I Stopped Trying To Be The Perfect Girlfriend & Everything Changed

For a relationship to work, both people have to put in an equal amount of effort. For the longest time, I thought that meant trying to be the perfect girlfriend. I figured that if I did the best I could, then my relationship would last. I was wrong.

  1. Being perfect is tiring. I spent so much of my relationship trying to do everything that society says the ideal woman should. I cooked, cleaned, and dressed to the nines every single day. As you can imagine, I quickly got tired of doing it. If you’re the kind of woman that loves doing these things, then more power to you, but the reality for most of us is that it’s tiring. When we’re exhausted, we get cranky. It’s all downhill from there.
  2. Being perfect pressures the people around you to be perfect. Because I put so much effort into being the perfect girlfriend, I unconsciously put that pressure on my boyfriend. After all, guilt is the greatest motivator. Now that I look back, I can see several instances when he was trying to match me. Once I started dressing up, I noticed that he did too. My boyfriend is your average t-shirt and shorts type of guy and I hate that I pressured him to change.
  3. Being perfect makes you hold back. When you’re focused on being the perfect girlfriend, you hold a lot of things in. After all, the ideal girlfriend never nags or complains. You can’t even begin to imagine how emotionally harmful this is. It’s important to express the way you feel, especially in the moment. Bottling things up only breeds resentment. Then you wake up one day and find yourself angry at the person you love when they haven’t done anything to deserve it. The silent treatment follows and your relationship starts to deteriorate.
  4. Being perfect breeds insecurity. This is a downside that I definitely never could have imagined. If you put on an act and someone falls for it, then you can’t help but wonder if they’d ever accept the real you. Every time my boyfriend commented on me being the perfect woman, I’d secretly cringe. That wasn’t who I was, and I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d leave me if I slipped up.
  5. Being perfect makes you unsympathetic. The ugly side to being able to exert so much self-control is that its easy to develop a god complex. When you can force yourself to hold back and always do the right thing, it makes you judge other people for not doing the same. For so long, I couldn’t understand why my boyfriend couldn’t “get it right.” Now, I know that he chose happiness over perfection. I may have been the perfect girlfriend but I was miserable. That truth helped me decide to change—not all at once, but a little bit at a time.
  6. Being imperfect boosts your confidence. Once I started allowing myself to “slip up,” my confidence got a crazy boost. My boyfriend found my little bursts of anger and jealousy cute! He thought that it was cool that I dressed down on our dates. All this time, I felt that it was my perfect exterior that he loved, but as it turns out, he saw past that and fell in love with the real me. Any guy that loves you will love your flaws.
  7. Being imperfect allows you to have deep conversations. Not everything with my boyfriend has been smooth sailing ever since I decided to stop acting perfectly, but the great thing is that the arguments that we’ve had have allowed us to have more in-depth conversations. When you say exactly how you feel, it usually leads to you revealing something more profound that’s been bothering you. Today, I can confidently say that my boyfriend and I understand each other better than we ever have.
  8. Being imperfect helps you to be more accepting. Now that I fully understand how freeing it is just to be yourself, I find myself being a lot more accepting of my boyfriend’s flaws. After months of living miserably, I no longer want to put that type of pressure on him, so I let my boyfriend get away with a lot more and in turn, we’re both happier. No judgment. I allow him to be himself and he lets me be me, flaws and all. The truth is, being with the perfect guy, won’t make you happy. So, there’s no point in forcing your boyfriend to be something he’s not.
  9. Being imperfect allows you to have a flawed relationship. The relationships that last a lifetime are imperfect, and the reason they are that way is that two imperfect people make them work. Human beings aren’t perfect. That means that the way we relate to each other isn’t. I’d love to say that my boyfriend and I always fight fair but I can’t. Our relationship isn’t perfect; it has plenty of room to grow. But we’re happy, and it’s that kind of happiness that can keep a relationship going for a lifetime.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.