Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver Themes
Throughout the novel, Ruby constantly redefines her expectations and definitions for what it means to be a "real live boyfriend." At the opening of the novel, Ruby defines a real live boyfriend as a boy who calls when he says he will, picks you up for dates on time, and with whom no plans need to be formally made: of course you'll be spending the weekend together - he's your real live boyfriend. When Ruby has such a strict definition of what it means to be a "real" boyfriend, she is only setting herself up for disappointment when a day, a week, or a month passes with her partner failing to abide by her rules. As Ruby learns, expectations (without communication) are the quickest way to disappointment. She assumes that because Noel is her partner, she shouldn't have to communicate her emotions with him. Part of his role as "real...