Is Ryan Gosling real?

You know how Ryan Gosling doesn’t exist?

I’m serious. He’s not a real person. I mean, sure, he occupies a corporeal form and is a great actor, but the guy from the memes, the one who wears sweaters made out of boyfriend material and who acknowledges that gender is a social construct but that everyone likes to cuddle and who breaks up fights on New York streets (oh wait that last one’s TRUE)? He is a figment of heterosexual female imagination, born of sheer desperate longing. There is (almost) nothing wrong with this. The only thing wrong with this is that real men are not at all like Ryan Gosling the Dreamboat. That’s why we had to invent him. Because he doesn’t exist.

EXCEPT HE DOES. He is a real person but his name is not Ryan Gosling.

His name is – get this – Rory. HOW CAN ANYONE EVEN HAVE THAT NAME? Rory is a real person with a preternaturally adorable name. We just have to deal with it and move on.

Rory is currently in the process of sweeping my friend off her twitter-pated feet. She is both embarrassed and ecstatic to tell us about Rory because she’s afraid of rubbing our noses in it. He is basically perfect. Let me paint a very shallow picture.

First, we’ve seen his picture. He’s a hottie with a body. Enough said.

Second, he’s a doctor. He saves human lives for money. If Rory were trying to fulfill a perfect man stereotype, so far he’s 2/2.

Third, he met my friend at a church dinner and politely asked her on a date. Since their first, he has continued to ask her on weekly dates, even though he only has one day off a week.

On these dates, Rory pays without hesitation. Gender roles and icky money stuff aside, this means that my friend never has to wonder if what they are doing is actually dating.

Their dates comprise EVERYTHING THAT TICKLES MY FRIEND’S FANCY: classic films, indie bookstores, Italian restaurants. They magically have the same interests and Rory is even more excited about everything than my friend is.

On top of that, Rory moves slowly. Eventually, on like their fourth date, my friend asked if she could hold his hand – and out spilled Rory’s history.

Turns out, that history is pure as the driven snow. He’s never had a relationship before, he was nervous, but he really likes my friend and wondered if she’d be his girlfriend? My friend said yes, of course, and they wandered blissfully hand-in-hand through falling leaves like lovesick yearling fawns.

Ryan Gosling doesn’t exist. But Rory does.

I hope that at least some of you were fighting your gag reflex while reading this. But Rory’s existence begs the question: What do we do with a guy like this? Is he setting the bar too high? Are these realistic expectations to have for someone we date? Which of Rory’s qualities are actually important ones?

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