I am sick of Superman. I think he has a lot to answer for as well. Smug old Superman, with his blue tights and his square jaw and his kiss-curl. Radiating heroism, no sense of humour whatsoever.

An intergalactic prig. The latest, terrible, remake of the story was on TV last weekend.

Watching him swoop through the air like some sort of turbo-charged barn swallow, scooping up hapless civilians by the armload, saving them from certain death, I realised, Superman has pretty much ruined my life. My love life, at least.

Not just Superman. Also, Batman, Spider-Man, the Phantom as well. If comic heroes didn't exist, with their superpowers and their charisma and their ridiculous, sexy outfits, then women wouldn't want them and real-life romance wouldn't suffer as a result.

But they do, and it does. Superheroes do us a disservice, because they give us false expectations, they make us believe in crazy things, like romance, and chivalry, and unassisted flight.

At the age of 31, I've finally realised, all the bad decisions I've ever made about men have been Superman's fault. Him or someone like him.

The first bad decision of course, is to want one for yourself. A Superman, that is. This isn't so much bad as fatal, but I don't see how it can be any other way.

In every society there must be heroes, and they're not there just as eye-candy, but also to fulfil the function of embodying the best and the brightest ideas we have of ourselves.

Courage, valour, honour, fellowship, our heroes serve as repositories for all these qualities, from Jason and the Argonauts to Luke Skywalker, Chewie and Han. In western culture at least, its men who dominate the pantheon of heroes, with a few honourable mentions for fearsome women the likes of Boudica, Helen Mirren and the celtic Queen Medbh.

So the heroes in our cultures, real and imaginary, tend to be male. And if the first thing we learn about the hero is that he's heroic, then the second thing we learn is that the hero gets the girl. And who doesn't want to be that girl? I'm blaming Superman here, for my terrible taste in men, but maybe it's Harrison Ford and George Lucas who need a flea in the ear.

It was Han Solo who ruined me, at the age of seven. I've written about this before. The smart-mouth in the leather waist-coat behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon. He had me at "your Highness" and he's never let me go. He stole my heart and left me with the unshakeable conviction that the best men are funny, cocky and have an answer for everything, leather boots and a full head of hair. Thus are our destinies sealed. For me it was Han, but my point is, it could just as easily have been Superman, or Batman, or Spider-Man, as I'm sure it was for a million other girls.

And the problem with these guys, these wonderful, fabulous, gorgeous men with their weapons and their wisecracks and their fancy suits, is that they don't exist. They're a make-believe melange of superpowers, and secrets and heart-rending backstory, that adds up to a dream come true.

Now, in writing this down like it's something that's just occurred to me, I'm inviting great scorn. Supermen don't exist. This is something that all of you already know. Well, I didn't. Three decades into it, and I swear to God, there's a part of me that's still waiting for him to swoop down in tights.

But sitting on the couch last week, watching Lois Lane moon over old blue-tights, with the sound turned down, something just went "click". I don't want a Superman, not any more.

The thing is, with these guys there's always some impediment, some form of kryptonite, real or imaginary, that keeps them from sealing the deal. Superman can't shack up with you because he has to save the planet.

Besides a killer wardrobe and a sturdy moral compass, the imaginary heroes of our culture have one big thing in common, and anyone who's read He's Just Not That Into You knows what it's called. Emotional unavailability is the common denominator, and the pity of it is, it's just as much of a problem for women in real life as it is for Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man and Lois Lane.

Thankfully though, we aren't comic book characters, and grown up girls get to choose.

The thing that always bugged me most about the Superman story, is that no one ever picked him for being Clark Kent. As though a suit and a pair of glasses could hide the fact that the two were one and the same.

Now, though, that's the part I like best, the idea that under the shirt of the most normal, unremarkable guy in the room, beats the heart of a superhero, and were you, the intrepid lady of the story, to somehow convince him to take off his glasses, who knows what you might see?

That is the challenge of the story. If women want heroes, then we have to be our own heroes, and in doing so, make heroes of the men who will love us honestly, just as we are.

Because that's real love, and those are real men. And where do we find those real men? Maybe instead of waiting for supermen to emerge from phoneboxes, it might pay to look a little closer at what's in front of us. After all, the only fairytale ending is the one you make for yourself.