Male and Female Love Interests

Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Christian Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey), the Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Edward Cullen (Twilight), Troy Bolton (High School Musical) and Earl of Hargate, Benedict Carsington, Viscount Rathbourne (Lord Perfect) are all the same character. They're different incarnations of the perfect man. Every romance novel is about a ordinary woman meeting a tall bored rich standoffish immaculately-dressed man of noble birth with broad shoulders, dark eyes and male rivals who is a little out-of-touch with his feelings. He has everything and takes it all for granted. Everything except his soulmate, that is.

Deviating can be lethal. Jack Dawson (Titanic) isn't rich or of noble birth. He's just a fling. He's not marriage material. That's why he has to die. The same goes for Kyle Reese (The Terminator).

Kitagawa Marin (My Dress-Up Darling), Knives Chau (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Asuna (Sword Art Online), Jane Foster (Thor), Molly (Neuromancer), C.C. (Code Geass), Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Trinity (The Matrix) are incarmations of the perfect woman. The perfect woman is a young outgoing[1] social deviant with thin waist and lots of friends. She is the highest-status, most extraverted woman in her social circle (a relative benchmark which is often satisfied by being the only woman in her social circle) even though she is a little bit of a tomboy.

Lord Perfect and Alt Girl are physically fit, socially astute and well-groomed. They wear nice clothes. They are comfortable being themselves. They act effortlessly. They take their blessings for granted.

Lord Perfect and Alt Girl both have good genes and high social status, but they emphasize different traits. Alt Girl has enough money to take care of herself. Lord Perfect is a billionaire with a castle. Alt Girl is the most popular girl in her social circle. Lord Perfect is at the absolute top of the dominance hierarchy. Lord Perfect is fit. Alt Girl has the body of a movie star.

In some ways they are total opposites. Alt Girl has friends. Lord Perfect has rivals. Alt Girl is bubbly, excitable and outgoing[2]. Lord Perfect is calm and controlled. Alt Girl usually has a job, which she does for the money. If Lord Perfect works, he does so for fun. Alt Girl is a liberal. Lord Perfect is a conservative. Alt Girl fights the System. Lord Perfect owns the System. Alt Girl breaks rules. Lord Perfect imposes rules. Alt Girl embodies chaos. Lord Perfect embodies order.

It's obvious (in the context of evolution) why women are attracted to dangerous aristocrats. But why are men attracted to social deviants? I don't think it has to do with sexual promiscuity (because a woman's sexual promiscuity is usually a turnoff for men). I think social deviance is actually a costly signal for intelligence because it is difficult to be a social deviant while also being the most popular woman/girl in your social circle.

[1] "Outgoing" is a relative measure that depends on context.

[2] "Bubbly", "excitable" and "outgoing" are a relative measures that depends on context. Molly (Neuromancer) is bubbly by the standards of assassins.