By Rebecca Schmidt
Have you ever heard of the Manic Pixie Dream Boyfriend (MPDB) and always wondered what that type of boy is like? If so, let me give you a few scenarios. He was the type of guy who asked you to climb over the locked gate and onto your school’s rooftop while blasting heavy metal music to “set the mood”. If you showed any signs of being scared and uncertain (well obviously, you were breaking the school rules here), he scoffed at you and asked you to “live a little.” Sounds familiar? Let me provide another example.
He’s the kind of guy who will intensely convince you to buy a cheap airplane ticket for the next day for an impromptu trip, just because they were having 1-for-1 sales at extremely low prices. Even though you have a big presentation coming up the next day, he will just brush it off and claim that in the spirit of “YOLO”,; skipping a day of work or two will be a way of “living life to the fullest,” and he’ll make you believe that your job and your stable income at risk is not important at all.
As you may have already figured out, he is a slightly modified version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl; a term created to represent the eccentric female onscreen protagonist whose main role is to help the gloomy male hero cheer up. Essentially, heis the self-deluded, free-spirited, life-is-too-short kind of guy who always seeks to make your life more fun and fairy-tale-like; whether you like it or not. He sets out to remind you to always seek adventures and dismiss your responsibilities because life shouldn’t be about having pragmatic concerns and career goals. Instead, it should mainly be all about rainbows and unicorns; all the cheesy whimsical things that will bring you happiness (and also a great deal of failure, disappointment, and pain if you really decide to heed his advice).
Even though guys like these may charm you especially in high school or college, and you wonder does he like me as you gush over their adventurous-loving spirits that help you see things beyond just paper qualifications, they will definitely not win women over as people mature over time. This is because mature women will start to realize that carving out a career for themselves and climbing up the corporate ladder are essential ingredients to having a stable and sustainable life. Despite them sounding boring or “too serious,” having such priorities are necessary for life, and these guys have to accept that.
Over the last ten years, women in their early adult years are becoming progressively more focused on their career paths and making a name for themselves. As compared to earlier times, more women are entering college, graduating, and even cashing bigger cheques than men. As such, the stark disparity between girls of our age and Manic Pixie Dream guys of similar ages are getting larger and even more extreme. This results in a larger number of couples splitting up; especially once she hits her late 20s or 30s.
Some women confessed that they find their MPDB’s lack of stress from real-world adulting problems a nice break from their fast-paced life, at least at first. However, it comes at a price: The MPDB often sprinkles supercilious and patronizing remarks on their girlfriends when telling them to live in the moment, especially because of their self-inflated confidence in thinking that they are always right. Living in the moment ostensibly requires one to completely compartmentalize work and life and do things that may potentially risk their paychecks; something that is simply unacceptable to certain career-driven women.
Even before jobs come into the picture, he will always over-dramatize things and claim that every song will “change your life”, even though they all sound the same to you; with lyrics that make no sense. They will walk down the street with your hand in theirs, and shout stupid words in public to embarrass you and force you to do it with them in the spirit of fully maximising and enjoying your time here on earth (which is quite a nice mantra to live by if enjoying your time on earth includes getting endless disgusted stares from people and you fervently praying that none of them will call the police on you for being a public nuisance).
However, perhaps we should empathize and take pity on their lifestyles and behavior, instead of always getting annoyed by them. Someone who chooses to abandon being a fully functioning person, and instead decides to employ idiosyncratic and nonconformist actions or mentalities might hint at a certain degree of insecurity. It could make sense that by doing all these, it may serve as a coping mechanism through an overcompensation technique. It is as if they are so concerned about having atheir boring personality, such that they choose to take on a fake persona to make up for it.
Nowadays, women progressing into their adult years will value more down-to-earth love interests who offer to do the dishes, prefers to laze in bed during the weekends and create joint bank accounts. Long gone are the days where girls revel in MBPDs where nothing seems to be of importance, apart from living in their whimsical, happy bubble that they’ve created for themselves. They are sad, insecure people really, but we have moved past that.
Eventually, there will come a time when the MPBD has to bid farewell to their MPBG counterpart and force both of them out of their tiny little bubbles. Living life this way is unsustainable, and it will take a while for both of them to realize that, and it’ll be devastating that they cannot belong to each other. Without a partner who sees the cold, hard truth of life, they will just be jamming to heavy metal and eating Cheetos till sunrise at the age of 39, in a makeshift cardboard box they call home.
Rebecca Schmidt is a Mass Communication major who is passionate about communicating her beliefs and thoughts through her writing. She strives to provide value through her words and loves to share her experiences with others.