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My 5 Favorite Green Flag MLs

Green Flag ML

Unfortunately, many romance authors think that the male lead has to cater to the female lead’s every wish or be completely obsessed over her. While those tropes can be fun, I prefer more nuanced characters. For a ML to be truly a green flag, he has to have a personality of his own and still be romantic and supportive in his own way. These are my favorite Green Flag MLs. (That they all have black hair is a coincidence.)

Number 1 Green Flag ML: Hades from “I Married the Male Lead’s Dad”

ⓒ Ko eun chae / Eongsseu, San-ho&Gyammi

Everyone who has read this amazing story knows that Hades has a very inflated ego. For anyone who doesn’t know him, believe me when I say it doesn’t matter. His confidence makes him a fun and dependable male lead and – small spoiler – nothing beats the chapter where he takes Asha’s excruciating pain with his ability so he can suffer in her stead. Beautiful. Another big plus: It’s hard to find a green flag ML in a historical romance manhwa.

Number 2: Leniel from “I Will Become the Villain’s Poison Taster”

ⓒ PilYoo, jagalchikon, TANDAN, Nemoraming

On paper, Leniel is not a green flag: he is supposed to be the villain and also lied about his identity. But this guy is such a breath of fresh air in the romance ML world. I love his character because he is protective and supportive while still being cheeky and teasing the female lead. He makes fun of her, laughs, and lets her do her thing. And the poor guy has a tragic backstory and still has a good character.

Number 3 misunderstood but kind ML: Karhan from “Raising My Fiancé With Money”

© Yeon Seona / ELIMONA

Everyone thinks that Karhan is scary, not only because of his fierce stare but also because of his reputation on the battlefield. It turns out that he is the biggest insecure teddy bear who just needs some love and help expressing himself. It is so fun to watch him struggle and so satisfying to watch him admire the female lead. Although he does fall in the category of “does everything for the FL without question,” he has a valid reason other than “I’m in love” or “I’m obsessed.”

Number 4: Eunhyeok from “Operation: True Love”

(c) Dledumb

Eunhyeok appears cold in the beginning but opens up slowly. He is the most patient and understanding ML I have come across in my romance manhwa endeavors. Although the female lead asks him to pretend to cheat with her – which triggers his trauma – he declines respectfully while still constantly protecting her in his own way. He is also very romantic but not cheesy.

Number 5: Kiyu from “Your Smile is a Trap”

(c) Aengo

If you want to read about a teenager who blushes constantly, Kiyu is your guy. Although he is handsome (he is even an ex-idol trainee), he is very shy and has a hard time approaching people. What makes him a great ML, though, is the way he treats the female lead, who is an outcast because of her supposed scary face. Although his communication skills are lacking, he is kind, not pushy, and supportive.

Picture of Elly
I have read more than 1000 Romance Manhwa, Webtoons and Manga - TV-Series and books not included. So I hope to bring a deep and nuanced understanding of the genre to every review and recommendation. As a journalist with seven years of experience, I've dedicated my free time to exploring and writing about the intricacies of romance in various forms.

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