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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mr. Perfect

May I just start by saying I love the passion a cheese versus chocolate debate brings out in people? Who would have thought? The nice thing is my "would you rather" questions aren't binding. I hope no one binged on either cheese or chocolate as a result of imagining life without one of them. If you did though, I understand.

Cheese and chocolate aside, I have something a little deeper on my mind tonight. It's about...(dun dun dun - intense music here -) marriage. I recently read a blog post which was titled, "I just haven't met him yet is a lousy excuse." The author of the post said that she doesn't really buy that excuse and that what you really mean is that you haven't gotten to know him yet, or you weren't ready at the time, or he hasn't gotten to know you yet. Here is a link to the post if you'd like to see it (link).

I suppose she may be right in some ways. That having been said, I've felt kind of crummy (yes, crummy) since reading that post. I've been holding onto "I just haven't met him yet" as my "why I'm still single" security blanket for years now. Now I'm starting to wonder if I really am waiting for Mr. Perfect. I'm still not convinced that that's the case, but it's possible I am waiting for "Mr. Perfect For Me" which is different, trust me. I have much more realistic expectations for Mr. Perfect For Me. He doesn't have to have the biceps of Mr. Perfect, first off. Really, what I'm looking for is a good personality mesh, common goals, religion, and of course, he has to think I'm funny. That goes without saying. I suppose I have a few more general expectations for him too but those are negotiable.

I don't know if I haven't met him yet. But I will say this, I just haven't dated him yet. I think Fei, the writer of the aforementioned blog post, would probably accept that excuse.

What do you think? If you're happily married did you feel your spouse was "perfect for you," or was it different than that? If you're single, do you know what you're looking for? Do you have a list? What percentage of things on your list do you expect to find in one person? Do you think your expectations are realistic?

22 comments:

The Boob Nazi said...

I just say men aren't attracted to me, and that's why I'm single.

But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

The biggest thing on my list that he has to comply with is where I want to get married, and that has been drilled into me as a young person, and I'm not going to let anyone make me settle for anything less then the Temple Marriage I want.

-A. Nonymous

Heather said...

I have been married five years to my husband. They have been great years. I am deeply in love with him.
When we were dating I was hoping he was NOT the one for me. But I knew he was.
I don't know if that answers your question or not.

alecia said...

I had a list: A racquetball-playing return missionary who was a physicist that was very kind and funny...can you believe I found that?? However, I did not bargain for the metal-head, cd collecting man that I got as well. Ha ha. I'm still learning to love that. And then there were parts of his personality that I didn't know that I would need (i.e. patience) as much as I have.

brenda hatch said...

When Don and I first started dating, we were on a walk and we both were asking each other why the other one wasn't married. I liked Don's answer. He said girls think guys are too picky, but more times than not, it's the girl that is too picky. They expect perfection.

I was not attacted to Don physically at first. It took time. Now I think he's a HOTTIE!

Don was definitely not "my mr. perfect" that I had pictured in my head all the years, but he's my mr. perfect now!!!

I wanted a guy with a bachelors degree. Nope.
I wanted a guy that is really close to his family. Nope.
I wanted a guy that makes goals all the time. Nope.
And I could probably go on for a bit, but Don definitely makes up in other areas for sure!

Don't give up! Although, I felt like I had almost done that.

Oh, and I haven't told Larry about you, but I know he would like you. The distance thing, I think, would just be hard. But I can give him your email address?? Or request he be friends with you on FB???

Sui Sin Far said...

I don't agree with that author-lady. As one who always overlooked many minor details, and just worked through things, I know realize that I almost settled many times. My fear of marriage saved me at least that much. The things I knew the specifics weren't really what it was about. The things I hoped for in a partner weren't even setting the bar very high: respectful of my opinions, smart, open-minded and nice (all loosely define). What I should have included were things like: does not use or sell drugs, does not steal my money, does not lie, does not cheat in his relationships, etc. In the end, I found someone who fit all the specifics. So, before I've said "I'm not looking right now" or "I haven't found him yet." I think it was legit. If any two good people could get along, that would be no fun. (Heh, only response from someone not married but whatever my opinion still counts.)

Sui Sin Far said...

I don't agree with that author-lady. As one who always overlooked many minor details, and just worked through things, I know realize that I almost settled many times. My fear of marriage saved me at least that much. The things I knew the specifics weren't really what it was about. The things I hoped for in a partner weren't even setting the bar very high: respectful of my opinions, smart, open-minded and nice (all loosely define). What I should have included were things like: does not use or sell drugs, does not steal my money, does not lie, does not cheat in his relationships, etc. In the end, I found someone who fit all the specifics. So, before I've said "I'm not looking right now" or "I haven't found him yet." I think it was legit. If any two good people could get along, that would be no fun. (Heh, only response from someone not married but whatever my opinion still counts.)

Robert said...

Can I say, I don't like being the first guy to comment? Makes me feel out of place.

Does all this mean that I need to wait for the girls to come to their senses and realize that I'm slightly perfect enough? ;)

Just asked another girl for a second date and got the usual "just don't feel like dating right now". Could I be that bad or is a second date that much of a committment? Is there a name for the opposite of the Midas Touch? I got that disease. lol.

You're pretty awesome Elizabeth. I think the "I haven't met him yet" idea could be true depending on where you live and how high the bar is set for guys in that area.

The Leo said...

As a retort: Of course I've met the perfect guy! He just happened to have a wife and two kids. Yeah, it was a real bummer.

Guru said...

Well, Mr. Guru was perfect for me. But I did not have super unrealistic expectations. Now I am not saying that you do but I am saying I would have missed out on my "soul mate" if I had not been ok with giving someone a big chance. Basically I already had an amazing friendship with my spouse but wasn't sure if there was enough spark. That is where the "big chance" came in. It only took a few (really fun) weeks of spending copious amounts of time together for me to have that spark ignited by how wonderful he is/was.

