Paul is a pretty straightforward guy—super compassionate and gentle, able to calmly deal with not being able to speak Mandarin while knowing that whatever Ellie’s dad is saying to him in that language is important enough for him to just sit there and listen, but also tongue-tied whenever it comes to communicating. He doesn’t know how to tell a girl he likes her (loves her) without writing it down, and even then he’s unsure of it, so he hires Ellie to write better letters for him. Though grateful for her help, he also wants to immediately rush into a relationship and blurts out his feelings at all the wrong times, such as when he springs up out of his chair in a restaurant and tells her he isn’t interested in just “being friends,” he wants more. Paul also has put aside his dreams to stay home for his Nana, because she needs him. He tries to win her over with a bunch of emojis and an invitation to dinner, without realizing that what he’s just texted contradicts everything Ellie has written for him – it shows he isn’t nearly as eloquent as he’s pretending to be. He’s also a bit superficial; when Ellie asks him why he likes this girl, he rattles off everything physically attractive about her, from the way she smells to how she looks. He thinks being in love means putting effort into whatever you are doing, and that actions should speak louder than words. He’s into food (and has crazy inventive ideas about what to do with it), exercising, runs track, and is an athlete. Ellie has to give him conversational practice, and he bombards her with curious questions about her life, her mom, her dad, and what she’s interested in, to get to know her better. He’s somewhat clueless, and fails to realize she’s into the girl he also likes, until it becomes so obvious it bites him on the nose. When Ellie asks him how he knows if a girl wants to be kissed, he says it’s the way she holds her head and looks at him – and then he misjudges the situation, and tries to kiss a very unwilling Ellie. Oops! When her piano busts a string in the middle of a performance, Paul gives her a guitar and urges her to step outside her comfort zone and play the song she’s been writing in public. He’s convinced that this girl is the one for him, even though he’s never spoken to her in his life, a somewhat irrational conclusion.

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Paul is all about love, being in love, earning love, and trying to get love. He zones in on this girl he wants to get super close to and tries to convince her that he’s amazing, in the hope that she’ll dump the boy she’s with and be with him instead. He rushes in to confess his feelings much too soon on their date, and is frustrated that he has to wait and not ask her out sooner than Ellie wants him to. He naturally starts to protect and look after, whomever he’s around. He stays home with his Nana, rather than go out into the world, because it makes her happy. He shouts at the boys harassing Ellie on the way home without being asked. He fixes food for her and her dad and goes out of his way to be pleasant and kind to everyone, but there’s also a bit of deceit going on in his behavior. He’s selling an image of himself, through Ellie, to a girl he likes, without it being real, and sees no problem with doing that. He’s used to being popular and getting whatever he wants, and sees no reason to slow down his pace, but he’s also somewhat flamboyant and a bit too hasty in everything he does.