Anthony is sure he’s found the perfect woman.

TV Crush

She’s got platinum blonde hair, green eyes, and a smoking hot body. Oh, and the last time he saw her, she was walking naked and unscathed from a burning temple, having just destroyed the Dothraki oppressors who tried to enslave her.

“She’s so dreamy,” says Anthony, 39, a digital director at a marketing firm in Wisconsin.

There is one down side. She’s not technically real. The object of Anthony’s affection is Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, a character from HBO’s Game of Thrones, played by 30-year-old British actress Emilia Clarke. But that little distinction doesn’t bother Anthony.

He remembers every detail of her naked fire scene, which aired last year. (A new season of Game of Thrones returns this summer.) “Daenerys stared down all of those Dothraki assholes who wanted to turn her into a slave, and she said, ‘Nope, no deal. You’re dead,’” Anthony recalls giddily. “Then she burns the motherfucking place down. I remember watching it and thinking, ‘I want to make baby dragons with this woman.’”

He’s not entirely kidding. Anthony is divorced, the father of four kids, and almost solely attracted to women who bear more than a passing resemblance to his TV crush.

“I was having brunch with my kids the other day, and our waitress looked exactly like Daenerys,” Anthony says. “It was eerie. Her name was Angela, and I asked her out on a date before the eggs showed up.” She politely declined.

Even if Daenerys isn’t your cup of sexy, there’s at least one fictional character on TV that you’ve had impure thoughts about. Maybe you’ve got a thing for Tami Taylor, the loyal wife and red-headed matriarch on Friday Night Lights, who can cook up a barbecue for an entire football team with no notice.

Maybe you prefer Abby Sciuto, the nerdy Goth forensic scientist on NCIS, with a brain like a computer and who carries around a farting hippo doll, or any of the random misfits on Inside Amy Schumer, who aren’t shy about eating spaghetti with their hands while sexting bizarre lines like, “I wanna hug your penis.”

When we get addicted to a TV show—and a female character in particular—we’re not just enjoying it on a fantasy level. “It shapes the way we view love and relationships,” says Julia Lippman, Ph.D, a psychology professor at University of Michigan. “People tend to adopt their beliefs and expectations about romance to the characters they see portrayed on TV every night.”

Anthony has a lot of theories about why the Mother of Dragons is so appealing to him. “She’s this perfect juxtaposition of power and grace,” he says.

A trickier question is what his attraction to Daenerys says about him. He pauses to consider this. “Maybe it means I’m into blonde skinny women who look like they could kick my ass?” Anthony wonders. “I don’t know, I really haven’t thought about it.”

Not many of us do, but maybe we should be pondering these questions. The small-screen women we idealize and romanticize aren’t just entertainment; they’re windows into our subconscious, hinting at what we want (or think we want) from real, flesh-and-blood women.

Here are just a few examples of what your favorite TV leading ladies might be revealing about you.

1. The Ass-Kicking Alpha

Examples: Michonne from Walking Dead, Khaleesi from Game of Thrones, Maeve Millay from Westworld, Helena from Orphan Black

Defining Characteristics:
She takes no prisoners and suffers no fools. The odds are against her, but she’ll rise from the ashes anyway and destroy everybody who gets in her way.

Men who cross her should expect to be burned alive, stabbed, have their fingers broken for sport (and then mocked with lines like, “Don’t be baby. I only sprain. Next one I break”), or have their lower jaws and arms removed before being led around on chains.

Her favorite accessories include Japanese swords, hidden scalpels, bow-and-arrows, and dragons.

What It Means If You’re Attracted To Her:
In the power hierarchy at your workplace, you’re the one giving the orders, not taking them. Men who enjoy the fantasy of being dominated—who, for instance, could see the appeal in getting brutally punished by a vengeful, merciless goddess with a dragon posse—are more likely to have a high social status, according to researchers from Germany’s University of Cologne.

It’s called “disinhibition”, which means the more you can kick other people around in your real life, the less inhibited you feel in your fantasy life to be on the receiving end of a well-deserved ass-kicking.