Katherine said...

I definitely have my list, but it changes now and then, and I've added and dropped things over the years. The main things are: same religion (and active in it), goal-oriented (not a lazy slub - someone who'll get things done & can support our family), kind, good sense of humor, fairly relaxed (I'm intense enough for two), and generally optimistic. I'm sure there are other little things, too, but those are the main ones. I remember a male friend once saying that he'd like to marry a girl who was a dancer, and I thought that was a ridiculous expectation. I've tried since then to be careful of having too specific an idea of who Mr. Right For Me will be, but I still have some criteria! ;)
I like your idea of not having dated Mr. Right For Me yet. I often think I haven't met him, either, but who knows?

Elizabeth Downie said...

I just hate the idea that I've somehow already had the opportunity but screwed it up.

Enjoying your comments so far, everyone! Thanks for the insights. :)

e.day said...

i feel like lists don't work! i met my significant other (we're not married or anything yet) when i absolutely LEAST expected it. so i don't think you need to be super methodical about it or anything. life just happens.

just my random thoughts as passing by! but very thoughtful post :)

dailyeday.blogspot.com

lizzie mc.- said...

I had a list. When Mr. Perfect for me came along he didn't have much AT ALL of what I felt I needed/ required in a spouse. Thankfully, God knew what I needed and I gave him a chance. Having him as my spouse for nearly 11 years (thanks for coming) I think I may have not given others a chance that may have been equally good for me. That having been said, if I didn't have regrets I wouldn't have given him a chance and wouldn't be together with him now.

Being more mature than I was, you likely know better what you do need. And knowing the amazing person that you are you may have less people in the world that would be your equal. Be patient, maybe he's just works up the guts to ask you out! Love!

Fei @ The Companion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fei @ The Companion said...

:) Thanks for the post. I'm sorry that mine made you feel crummy.

It wasn't meant to hurt or belittle. It was meant to offer perspective, or at least get you thinking.

You said, "I just hate the idea that I've somehow already had the opportunity but screwed it up."

I don't think screwed up is the right way to look at it. I like to think of it as not being ready.

In that sense, everybody screws up a few opportunities here and there, but the wonderful thing about life is that the past doesn't have to be the future. Don't look back, look forward. :)

The great thing about not believing in "The One" is that you get to have tries at many "Ones"!

I don't like "I haven't met him yet" because that statement takes away all of our power - and responsibility - to act on that problem, and makes it sound that all you need to do is keep meeting people. But most singles are meeting other singles all the time - for years! If that's not working, something else has to change.

So yes "I just haven't dated him yet" is a legitimate excuse. :) I like that one. Or if it helps you feel better, "He just hasn't dated me yet" sounds perfectly acceptable too. That can now be turned into actions: how do you get to date him or get him to date you?

Fei @ The Companion said...

To answer your *actual* question:

I did have a list. A very long one. I'll share it with you one day. A few of the guys I dated/was interested in resembled the list very closely. Others, not at all. But I always knew that I was settling when dating them.

My husband resembled many of the things on the list. When I met him, and many times since then, I *have* thought, this guy is *perfect* for me! Our family and friends who know us think the same, and that is strangely significant.

Still, just because he met most of my list, doesn't mean he met ALL of my list. Because my list was stupid. It had so many specifics on there and some were contradictory. Fortunately, it didn't keep me from appreciating what I did have in front of me.

The thing about Mr. Perfect or Mr. Perfect for You is that at some point, whether it's before marriage or after, you will see all the flaws and you will see how in some ways they really aren't that perfect - especially not for you - after all, but it doesn't mean that they are good, even great.

The men we meet and marry are "Mr. Good"s, it's our love, respect and appreciation for them that make them "Mr. Perfect".

Anonymous said...

So it all comes down to a list. :(

An admirer from the distance.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Admirer, no, it doesn't. ;) It comes down to a good connection. A list just helps a person to focus I think. I don't have a list written down or anything. I just have a few musts, like I wrote in the post. Everything else is negotiable!

And Fei, thanks for your comment. I especially like what you said about Mr. Good turning into Mr. Perfect. Great point! Thanks for your insights! I really enjoyed reading your comments.

~ Malissa ~ said...

I think we need to get rid of our lists. That being said, it's important to date people that share similar interests. Opposites attract, but complete opposites end up bickering about everything.

I feel very inexperienced to be contributing these ideas, but I have witnessed results in my lifetime - for the better and the worst. People have been telling me to expect the unexpected as opposed to questioning every contact, "Could he be the one? What about that guy over there?" I'm going to give it a go and let you know what happens.

P.S. Most people out here I've talked to met their spouses on blind dates; if that helps at all. ;-)

Fei @ The Companion said...

Malissa, I think some people need to write a list, and people need to dump theirs :) Just depends on what's on it. The best lists, I've learned, are the shorter ones that describe more subjective attributes than objective.

I would actually argue that similar interests aren't what should be at the top of the list. It's more important to some than others, to spend time on their hobbies together, but ultimately, as long as you are able to enjoy each other's company, you'll find new things to enjoy.

THE Most important thing is common lifestyle plans/desires and goals. People can have a whole lot of fun dating, have chemistry, fireworks, all that, but if they don't address the differences in lifegoals, they are going to have a *hard* time down the line :)

Sounds very unromantic, but you know, marriage isn't all romance all the time.

Anonymous said...

My husband was my best friend before we got married. He was the one person on earth that would never, ever hurt me on purpose.

All that remains true decades later, after children and careers and health issues and some pretty dark times.

When it's truly right, your list suddenly conforms to that which is in your arms. :)