X

Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

See the TV hunks who represent ideals our real-life boyfriends can never measure up to

Shaun Harrison
tv-boyfriends-01-jason-segel2.jpg
1 of 17 Ron P. Jaffe/FOX/CBS

Marshall Erickson, How I Met Your Mother: The Ideal Husband

He's loyal, supportive, smart, funny, understanding, an open communicator who keeps things hot in the bedroom and he's a great father? Are you kidding us?! His only flaws are that he might love you too much. Great. How does any actual human being stand a chance against that? The truth is, they don't. So unless you're happy spending the rest of your life curled up in bed with some HIMYM DVDs each night, don't hold out to find the Marshmallow to your Lily Pad. (At least settle for a Barney to your Robin. That's far more doable.)
2 of 17 Trae Patton/NBC

Jim Halpert, The Office: The Good Guy

Jim didn't care that Pam was engaged when they met. He didn't even try to steal her away! Jim just waited for his chance and fell more in love with Pam every day. Why? Because he's a good guy! Sure, he plays a lot of pranks on Dwight, but at the end of the day, Jim always tries to do the right thing. Always. Don't get your hopes up, people. No one is that perfect (as Season 9 is currently proving).
3 of 17 Adam Rose/NBC

Ben Wyatt, Parks and Recreation: The Understanding Guy

When Ben first moved to Pawnee, he didn't get it at all. Heck, he still doesn't get Li'l Sebastian! But one thing Ben has always understood is Leslie. Her hopes, humor, passion for sexual role play as female political figures — he understands her completely. Which is why Ben never guilt-tripped Leslie over needing to break up and resigning in order for her to run for city council. He knew how important it was to her and was willing to sacrifice his own happiness for her dreams. If someone can find us a man that selfless, you know how to reach us.
4 of 17 Scott Humbert/The CW/Landov

Logan Echolls, Veronica Mars: The Passionate Guy

As a keen observer of the human condition, we know men like Logan don't exist. Yet, like him, we're still waiting for an "epic" love "spanning years and continents, lives ruined, bloodshed," etc. We're waiting for a guy who loves us so much he'll get purposefully thrown in jail (even when we aren't dating) just to avenge us. Of course, Logan's passion is both his greatest attraction and his greatest flaw. Passion like that can just as easily end up with either one of you in the morgue. Though, you'll probably have your own Lifetime movie, too!
5 of 17 Adam Taylor/NBC

Nick Miller, New Girl: The Secretly Romantic Tough Guy

The moment Nick kissed Jess, every man hung his head in defeat because there's no way anyone can top that. He set a new standard for first kisses, mainly because we never saw it coming. But before you start pining after that emotionally stunted, man's man in your life, remember that under all that scruff and unwashed clothing is probably not a passionate romantic, waiting to kiss you "like that." If you do end up dating a Nick Miller-type, you'll likely end up living in his mom's basement, separating his laundry and making finger guns for the rest of your life.
6 of 17 Giles Keyte/Carnival Film & Television Limited for Masterpiece

tv-boyfriends-06-dan-stevens2

Matthew Crawley, Downton Abbey: The Guy Who Doesn't Care About Your Flaws Let's call a spade a spade. Mary Crawley is a Grade-A beeyotch. But Matthew doesn't care. He knows she's a stuck-up ice queen who's shockingly cruel to her sister. In fact, he even calls her out on it multiple times. Yet no matter how terrible she is in public (and sometimes even to him), Matthew sees the kindness she only reveals in private, blinding him from feeling anything but love for her. While we understand (we, too, can't help but love Mary), no one is that forgiving.
7 of 17 Oliver Upton/HBO

Jon Snow, Game of Thrones: The Honorable Guy

So many people today, not just men, are manipulative, selfish and impossibly hard to date. That's why Jon Snow holds the ultimate attraction. This man eats honor for breakfast and sweats it from his pores. He's so honorable, he won't even sleep with you! Wait a minute… Now that we think about it, while that's fine and good in a TV show, it's not so awesome in real life. We'll settle for a little less honor, if you please.
8 of 17 Eric McCandless/ABC Family

tv-boyfriends-08-ian-harding2

Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little Liars: The Guy Who Sees You for Who You Are Ezra might be her teacher, but he doesn't see Aria as a student. He sees her as the mature, intelligent and passionate woman that she is (even if she is only a teenager). While we don't necessarily support their affair, we'd love for a man to see us as a complete package, not just a reduction of a few banal qualities. Then again, just because Ezra appreciates Aria for who she is, doesn't make their student-teacher affair okay. And his decision to sacrifice his career for her isn't romantic, it's just plain stupid. But how are we supposed to care about any of that when he looks so darn cute in those vests?
9 of 17 John P. Johnson/HBO

