A few years back, I was dating this man whom I initially really liked and had a surprisingly good feeling about… but for various reasons, I ended up breaking it off too soon.
In my head, I always had this idea of what my ideal man should look like, and even though I felt an emotional connection with him and had developed deep feelings towards him, I didn’t feel he checked every single box of my ‘’perfect’’ man, so I foolishly jumped the gun with him.
But what I realized with time was that there is no such thing as a perfect match.
We all hype this up in our heads so much, and picture this fairytale relationship in which things just click on every level, and we both just know that this is ‘it’ while riding off into the sunset with nothing but happiness and bliss on our faces.
In reality, that’s not quite how it happens.
In the real world, things are messy, and nothing is without its problems. And this realization is what helped me realize the mistake I had made with my then ex.
See, I’m a self-proclaimed introvert, and my ideal day consists of spending the day on my couch, watching Real Housewives, eating all the potato chips I can get my hands on, and having my girls over for a girly, catch-up session.
When I’m in a relationship, I really like to stay in, watch a movie, and end the night snuggling on my sofa in the arms of the man I love. Sure, I’m okay with an occasional night out, but I’m not a big fan of staying out late, so I often clashed with my boyfriend in this department.
He’s really big on hanging out with friends, going out every weekend, and staying out quite late. There’s really nothing wrong with that… it’s just that I’m his polar opposite, so my unwillingness to meet him hallway contributed to our eventual break-up.
In addition to that, he was never the ‘’cheesy’’ type, one who would tell me ‘’I love you’’ a lot, while embracing me with his loving hands, making me feel all loved up and safe.. and I quietly resented that.
I’m a real cheeseball, what can I say… I love to be told that I’m loved, and I really enjoy cuddling and engaging in romantic, late-night pillow-talk.
My boyfriend was never the type to do that, and even though I knew he loved me and he treated me like a real man should, I couldn’t bear being with someone so different to what I expected.
I was so lost in my head, with my romantic but foolish ideals and my far-fetched romantic gestures, that I ended up ruining a perfectly good thing for myself.
He was everything a real man should be. He treated me like an equal and not some princess in need of a white knight. He knew I had my aspirations in life, and he respected and admired me for that, always having my back and being my cheerleader.
I always felt his support and love. Sure, he wasn’t the most vocal person when it came to expressing it with words, but honestly, if the guy shows up every time you need him and never leaves you hanging, what is there to doubt?
In addition to that, he would always be straight with me. He never felt the need to lie to me, thinking I couldn’t handle it. If I asked him if my ass looked too big in my new jeans, he would straight up dish it to me.
If I did something wrong without necessarily being aware of it, he would call me on it. And honestly, I love that. If he felt he could be completely honest and transparent with me, knowing I’d never love him less for it, he was the real deal, right?
That’s what we all aspire to! A guy with balls, who loves us with his whole heart, but who isn’t afraid of being his true self and saying it how it is. And at the time, this was completely lost on me.
I’d get offended when he was too honest. I’d resent him not telling me he loved me all the time, even though he showed it every single day with his actions.
I hated his need to always go out, spend so much time with friends, and try to get me to join in. I just felt we weren’t right for each other, and I ended it, even though it killed me.
After the break-up… I started dating again. Not one guy could match up to my expectations. Not one guy was the perfect thing that I believed I could find. And what was the most surprising thing to me, not one guy was him.
During that little break, I had a lot of time to think. To think about what it is that we as women really want in a man, and how far we’re willing to go and miss out on in order to have all of our needs met.
I realized that in my ex, I had everything I truly needed in a man. I finally understood how insane it would be to miss out on this amazing relationship due to my stuck-up ways and unwillingness to budge on the simplest things.
And that’s when my life started to change for the better.
After carefully thinking it through, I finally reached out to him and asked if he would still like to give us a shot. I explained to him how foolish it was of me to expect him to change when he was already a pretty amazing human and partner.
I was really emotional and hopeful that he would see the potential in us, and luckily… he did. He beamed with happiness to hear those words from me as he had never stopped loving me. I cried… and hugged him so tightly.
When you feel it in your bones that the man beside you is the man you’re supposed to be with, it’s not that hard meeting him halfway. After all, compromise is the key to any long-lasting relationship.
Nobody is perfect, and you will never find somebody who will check all of your boxes and fit your profile. That’s not life; that’s fantasy.
Real life is finding a guy who is imperfectly perfect, but loving the shit out of him anyway. You can’t change a man, but you CAN change your presumptions, and boy am I glad I changed mine.