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Poppy Dolan's novel The Bad Boyfriends' Bootcamp is available to download now, and we're excited to welcome Poppy to Trashi today for her post on bad boyfriends. Over to you, Poppy!

Ladies, are we the ones to blame (gulp) for bad boyfriends?

Now, Cath Kidston pitch forks down, let me pose you an honest question: is it that some boyfriends are genuinely dissatisfying in the love stakes, or have we raised the bar sky-high and they have about as much chance of clearing it as I do on an Olympic high jump? Do some blokes come off at the Alex Reid end of the spectrum, because we've got our sights set on John Hamm? Take romantic comedy heroes, for example: we ladies write the very best ones. I've spent many a hour with and swooned many a swoon over male leads that are sensitive to the core, hilarious at every syllable, have jaws you could slice ham with, eyes akin to taking a bath in melted Cadbury's. And they have good jobs, and are nice to their mums, and apologise for every mistake and fill your flat with roses for forgetting your cat's birthday. Be honest, have you EVER had a boyfriend who's been like that? Or even a brother or nephew or colleague? My hand is not shooting up at this point. 

So have we made our fictional hero cookie cutter so impossibly handsome that even the most well intentioned and well groomed real man ends up looking like a deformed gingerbread man at the bottom of the biscuit tin? I know I, for one, grew up memorising Billy Crystal's New Year's speech for When Harry Met Sally and dreaming that one day a man (OK, so a slightly taller man) would make such a speech to me. But, in reality, the words that have really been important and meant something in my grown-up life were more like, 'So, I um made you my girlfriend on Facebook' and 'Let's just listen to some Magic FM in bed and chill'. No one's going to win an Oscar for that screenplay (but if you want to option it, please please cast me as Rachel Weisz. Please) but it's real and it's dreamy in an everyday way. 

So, are we to blame for 'bad' boyfriends because we've made the job description too impossibly perfect? Not quite. We're definitely not to blame for the beer cans on the floor, the 15 minute late window to every date, the sullen sulks when Football isn't on the telly. But maybe, just maybe, the next time your bloke buys you flowers from the garage you could think 'Yes, but he still bought me flowers.' Then smooch him and squeeze his bum. 

You can follow Poppy on Twitter, or find her on Facebook at PoppyDolanBooks.