Blame it on Jane Austen novels or Disney movies if you want, but whether I wanted to or not, I grew up with the image of the “perfect man” fixed inside my brain. For a long time, I didn’t think it would be a problem, but when I got into a relationship with a REAL guy, my sky-high standards destroyed what could’ve been something great.
- I Immediately Started to Compare Him to My Personal Perfect Guy. When I first met up with this guy at a bar with some friends looking to introduce me, I thought he was cute in his own way. I couldn’t wait to see if the two of us would click, and was even more excited when we did. But then at some point far too soon, I started making comparisons unconsciously in my head between him and that “perfect guy” I’d been daydreaming about.
- Dissatisfaction Came Too Soon. Sometime after, it hit me that I was now in a relationship, and the full weight of all that that entailed pressed on me rather than lifted me up. Having spent most of my life single, I guess I’d grown too comfortable with the idea of being single and going on fantasizing about that “perfect guy” to the point that I’d become too attached to the fantasy over the real thing.
- I was too stubborn to end it right away. Despite everything, I did want to be part of something special like a loving, romantic relationship. But given my immediate dissatisfaction based on my comparisons to the “perfect guy” in my head, I wasn’t ready to let go of that ideal, and I ended up telling this guy right off the bat that I wanted to take this slow. I hoped that over time I’d get to know him and come to accept him over the perfect guy in my head, and then HE would be become my perfect guy. No matter how much I put it off though, it never happened that way, and things grew worse and worse between us.
- I Couldn’t Be As Into Him As He Was Into Me. For all that I compared him to the ideal guy in my head, he did have a great sense of humor. But when his jokes didn’t hit with me, I found it a little too hard at times to hide my lack of enthusiasm. Actually, it probably just exposed how depressed I was getting over how this guy still wasn’t coming close to the perfect guy I had in my head.
- I took Advantage Of The Situation more than I should have. It was not lost on me that there were perks to having a boyfriend, namely the companionship. I ended up using him as a cure for my boredom when none of my friends were able to hang out. Because he wasn’t the guy of my dreams, I kind of started to see him as a placeholder until something better came along. It wasn’t fair to him, but because I’d invested so many emotions into this relationship, I felt like I had to at least enjoy it while I could.
- I started avoiding him rather than breaking up with him. When I wasn’t just looking for someone to hang out with, I really had no desire to spend any time with this guy. Whenever we’d hang out, all I could think about was how he didn’t meet the (ridiculously unrealistic) standards I’d set for him. I developed a habit of making plans with him and then backing out when I remembered that I wasn’t all that mad about him after all. I was happier staying at home with my fantasies than going out with a real person.
- I held myself back by holding on. This guy respected my wishes about taking things slow, but he was still under the impression that I wanted things to eventually go somewhere. But really, I was constantly flip-flopping between wanting him to magically transform into my dream guy and coming to terms with the fact that he never would be. I wasted his time and my time by holding on when I should’ve just let go and worked out my unrealistic expectations on my own.
- I Was too scared to tell him the truth. I really should’ve told him why I was so hot and cold with him, but I was too anxious to get the words out. Instead, I confused him and frustrated myself by giving excuse after excuse for why I was acting the way I was. All the lies and avoidance took a toll on both of us, affecting us as individuals as well as our relationship.
- Eventually, He Went For Someone Else. Out of guilt, I ultimately got the courage to tell him straight-up that I wanted more out of what we had. But when I did, he admitted that he was already falling for someone else. I had no one to blame but myself for pushing him away because I couldn’t be satisfied with him, putting up a wall while I held out for that dream guy who might’ve been right in front of me all along.