Disclaimer: Based on scientific research conducted during finals week from a large sample of Korean and Chinese dramas to compile the list of the most suitable traits for a female lead in a successful romance.

Be poor.

Starting off easy since we’re students and already prone to being broke and hungry with no prospects because of our fate of eternal debt-nation. But despite the downsides of having to resort to eating food from the dining hall, being poor increases your chances of meeting a rich CEO/actor/idol/take your pick (or perhaps all of the above) by at least 70%. Pretty counterintuitive, but hey, the happy endings of rich-poor dramas speak for themselves. Just remember to make sure you have the latest phone model on the market and the best wardrobe. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Pick up a secret hobby.

Find that new fixation to capture your attention for the near future. Here are a few suggestions:

Make-up could be the way to go. Perfect way to live a double life and truly explore who you really are (and aren’t). Or maybe learn a martial art. This hobby also opens some potential career paths. For example, you can become a bodyguard for the person that’s captured your affections. Screw gender stereotypes, the patriarchy, and especially your love interest. Or even, start drawing a webtoon series. Hopefully, one of the characters will come alive and obey your every whim, but until then, manifest all of your hopes and dreams into fictional characters (as if you weren’t doing that already).

Just make sure you tell NO ONE about your hobby. Besides the next cute person you see, of course.

Embody that “not like the other girls” feeling.

Popular girls? Meh. Don’t talk to anyone. Snag that seat in the dark corner of the classroom and make it yours. Wear glasses just for the sake of taking them off later. Only dance by flailing your arms in the classic Sprinkler move. Watch an anime or climb the ranks of League of Legends and start descending into degeneracy (actually, don’t do it, League is never worth it). Or play a round of “sports ball” or whatever. Because you aren’t like any other people and don’t forget it!

Stick to one hairstyle.

Always wear your hair a certain way, so that when you do change it, time will stop and cupid will strike your crush with an arrow and make everyone think “oh, they were hot all along!” For example, always wear your hair up in a high ponytail or two braids and then one day wear it down. Bonus if the wind blows away your hair tie accidentally and tousles your hair in glorious waves.

Carry around a banana peel.

Clumsiness is key to finding yourself in the best meet cute situations. Consider gracefully tripping down a flight of stairs and into some swoonworthy person’s arms? Accidentally spilling food and drink on that special someone’s bajillion dollar suit? Or on the flip side, how about making a mess of your outfit right before you have to present something in class and a sweetheart gives you their jacket to borrow? Perfect way to (literally) fall head over heels into your next real-life rom-com.

Embrace the quirky.

If you’re a bit awkward with your words, that’s okay – it’ll be memorable! Say or do anything that makes you cringe for at least 60 years and keeps you awake at night with the mantra “I’m an idiot.” Just the right amount of imperfection to keep the antics on the side of quirky and not absolutely cringeworthy.

Possess an affinity to mild ailments.

Prescribed for cramps, fainting, and indigestion: all to get the right excuse to be relieved of class and attract the concern of your love interest. Better if they need to carry you or administer care in some way. (Finally, that time of the month will be useful for something!) Or maybe just be a good actor and pretend that you have all of these afflictions for maximum coverage.

Have Perpetual Identity Crisis Syndrome.

Having this increases the potential for some great tension-inducing conflict. Met your love interest under a false pretense pretending to be someone else? Perfect. Carry on and milk that persona for what it’s worth. Perhaps you’re unknowingly an heiress to a global conglomerate/lost princess of a moderate country/time traveler sent to prevent the end of the world/alien. I’m sure you can think of something with your imagination skills. 

Note: this can be substituted with daddy or mommy issues.

BONUS: Be the perfect fit for your love interest’s family heirloom ring or just a slightly bigger size so that it gets stuck at the most inconvenient time.

Cultivate that “main character state of mind.” 

This could mean several things depending on the setting of your love story, but the most important feature without a doubt is obliviousness. I can already hear you saying, “What do you mean? What obliviousness?” The more modern and realistic version of the amnesia trope! Safer too since it’s attainable without a perilous accident. (Remember to watch out for those stairs unless your love interest is within sight!) Don’t forget this also means being absent-minded and forgetful, especially on rainy days so you don’t bring your umbrella and must borrow one from your love interest (or kind second lead) or even huddle under one shoulder-to-shoulder (to more like head-to-shoulder or, more likely, head-to-armpit). Complete the mindset with a dash of self-doubt! Perfection!

I send you off with all you need to know to embark on your journey to romance success.