Make Sure You Like Him For Who He Is Now, Not Who He Could Be

You’ve got a new guy and he’s great — it’s just that there are a couple of tiny things you wish you could change. He’s so close to being perfect but he’s not quite there. Do you think it’s maybe possible, then, that you don’t really like him at all? Maybe he’s Project: Boyfriend, and neither of you even realize it.

  1. You’re thrilled with his potential but not his present. The way things stand, he’s kind of mediocre. He’s not the best guy he can be if you will. You’re in love with his potential, though. He has so many opportunities to excel. He can shoot for the stars if he just puts his mind to it. Your job, naturally, is to bring out all of that potential. Only you can mold it and shape it – and him – into something valuable.
  2. You view him as more of a work-in-progress. You’re the potter; he’s the potter’s clay. You’re the sculptor; he’s the stone. You’re the painter; he’s the canvas. You’re the writer; he’s the blank page. You know exactly what he needs to become the man you see in him but is that love? Because let’s be honest, that really does sound like more of a project.
  3. Fantasizing about your future is more fun than existing in the moment. You’ve made such extraordinary plans, after all. You have your future together mapped out from start to finish. It’s so real to you that not only can you see it, but you’re practically living it, as well. If you’d rather spend hours creating Pinterest boards dedicated to your future house, wedding, honeymoon, and family than participating in your relationship as it’s happening, then this probably isn’t the guy for you.
  4. You spend more time crafting an Instagram-perfect relationship than living it. Online, your relationship is perfect. Your Insta-boyfriend is flawless. He’s everything you want him to be, and all it takes is the perfect pose, the most flattering filter, and a cutesy caption. Everyone’s jealous of you and the Technicolor version of the guy you’re dating.
  5. Nothing he does makes you truly happy. Everything could be a little bit better. He could be taller, more handsome, less talkative, more supportive, less sensitive, more ambitious. Basically, if he were an entirely different person, he’d make the perfect lover, right? Not to butt into your love life, but you might want to consider going after someone who already possesses all the traits you seek.
  6. You enjoy introducing him to new things more than exploring his interests. His hobbies are fine, but you know that there’s so much more out there. You prefer doing new things that will make him more like your perfect guy. Spending time investigating the things he likes to do are beyond you and beneath you, because they just aren’t good enough.
  7. You miss him when you’re lonely, but you can take him or leave him when he’s there. Do you even think about him that much when you’re apart? Does he only enter your mind when you’re not just alone, but actually lonely, and there’s no one else around to amuse you? Girl, how about you just cut him loose? It doesn’t seem like this kind of arrangement is fair to either of you.
  8. You know he’d be perfect if he dressed better. His clothes are a little too sloppy, immature, casual, wrinkled, boring, uptight, designer, secondhand – pick your descriptor. The point is that if you’re more concerned with giving him a makeover than making out with him, well … all right, then.
  9. …or if he had a better job. His ambitions don’t go far enough. His goals don’t reach high enough. He’s wasting away with no direction – or, at least, he’s not going in the direction you prefer. If not for that crappy job, or work ethic, or long-term goal, he’d be perfect, right?
  10. …or if was just a little more cultured. And maybe if he broadened his horizons, you’d like him just a little more. Maybe if he traded video games for travel, or football for haute cuisine, or heavy metal for opera, you could take him more seriously. Maybe then you’d actually like him, not just the idea of him.
  11. Basically, you just want to change everything about him, and that’s why you like him. This poor boy sounds like a project, not gonna lie. Think up all the things you genuinely like about your guy. Can you name one thing you wouldn’t change? If not, you need to sit down and be honest with yourself. Do you like him, or do you like the idea of what he might someday become? Because see, here’s the thing: you can’t fall in love with an idea.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.