Five Men to Avoid in Urban Fantasy

Five Men to Avoid in Urban Fantasy

Say you find yourself in an urban fantasy world looking for a good man for companionship and fun. While there are plenty of possibilities presented by the fantasy world, there are certain men you should avoid. If you recognise any of the warning signs, run the other way. From vampires to shifters to warlocks, there are some bad boys you just don’t need.

The Troubled Loner

Dark, unkempt hair and a constant five o’clock shadow. The troubled loner wears trench coats, smokes and drinks too much. He’s been married before or had at least one serious relationship that crushed his soul. But he’s clever, witty and though he comes from the streets, he’s charming and has a sense of honour that melts your heart and inspires you. He runs his own business, a detective agency or investigative service of some kind. His clients are wealthy and mysterious.

Where You'd Meet Him

In a dive bar, on a street corner, at a crime scene or standing out like a sore thumb in a fancy nightclub. You might even meet him as he doorknocks looking for the owner of a lost puppy. He’ll have a special place where he will stand and stare into the distance thinking. It might be in the middle of a bridge, on a seaside cliff or a park bench. You’ll see him there, hands in his pockets, silent and motionless. Perhaps if you look closely enough, you’ll see his lips slowly moving as if he is repeating some words over and over. Then he’ll abruptly turn, pull his hat down lower, hunch his shoulders and stride away.

Dive Bar

What's Wrong

This is a man who has a crippled heart. A love early in life left him and it has torn him apart. There is nothing you can do to put him back together even though it’s all you want to do.

His gruff exterior hides a soft side that will enchant you, but the charm is a façade hiding broken rubble and a penchant for getting in trouble. Speaking of trouble, the trouble this guy gets in and drags his partners into is not the normal sort.

As his romantic interest, you will inevitably be kidnapped by a strange and powerful individual. If you’re lucky you’ll just be killed. If you’re unlucky you’ll be so traumatised by the supernatural horrors you witness that you’ll be just as broken as the troubled loner you fell for.

Red Flags

  • Gruff and gravelly voice from the hard drinking and chain smoking.
  • Trench coat, duster or oilskin when he isn’t Humphrey Bogart or a cowboy.
  • He looks away and shrugs when you ask him what’s on his mind.
  • Beautiful, glamorous women visit his office.
  • He wears armour.

The Charming and Handome

Lean, pale and handsome, he is hard to see but impossible to forget. Looking into his deep, soulful eyes seems to empty your mind. He has perfect hair and white teeth sparkle when he cracks a rare smile, the one he keeps only for you.

Classic, older style clothes of impeccable taste fill his wardrobe and even in casual surroundings he looks dressed up. Despite how close you get to him he won’t tell you much of his past except to tell you that you remind him of someone he once knew. When you offer him a glass of wine, he will decline politely telling you he doesn’t drink… wine.

Where You'd Meet Him

Inevitably you will meet this man across a crowded room. Your eyes will lock, and the rest of the world will fade away so that all you can see is him. Rooftops, goth nightclubs, and high society events are his usual hang out and only at night.

Don’t bother trying to meet him for a morning coffee and forget about a lunch date, dinner dates will be hard enough. When you think he doesn’t know you’re watching, you’ll see him standing with his head bowed in a graveyard holding a single white rose. While you stand watching him, the priest whose church the graveyard is in will tell you to stay away from him.

Flower for a grave

What's Wrong

Cold-hearted is not just a figure of speech with this man. It isn’t that he will intentionally beguile you with the intent to hurt you, but rather his ancient, pained heart can feel no empathy. Regardless of his attempts, he just can’t come to feel again. His enemies will use you to lure him into the open. The real problem is that his enemies are the good guys, though you’ll run from them to him so he can make you his bride for eternity. Eternity is a long time to spend with a domineering, heartless monster.

Red Flags

  • Cold hands.
  • Never wants to meet your friends.
  • The only pictures of him are oil paintings hanging on the walls of his mansion.
  • Has a lot of female groupies who seem to never leave his house.
  • Sleeps in a pile of dirt.

The Housebound

He has haunting eyes and a smile that somehow conveys sadness rather than joy. His wardrobe must contain multiple sets of exactly the same clothes because he always wears the one outfit. His conversation always circles around to the same topics and he’ll only ever talk about the past. If you do ask about his plans for the future, he’ll tell you he looks forward to taking a break and leaving for someplace better. There is something beautiful about the pain obviously held in his heart, but probe too hard and he’ll freeze you out, literally in some cases. Oh, and don’t bother trying to ask him out on a date, he’d prefer to hang around his usual haunts, as it were.


