Well, I’ve heard it all now. A recent article in a women’s magazine highlighted the fact that a female reader dumped an otherwise charismatic and charming young man, purely because he used icons in his text messages. And the feature wasn’t even taking the mick out of her ridiculously high expectations – it was fully supporting her decision to dump him. This is the reason why so many women are single and moaning about it, because they’re being encouraged to set an unfeasibly high dating bar; one that only a fictional character in a rom-com could meet.
I’m going to spell this out, because glossy magazines are doing such a shoddy job at doing it themselves. The perfect man does not exist. Oh, and you’re not the perfect woman either. Stop the press people, none of us are perfect! Shock, horror. Of course, the woman who dumped the poor guy because he had the audacity to send her a smiley face, must be absolutely faultless herself. No doubt her friends and her mum and her neighbours and her weekly gossip mag all tell her she deserves Prince Charming, a pink pony and a big, white castle on a fairy tale hill. Not so. Gerrard Butler may play the ideal man in his make-believe movies but in real life he’s probably just like the rest of us – a mix of good, bad, endearing and irritating.
I’m all for fierce women who have a real sense of self-worth, but the problem with constantly being told that we’re fabulous, is that we’re all starting to believe we’re nothing but. It’s also putting pressure on us all to find this ideal partner who can match someone as perfect as ourselves. Fine, you don’t like men who use icons in their texts, but don’t dump him for it. Accept that he has a good sense of humour, dresses well and always opens the door for you, and let the tiny inadequacies go!
If the tables were turned and men were as finicky as us women, well, I for one would be dumped in three seconds flat. I suffer from terrible mood swings when I’m hungry – so much so, my boyfriend carries sweets on him just in case my energy levels dip. And I tidy the house so much, I practically make the pair of us live in a show home – one pan left unwashed and he’s lucky not to get it thrown in his face. Basically, I’m hard work, but so is he and if we both didn’t take a laid back approach towards parts of our relationship, and our personality traits, we’d have to finish it.
Relationships aren’t meant to be easy if you want them to last, but we seem to be living in a culture where running at the first hurdle seems to be the only logical answer. And if you’re legging it simply because his text messages don’t please you, then you’re booking yourself in for a long-term stay at Singlesville. Had this woman taken two minutes to wonder if her ridiculously high standards were equally as off putting for the man she was dating, maybe she wouldn’t think she was such a catch?
It’s fine to be a perfectionist, it’s often what makes us succeed, but pushing unrealistic expectations onto others can only lead to failure and more than likely a failed relationship – or a series of unsuccessful dates. If you’ve already racked up a long list of unsuitable men that haven’t met your extensive list of requirements, maybe it’s time you questioned whether it’s really the men who fall short… maybe it’s you.