But this doesn’t mean you’re looking for a partner with a sadistic streak. A powerful woman in the real world looks very different from somebody on the small screen. Helen Fisher, Ph.D, a biological anthropologist and senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute, claims that the majority of the men she’s polled during sex and relationship surveys “are more interested in a career woman than a stay-at-home housewife.”

A man attracted to a powerful woman, she says, is “looking for somebody who’s better educated, financially independent, and is intellectually gifted.”

If you have the hots for the Mother of Dragons, Fisher says, you may just want what that power represents. “You’re looking for somebody you can aspire to, rather than cower under,” she says. “You want a woman who’s fearless and assertive, not somebody who’s going to disembowel you if you cross them.”

2. The Co-Conspirator

Examples: Claire Underwood from House of Cards, Darlene from Mr. Robot, Dana Scully from The X-Files

Defining Characteristics:
A modern day Lady MacBeth. She and her man don’t always agree, but they always have each other’s backs. They might be trying to expose a nefarious conspiracy, or maybe they’re creating one of their own.

Their bond isn’t about the sex—they have more sexual tension than actual intimacy—but they’re always connected by whatever plot they’re hatching. She might have extraterrestrial DNA, but that’s nobody’s business but her and her man.

What It Means If You’re Attracted To Her:
The one thing you value in a partner, more than anything else, is trust. Your idea of the perfect woman is “Somebody who has your back,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D, a psychotherapist and author of She Comes First. And not always in the way we see on TV.

“When you idealize fictional couples like Frank and Claire on House of Cards, it’s not that you want a literal partner in crime,” he says. “They’re this perfect fantasy of a securely attached egalitarian relationship.”

Wanting your own Claire Underwood doesn’t mean wanting a woman who is sinister and ruthless and willing to cover up international crimes, Kerner says. You may just want somebody who chooses you first. If there’s a secret to be shared, she’ll tell it to you before her friends or family. If there’s bad news, or good news, you’re the first one she calls.

“When you’re in this kind of relationship, the height of intimacy is having an inside joke,” Kerner says. You want to be the sort of couple that laughs together, and when other people ask what’s so funny, you both just shake your heads, shoot each other knowing glances, and say, “It’s nothing, you wouldn’t understand.”

3. The Trainwreck

Examples: Selina Meyer from Veep, Abbi and Ilana from Broad City, every character from Girls

Defining Characteristics:
Her life is a mess. She can’t hold down a job, she drinks too much, curses like a sailor, and always says the wrong thing at the worst time. Her interests include drugs, ER visits, having regrets, asking her parents for loans, and being sexually adventurous and then immediately regretting it. (“Butt motorboating” anybody?)

Even when she’s in a position of authority, she’ll manage to mess it up somehow, whether it’s blaming Chinese hackers for an inappropriate Tweet or using a colorful analogy like, “That’s like trying to use a croissant as a fucking dildo.” She’s not a girl you bring home to Mom, but she might need saving by the right guy.

What It Means If You’re Attracted To Her:
You love spontaneity, especially when you’re not the instigator. “Everything about her is sexy and dramatic and unpredictable, and you’re just along for the ride,” says Kerner. “There’s a definite appeal to being the straight man to somebody else’s volatility.”

But there’s more to your attraction than just being on the periphery of bad decisions. You might also have a savior complex, says David Frederick, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University, who has studied sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships.

“Some men see the trainwreck as a damsel in distress, and they want to come to the rescue,” he says. When you’re with somebody whose life is an unmitigated disaster, it allows you to become the hero of your own story. “It feels good to rescue someone and help them grow and get back on their feet,” he says. “Even if it doesn’t work, hey, you tried.”

That desire to be the savior can have long-term consequences. “Men will stay in a bad marriage for a long time if they feel needed,” says Fisher. “It plays right into a basic primordial need of men.”

