We’ve all done it. We’ve all not said yes to a date with a guy because he didn’t quite meet up with our expectations. You may have fancied him a bit but said no because you didn’t want to sit down for a coffee with him and then realise he wasn’t as funny or charming as you thought. Or maybe he didn’t look the way you usually like. But what if you say no and he’s lovely and fun and perfect for you?
I have come across quite a lot of women in my time who have unrealistic expectations of men and relationships. They expect to see a man on the street and know he’s the one. There’ll be a slow-motion double take, a romantic gust of wind to blow her hair just so and everything around them will just fade away so the two of them are left gazing lovingly and longingly into each others’ perfectly matched eyes. No! No no no! That’s not going to happen! We’re not in some 50′s Hollywood classic or a cheesy rom-com. You are not Rachel McAdams! And he is not Ryan Gosling, no matter how much you want him to be! That man watching you walk past on the street is more likely to be a pervy old bum and not your future husband (I should hope any man you go out with has better social skills than to gawk at you on the street). So snap out of it!
Do you have a checklist? I’ll give you an example of an unhealthy and extremely unrealistic checklist to have:
1. Must have perfectly quaffed hair at all times. And it must be very dark brown – the colour of a Starbucks decaf black Americano.
2. He must have a really cool and trendy but very well paid job. Maybe he owns a social media network, or swishes around in an advertising office like Don Draper (without the womanising though please)
3. His body must look like it’s been sculpted by the gods. He goes to the gym regularly and eats properly, but he’s not so strict as to refuse sharing a pizza with you on a Saturday night while you watch X Factor.
4. He must enjoy taking you out on dates. Like to the cute new frilly cupcake shop, to the champagne bar and to that baking class you’ve always wanted to go to. Under no circumstances does he want to take you to a football match or ‘hang out with the lads’.
5. He must live within a 10 minute walking distance from your house. You need to be able to see him at all times and he must have no excuse for not seeing you. Though of course he wouldn’t have an excuse to not see you, because he needs to stare at your perfect face at all hours of the day and night.
NOW. If you get a guy who has all of the above attributes, let’s be honest, he’s probably dumb as a box of rocks. And also, the perfect man doesn’t exist. So how about you rethink about what’s really important? Chuck the list and just look for a genuine guy who makes you giggle, who is generous (with himself and his time, not his money necessarily) and realises your worth.
I’m not saying don’t have a little hope, have some romantic daydreams about a real life Disney prince whisking you away, enjoy those late night rom coms with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s in hand, but don’t let them encroach on real life and real relationships. A lot of first dates and the meeting of potential partners is really quite unromantic. It’s later on in the relationship that the romance comes along. (Believe me – my longest relationships tend to have started with a kiss outside a fast food outlet at the early hours of the morning). You could spot a cute guy out and about, he asks for your number and you say no, simply because he’s two inches shorter than you usually go for. You may be missing out on the best relationship of your life.