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Why Your Girlfriend Loves Mark Ruffalo So Much

There's a key to understanding Ruffalo's universal appeal, and it's a 2004 film starring Jennifer Garner

I know it might be hard for men to hear this or even understand it, but here goes: Your wife or girlfriend loves Mark Ruffalo. He is her boyfriend, husband, lover and confidant. He is also your mom’s secret boyfriend, husband, lover and confidant. And your grandma’s, and your dentist’s, and her receptionist’s, and your mail carrier’s, and also that of every woman you know, if that woman is remotely into guys. Technically, according to Ruffalo’s ability to turn Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right, lesbians too.

That’s because Mark Ruffalo is America’s boyfriend. Ruffalo? Ruffle me.

He’s our Guy Next Door, a “thoughtful woman’s leading man,” who is smart, hot, kind, great in bed, sensitive, caring, attractive and impossibly easy to be with, who also loves us, and only us, and always has, and always will, and who fights for the rights of all women and the environment. (Sorry.)

Now that he’s signed on to play twins in the film adaptation of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True, you’ve probably noticed that women in your life are a little bit more hyped-up and excited than usual. This is because there will be a film soon featuring two Mark Ruffalos at once, which is beyond our capacity to understand — as well as, so we thought, the universe’s capacity to tolerate a certain amount of greatness. Of course, we’d have always been good with two Ruffalos, we just didn’t realize it was ever an option.

Maybe you’re wondering: Why all the Ruffalo fuss? After all, he’s just an actor, and there are theoretically a million hot dudes women could be obsessed with, like any of the Chrises or Bradley Cooper.

But on behalf of all women, I am willing to tell you why.

‘13 Going on 30’

Mark Ruffalo has been in a lot of movies, but the main reason he’s your woman’s actual man is because of 13 Going On 30.

In this film he plays a hot great boyfriend with perfect music taste who’s been in love with Jennifer Garner (i.e., with you) since elementary school even though he was chubby. But he is also so good and correct that when you don’t like him back, he does not become an angry incel or remain bitter in the slightest. Instead, he goes on with his life and marries Wendy, and when you come crawling back to him, he stays with Wendy because he committed to Wendy and loves Wendy. But, let’s face it, he doesn’t really love Wendy the way he loves you (how could he?!) and he just loves her because he couldn’t have you, and this is the reason you know you were really supposed to be with him, which is why when you go back to being 13 again, you don’t fuck it up this time so you can get with Mark Ruffalo. Dig?

Streaming 13 Going On 30 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Mark Ruffalo Is Hot but Humble

Mark Ruffalo is obviously good-looking, but it’s the kind where he makes it seem like it’s not all that special to be that good looking: That’s how he was born and he can’t help it, and he wouldn’t have even necessarily picked it, it’s just what happened, NBD. If it were up to him, he would have been completely normal. It’s just he’s really hot and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

As Cari, a woman I know, puts it, “He’s hot but not like model-attractive or ripped. Like, he’s hot enough to be a movie star but also regular-looking enough to imagine you could maybe (hypothetically on Earth 2) hook up.”

Or, says Angie, another Ruffalo fan: “He’s ‘accessible-hot,’ someone you could imagine actually marrying.”

Another woman, Ashley, explains that Ruffalo’s swarthiness, mixed with his kind eyes, are a “crackerjack combination.”

She continues: “He seems competent and not overtly masculine about it. Like a nice dude with hot arms who doesn’t make a big deal about his hot arms, but will make a big deal about voting rights!”

Mark Ruffalo Is Very Smart

“I love his brain, mostly,” Ruffalo fan Alexis tells me. “His messy hair makes it looks like he’s thinking so hard.” It’s true. When Mark Ruffalo says things on Twitter or in interviews, he sounds very smart about those things.

Mark Ruffalo Is an Activist

He self-identifies as a “husband, father, actor, director, and a climate change advocate” on his Twitter bio, and he routinely tweets calls for action on voting, the environment and women’s rights, which is part of why he’s so hot. “And he’s genuinely a nice, kind person,” Angie explains. “He is from Kenosha, [Wisconsin], so we are biased, but I think that’s what the deal is for everybody else. Also, there’s an earnestness to his voice that says he’s solid.”

Mark Ruffalo Has Dyslexia, Which Is Hot

Mark Ruffalo Is an Amazing Kisser

We don’t know if it’s true in real life, but, like, we know it’s true. He kisses like how all the best men kiss in the movies when they do it in the romantic way. He kisses the way you imagine being kissed for the first time by the person you could theoretically love forever if they were Mark Ruffalo and not whoever actually kissed you first for real, or the guy you had to end up with who isn’t Mark Ruffalo.

Mark Ruffalo Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

His Eyes, My God, His Eyes

“I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I think it’s because his eyes are just sad enough to make you feel like he needs you to make him feel better,” Ruffalo fan Winona says.

Mark Ruffalo Is Vulnerable

Mark Ruffalo inspires entire lists of how he is too precious for this world. He can seem wistful and sad and also hot and aloof in movies and neither one seems contradictory or like some kind of put-on, because he seems real and reachable and sensitive in real life. “He’s masculine, but extremely vulnerable,” Alexis says.

He is the opposite of a bad boy: He is a good boy, but not in an infantilizing way — in a comfortably masculine way that exudes all the best parts of masculinity without any of the weird, stunted ones. He talks openly about being an engaged, hands-on father, being from a family with mental illness, and how much he fucking loves his wife (sobs).

Mark Ruffalo Is Emotionally Available

“He emotes,” Cari explains.

Then Alexis sends me this entire fantasy sequence of her husband, Mark Ruffalo:

“He looks like the kind of guy that would lean in when you talked to him about something important to you. Maybe hold your knee in a non-sexual way. And he has like a ‘protector’ quality that is super attractive. He’d go to bat for you. He’d yell really loud at someone for almost hitting you with their car. He’d get really mad at your boss with you. Tell you all the reasons why you’re right and she’s wrong. He’d end friendships with people who weren’t nice to you. And he’d be really good at doing your daughter’s hair. He’d get into it and learn all kinds of braids and stuff.”

Mark Ruffalo Is Hot

Might’ve already said that, but still.

In conclusion, we know that this is a lot to take in for any man. Believe us, it’s a lot for us to take in, knowing we can never (literally) take Mark Ruffalo in(side). Last year, Reductress wrote a guide for women on how to love boyfriends even though they’re not Mark Ruffalo, which includes this perfect line: “There comes a point in every relationship when you find yourself asking, ‘Is it worth it to stay with someone I know isn’t the perfect man for me, because the perfect man is accomplished actor and environmentalist Mark Ruffalo?'”

Hopefully it all makes sense that even on your best day, in the best most flattering light, even if you almost always recycle and are a pretty good guy, that you’ll never be Mark Ruffalo.

Maybe it bothers you. Maybe you’ve seen him go hard on women’s issues and voting and the environment and wondered why he has to go mucking it up for other men by being so likable, hot and also politically active, setting the highest possible bar for any man on earth so far.

But if you would just try to understand the essence of Mark Ruffalo, you will better understand the women in your life. And maybe you can glean some of that Ruffalo juice so that you may endeavor to resemble him for our benefit — and for the greater good.

If you think about it, you’ll see that we’re both in the same boat, really. Although now there will be two Mark Ruffalos on TV, which means one for each of us, we still both know that you can never be Mark Ruffalo and we can never be with Mark Ruffalo. It’s harder for us, trust me. But at least now we can commiserate.