Eric Northman, True Blood: The Reformed Bad Boy

Everyone loves a bad boy. Or at least the idea of a bad boy who will change everything about his personality to be with you. But unlike in Bon Temps, there aren't witches running around giving your forbidden crush amnesia, turning him into a passive puppy dog who'll do whatever you want. We need to stop thinking some jerk can change and just find a nice guy and buy him a leather jacket. It's the closest thing we'll get.
10 of 17 Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW

tv-boyfriends-10-ian-somerhalder3

Damon Salvatore, The Vampire Diaries: The Guy Who Loves You So Much, He'll Give You Up There's something hot about a guy who'll hurt himself to make you happy. It's completely twisted, but it's true. Damon would do anything for Elena, even get her the cure and let her date his brother. But is that really healthy for anyone? No one wants a selfish boyfriend, but you don't want a masochist either. When it comes down to it, if someone who loves you so much that he'll give you up is just a fancy way of saying he's a brooding pushover, which sounds like a whole lot of whining and not a lot of fun.
11 of 17 Barbara Nitke/The CW

Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl: The Guy Who Won't Give Up

Chuck Bass is smarmy, manipulative and devilish — but damn, that man never quits! Blair did everything to dissuade Chuck over the years (including getting married!), but Chuck never stopped trying to win her back. While this is completely romantic on TV, in real life he'd probably be called a stalker. In fact, Chuck's unrelenting pursuit makes us think he might be clinically insane. Then again, we're the ones who stay up at night waiting for someone to stalk us like Chuck did Blair. Who's the crazy one, now?
12 of 17 The WB

tv-boyfriends-12-james-marsters1

Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Guy Who'll Do Anything for You After seasons of seeing the slayer single and depressed, fans wanted her to find love again. So when Spike reformed, we were ecstatic. Look how much he loves you, Buffy. He got a soul for you! Why won't you date him, Buffy? He even died for you! While that's all fine and good, Spike loved Buffy so much, he really would do anything for her — including rape her. And this guy's supposed to be our hero? There are some things we need to learn how not to forgive, even if Buffy could.
13 of 17 Erik Heinila/TBS

Grayson Ellis, Cougar Town: The Accepting Pushover

It's one thing to want a guy to love you for who you are. It's quite another to want a guy who's as passive as ol' beady eyes here. Jules is a high-maintenance woman and that's fine. But she can also be selfish, domineering and a little bit crazy. Grayson not only accepts it, but he lets her walk all over him. Sure, the man can sing, but don't you want someone who isn't afraid to express himself (and not just to the tune of a guitar)?
14 of 17 Mario Perez/ABC/Getty Images

Desmond Hume, Lost: The Guy Who'll Wait for You Forever

Who doesn't want to be someone's constant? The singular thing in a person's life that remains the same throughout the years, such as Desmond's love for Penny (swoon). Even death couldn't keep him away from her! But really, this man was trapped alone on an island for years. What else is he going to think about? In this day and age, we're lucky to keep someone's attention for more than a few weeks.
15 of 17 Fox

Seth Cohen, The OC: The Romantic Geek

Seth Cohen is perfect. He's hot, willing to re-create classic movie moments, doesn't care about what other people think, is freakin' hilarious and oh, yeah — he can draw you! How much better does it get? Actually, a lot. He's super polite, has great taste in music, is studious, not afraid of commitment and let's just say it: rich as all hell. Seth Cohen, you are perfect. Why do you only exist on TV?
16 of 17 ABC/Getty Images

tv-boyfriends-13-jordan-catalano1

Jordan Catalano, My So-Called Life: The Emotionally Unavailable Guy He was broodlingly hot, but he'd only make out with you in the boiler room or hide you from his friends. His treatment taught us that as long as he paid attention to you at all, he was worth it — which is so not cool. This guy was a sultry-eyed, floppy-haired walking lesson in controlling our hormones.
17 of 17 Warner Bros./Everett Collection

tv-boyfriends-17-joshua-jackson1

Pacey Witter, Dawson's Creek : The Best Friend-Turned-Boyfriend You know that guy that you constantly fight with and harbor a strong distaste for? Well Pacey Witter proved that this guy could also become the love of your life. He might've not always done the right thing, but Pacey also showed girls that it's OK to date the funny, class clown. Besides, how many high school guys have bought the object of their affection a wall?!