4. The Unconditional Caretaker

Examples: Marge Simpson from The Simpsons, Carmela Soprano from The Sopranos, Skylar White from Breaking Bad, any wife in any sitcom starring Kevin James/ Tim Allen/ Matt LeBlanc, et al

Defining Characteristics:
No matter how badly her man behaves, she’ll endure it with a smile and clean up the mess. He’s a mob boss who works out of a strip club? No problem! He’s spent their life savings to fund a Vietnamese food truck business? We’ll figure it out! He’s been secretly cooking meth to pay the bills? ‘Atta boy!

She may protest or even threaten to leave him—especially when his actions make her an accessory in a felony—but she’ll never follow through, because only she understands that he’s a big, sweet, harmless goofball on the inside.

What It Means If You’re Attracted To Her:
You’re not a fan of relationship conflict. You’ll do just about anything to avoid a fight with your wife or girlfriend, and your idea of the perfect woman is somebody who won’t argue with you about pretty much anything.

This may be your mom’s fault. How we get along with our adult partners has a lot to do with the early bond we had with our mothers, says Jessica Salvatore, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“People who were insecurely attached to their primary caregiver as infants don’t develop a strategy for regulating stress,” she says. “This may ‘teach’ us that interpersonal stressors such as conflict are to be avoided. Picking a romantic partner who never complains makes this easier.”

Even if you find this magical creature—who always puts your needs first and seems more interested in your well-being then her own—she may not be the healthiest choice. “A caretaker is always focused on whoever is neediest,” says Michael Bennett, M.D., a Boston-based psychiatrist and co-author of F*ck Love: One Shrink’s Sensible Advice for Finding a Lasting Relationship. “You may get her full attention in the beginning, but she’ll eventually become more focused on a problem family member, and you’ll get left out in the cold.”

Before becoming too attached, he says, take a closer look at how they interact with the other needy people in their lives. “Can she say no when she has to?” Bennett asks. “Can she not pick up the phone at 3am when her best girlfriend who’s a total mess just needs to talk? Because if not, you’re going to end up at the back of the line eventually.”

5. The Sexy Nerd

Examples: Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, Abby Sciuto from NCIS, Pam Beesly from The Office, Jess Day from New Girl

Defining Characteristics:
She’s quirky, neurotic, uncoordinated, socially awkward, smarter than everyone around her, and prone to random acts of weirdness. In a word, “adorkable.” She’s not the one who takes off her librarian glasses and instantly becomes a sexually-liberated wild woman.

Instead, when the glasses come off, she puts on oversized pajamas, then stays up all night eating soft pretzels and binging on classic sci-fi movies. She’s not afraid to give herself a high five, or flirt with a guy by throwing cheese puffs at him.

She’s insecure about pretty much everything, but you and her may be the only two people in the universe who truly appreciate each other.

What It Means If You’re Attracted To Her:
You might think you’re a nonconformist, but being attracted to a woman who wears a Slanket unironically and has a deep knowledge of Star Wars trivia isn’t all that unique. In fact, you’re in the majority.

According to University of Queensland research, men tend to be even more attracted to misfits and oddballs than women. If she talks or dresses in ways that aren’t conventionally attractive—she looks less like a runway model than a comic book store employee—she’s more likely to get our attention.

But there’s also evidence that the opposite is true. A 2015 study from the University at Buffalo, California Lutheran University, and the University of Texas at Austin found that men claim they prefer smart women, but in reality they shy away from potential partners who appear too intelligent.

What do you really want? An eccentric nerd who’s smart but not too smart? Kerner suspects that an attraction to the cute nerdy girl isn’t because she can do a calculus problem in her head, but because of her vulnerability.

Liz Lemon is intelligent but she “isn’t threatening or intimidating,” says Kerner. “She seems more approachable. With a woman like that, you don’t have to be Neil deGrasse Tyson in a Stanley Kowalski package to win her over.”

She’s not looking for an astrophysicist stud any more than you’re looking for a porn star who does quantum physics for fun. You just need to make her feel comfortable, Kerner says, “and show her that her insecurities are also your insecurities.”