Have you vowed after your divorce that you will never again allow yourself to get hurt, or settle for anything less than the “perfect” guy for you? Let me guess, you might be holding out, and looking for a man who is a good listener, who shares his feelings, is financially stable, independent, committed to his career, but will always have plenty of time to spend with you that is exactly compatible with your schedule and time-table.
He is an all-around upstanding guy, with stature and respect in the community, but also has a bit of a mysterious, spontaneous “wild” side that always keeps things interesting and exciting. He is very grounded and secure in who he is, but always knows just the right time to take a risk, which of course are always manageable risks that have worked out in his favor. He has a diverse and worldly set of interests and hobbies. He is articulate, well-educated, knowledgeable and versed in an array of different subjects, after having obtained at least one graduate degree. He is his own person, has a strong “backbone,” but will never disagree with you, and will always go along with whatever it is you say and want, whenever you want it.
He is extremely independent, but can’t even begin to fathom how he would be able to live without your love and devotion now that he has met you, and are now a part of each other’s lives. He always has the right mix of seriousness, fun, and spontaneity. He displays a certain rugged, “manly” toughness, but is also compassionate and sensitive.
Now with this idea and image in your mind, when you meet someone promising, and go out with him a few times, have you ever caught yourself wondering the following?
- He seems too good to be true. He must be hiding something….
- I wonder if he will call when he says he will. If he doesn’t, then I don’t think I can trust him….
- I bet he just wants sex.
- He’s not punctual.
- I don’t think he will ever make a commitment.
- He is over 35 and has never been married. I wonder what’s wrong with him.
- He’ll never open up to me. He’s probably afraid of intimacy.
- He doesn’t seem very responsible; maybe he never grew up. I don’t want to be his mother.
- He is not funny or entertaining.
- I don’t like the way he dresses.
- He doesn’t work out like I do.
- He watches to much sports. I want someone who wants to do all the things I want to do.
- He doesn’t appear very neat or organized. I will probably have to clean up after him.
- How will I ever be completely certain he will always remain faithful?
- He is too involved in his career.
- He is too set in his ways.
- He doesn’t make enough money
- He is not successful or stable enough professionally for me in order to be in a relationship with him.
- We don’t have enough in common.
- I don’t think my parents or friends would like him.
- He seems so amazing, why would he want to date me? There must be something going on that I don’t know.
These statements are often nothing but assumptions, criticisms, and judgments, many times without any solid evidence to support such claims. What these statements also reveal is the distinct possibility that there may be unresolved issues and lingering pain from your marriage and/or other past relationships where you experienced hurt and disappointment. Unfortunately, these past issues that are unresolved enable far too many people to choose to feel dissatisfied, and instead of seeking and appreciating what is possible, they expect and even demand what is unrealistic. As a result, we often end up feeling disappointed, bitter, and sabotaging our chances of finding and experiencing true, genuine, lasting, love, happiness, and fulfillment without even realizing it!
Not to burst your bubble or ruin your romantic hopes and fantasies, but the type of guy that I described at the beginning of this article simply does not exist. Please do not misunderstand me, I am not at all suggesting that we should just settle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting more in our next relationship than what we experienced previously. But there is a difference between harboring standards and expectations that are impossible and unrealistic, and being satisfied with the person we are with, as a result of our being able to fully love and appreciate them for who they truly are, which includes both their potential AND personal growth areas. Real, genuine, lasting love between two people does not require that each person possess “perfect” personality traits. True and lasting love exists and is experienced when both people are able and willing to nurture each other’s needs.
So if you are willing to allow your expectations and standards to return to reality, call off the hunt for that “perfect guy,” and instead, pursue a really great, outstanding guy, then I would like to suggest the following:
1. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt.
2. Be open-minded, and take the time and patience to really get to know him for all of who and what he is, and not fixate only on his growth areas and behavioral habits that you find less than admirable.
3. When you notice something that might bother you, ask yourself and him as well, if both he and you are willing and committed towards continuous self-improvement and growth, and are willing to challenge, inspire, and support one another in the process.
4. Instead of automatically assuming, criticizing, or judging the guy for something that took place in his past, consider taking the time to identify which of YOUR own triggers he probably unknowingly set off, and confront that part of your past that created that trigger, deal with it, and do whatever is necessary to properly heal from it.
5. Please don’t fixate entirely on what you don’t have and are lacking. Instead, apply your focus and attention toward appreciating the abundance that already exists, and all the positive things that this guy can offer, and bring to your relationship.
If you are willing to at least apply these suggestions, you might soon discover that you may not have to engage in much of a pursuit at all, for that person may already be a part of your life!