember Gideon exists I reread Foolish Hearts. He’s just so SWEET, I don’t understand. Percy is definitely a superior character to be platonically in love with, I love him a lot too.🥺 Thank you, and thank you so much for this comment! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved reading this so much! It’s such a soft post and it brings out the main reasons I love reading in the first place. Characters are the most important part of a story for me, and they really do feel like friends, especially those who have been with me since childhood. Like with Percy, it feels like we grew up together and it’s such a magical feeling to be able to revisit those memories every time I pick up the books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sophie- thank you so much! Oh, I love that you said that about writing too. I’m not a writer, but it must be such a beautiful thing to have the power to bring characters to life.🥰 Haha, I could not stop mentioning Gansey in this post, so I obviously have a lot of love for The Raven Cycle- if you finish it, I hope you enjoy! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. i absolutely did not get teary-eyed reading this post.

    i love reading bloggers share their love towards reading or characters or fictional ships and it always makes my heart warm to see them unapologetically love fiction so much.

    likewise, i love fictional characters because i wish i could be their friend. one of my strongest reading memories was devouring the maze runner, and at the time, i didn’t have many friends at school, so i just projected myself into their fictional friend group to feel less alone. i even remember doing that as a kid, when i’d write fanfic-esque stories about my favorite books where i was a part of them. mostly because i just wanted to be friends with those people, hahah. fiction can be so powerful and i am very happy i had these “fictional friends” to count on when i needed them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LAIS. That made me smile so much🥺

      Same here! I love that this community is a place where we can all just unabashedly love fiction. Aww, that’s so sweet- I think it’s a very amazing thing that characters can be there for us in the way sometimes people in real life aren’t. I definitely also wrote fanfiction where I was friends with my favorite characters when I was younger because I wanted to truly know them so badly. Here’s to fictional friends that were always there for us. xx Thank you for this comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

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