Where You'd Meet Him

Old mansions, museums, hospitals and cemeteries are where you’ll find the housebound urban fantasy man. You’ll see him drifting about the halls apparently looking for something or someone. At other times you might meet him in an antiquarian shop filled with nick-knacks after the proprietor has stepped out the back to check on stock.

This charming but sad seeming young man will step forward to help you with your inquiries. Assuming he works there you’ll engage with him and be fascinated by him. When the shop owner comes back out to continue serving, you’ll ask after the man who caught your attention. All you’ll get is a worried frown and a “best not to worry about him”.

What's Wrong

There are numerous problems with this guy; his personality lacks depth, his topics of interest tend to be quite fixed and he can get violent when he gets emotional, which his often. If you set your heart on wooing this man, be prepared to have your love unrequited. There’s just no substance to him and he’ll likely drag you to hell with him.

Red Flags

  • Doesn’t leave his home.
  • The doors in his home might be jammed shut.
  • Your breath fogs when he is around.
  • No one else sees him.

The Lone Twin

Wild, peaceful, excited, calm and forgetful are all descriptors that fit the lone twin. He’s called a lone twin because despite not having any siblings, you could swear he had a twin brother.

One day he is considerate, thoughtful, empathetic and loving and the next he is a berserk whirlwind of rage or icy cold manipulation. Bipolar doesn’t come close to describing him. He’ll beg you for help and then send you away, you’ll love him, but it will be a coin toss as to whether he returns the affection.

Where You'd Meet Him

In church; almost always in church. He’ll be kneeling in front of the rows of candles – it will always be a Catholic church – praying for guidance from the Virgin Mother, Mary. Otherwise, you’ll meet him at work as your boss or a major client. In those cases, you’ll meet his evil twin first. But when you are alone, the cruel façade will drop, and you’ll see the sweet, lost boy within.

Lone Twin

What's Wrong

Other than the fact he turns evil at the drop of a hat, nothing. He is sweet, charming, has future plans, can walk about in the daylight and is visible to all your friends.

But with the good side comes the bad.

He’ll weep and flog himself before the statue of Jesus at church, but no amount of crying or asking for forgiveness will cleanse the darkness he carries within. Unless you are good friends with both a young priest and an old priest and you don’t mind pea soup, steer clear.

Red Flags

  • Clutches compulsively at a crucifix.
  • Large rotation range of his head.
  • Despite frequent trips to church, will not take communion.
  • Eyes go completely black from time to time.

The Outdoorsman

Rugged, handsome and with long flowing locks unfettered by social norms or a need to conform. Of the five urban fantasy men you should avoid, this one seems the best. He has just the right amount of animalistic hair on his broad, muscular chest, and a glint in his eye that seems to say, “I dare you.”

He invariably rides a motorcycle, wears a leather jacket, jeans and Johnny Rebel boots, but doesn’t wear a helmet because he just can’t be tamed. He isn’t a great conversationalist, preferring to use piercing stares, stoic silences and wry smiles to communicate.

Where You'd Meet Him

You’d meet this outdoorsy type in a biker saloon with one booted foot propped on the kick rail of the bar. Alternatively, you might find him camping in the woods by himself around the time of the full moon.

He likes to get out on his own at such times to get closer to nature and because he doesn’t trust himself around people. You might be partying at the lake with your friends, and when you step away to get a breath of air and appreciate the beauty of nature around you, you spy this tall, dark and shirtless man. He will see you, toss his mane of luxurious hair and walk into the woods. It would be best not to follow.


What's Wrong

He has a strong animal magnetism about him and so he can be hard to resist, but there are some problems. He’ll leave you for three days each month to get back to nature, he’ll show you his terrible temper and turn on you for no reason. That is not to mention his friends who will literally have pissing contests in your front yard. Oh, then there will be the unexplained blood and the occasional body part turning up around the house. Stay away.

Red Flags

  • His shirt seems to rip off his hard, rippled torso with regularity.
  • His friends will always hang around and will consist of one big dumb one, a small scraggly one and a woman with a scar across her face.
  • Eats his steaks raw and always leaves his salad.
  • Eats dog kibble as a snack instead of chips.


If you discover the world around you is more fantastic than you first believed, you will find yourself encountering all manner of interesting men. However, you need to be a little choosy because the most fascinating and handsome men are often the worst to get involved with. I’ve listed just five of the most notable, from hard boiled wizard detectives to vampires and shape-shifters. There are others out there, always use protection (IE: holy symbols, garlic and silver).

Surrey's urban / contemporary fantasy trilogy, Exit Plan, is based on the audio drama podcast of the same name. The books are available now on Amazon in Kindle and print format. The audio drama is available at

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