Bollywood has gifted mankind with a wide array of spectacularly terrible love interests (think Kabir Singh). In an endless ocean of tragic cliches and backward stereotypes, let’s have a look at the few characters who would make great life partners for a change:

1. Sunny, Dil Dhadakne Do

The entire monologue where Sunny called out Manav’s internalized misogyny under his thin veil of pseudo progressiveness was in one word, iconic! With sheer eloquence he explained that the whole idea of men giving women the “permission” to work is inherently sexist and perpetuates the patriarchal doctrine of male authority over female bodies. Women need partners who have such profound understanding of the patriarchy and are willing to stand up for them.

2. Jai Singh Rathore, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Jai is the most radical opposition to toxic masculinity we’ve seen on Indian screens. In a cinematic universe where films continue to propopagate harmful stereotypes of manliness, it was refreshing to see a man not whining about “nice guys finishing last.” Contradicting quintessential Rajput cliche’s, Jay proved that one doesn’t need to be macho or violent to be a man. Instead they can be sensitive, gentle and loving and actually express their emotions instead of bottling them up under the guise of machismo.

3. Aisha, Wake Up Sid

Aisha is a mature, independent girl who believes in herself and willing to take a gamble to achieve her dreams. The headstrong feminist trampled on societal norms by unapologetically being herself. She moved from Kolkata to Mumbai on her own, she left her hostel and moved into a flat on her own terms, she took in Sid when he was distraught without worrying about how people would interpret it, she never lied to Sid to protect his feelings but showed him the mirror instead and helped him outgrow his manchild ways. Aisha is proof that a woman doesn’t need a man to rescue her, she can find her own way. Anyone would be lucky to have her as a girlfriend.

4. Kabir, Ki & Ka

Kabir is one of Bollywood’s very, very few men who don’t believe that running a house is a woman’s responsibility. His goal in life is to be the artist his mother was, cook, clean and be an endless support system to his wife – and the best part, he is not ashamed of it. He challenges the unspoken power imbalance imposed in a society where a man is a breadwinner and a woman his dependant.

5. Laila, Zindagi Na Mile Gi Dobara

The scuba diving instructor knows how to live life and more importantly how to live in the moment. Amidst travelling the world on her bike, the free spirit is not afraid to make the first move when she meets a guy she likes. In the epic scene, she chases Arjun as he is leaving and professes her feelings to him. How badass is that?

6. Amol, Chhapaak

In a world blinded by patriarchal norms of beauty, Amol knows how to see beyond it. He falls for Malti’s strength, courage and ethics and helps her through her toughest battle to justice. 

7. MC Sher, Gully Boy

Sher believed in Murad’s talent when no one else did, not even Murad himself. He pushed him to be the best artist and was his constant support system throughout his journey. When Murad became a bigger artist than himself, he did not let insecurity or jealousy come in the way. Instead, he was there cheering him on. If that doesn’t scream relationship goals, I don’t know what else does. Also, I don’t know about you, but I think Murad and Sher had incredible chemistry and would make a great couple. Sorry Safeena.

Take notes Bollywood, we need more characters like this.