When Ideals Become Unrealistic

During one of my many discussions with my friend Shay about the ups and downs of single dating life, we discussed our ideals and finding the “perfect” person for ourselves – finding things in other people that we consider perfect for us. After recently going on an otherwise very successful date where a guy told me that I wasn’t his physical ideal, I decided to write down my own ideals and to have Shay do the same, and then review one another’s ideals and discuss how realistic (or unrealistic) they are. How unrealistic or realistic are most people’s ideals when it comes to mates, and how does that really affect us finding a mate?

Now, I personally don’t have a long list of requirements in the person I choose to date or even sleep with. Among them:

  1. I like a thicker guy. Not quite chubby chaser status, but I do like a guy who looks like he used to play football in college. Defensive line, to be exact.
  2. You don’t have to be “funny,” but I need a guy who makes me laugh. It doesn’t have to be jokey-jokey, but you should have a sense of humor and be willing to share a good laugh with me.
  3. You can be fairly laidback, but NOT a homebody or a downright bore. I will not date a fucking hermit! I’m a Gemini. I CANNOT tolerate boredom.
  4. You have to be willing to admit you’re gay. You don’t have to be “out” (whatever that means), but you have to be comfortable enough with yourself to have no hesitations about dating, and loving a man – ME!
  5.  You MUST be trustworthy. Second-guessing a cheater and a liar takes too much work, and I could never understand how or why someone would stay with someone they don’t trust.
  6. Nothing is sexier than intelligence to me, so you have to be intelligent – or at least speak intelligently. No six-pack abs, expensive labels or shiny cars can compensate for this. If you can’t spell or read a book or even maintain an adult conversation, you turn me off like a light switch.
  7. I like a nice chest. I really do.

See, normal, right? Reasonable? For me at least it is. Some people I know, mostly gay men and straight women, have ridiculous, unattainable, uncompromising standards and ideals. Some have long lists they’ve compiled over the years of traits and characteristics they want in a mate – and they are uncompromising. I’d be a fool to not give a man a chance because he’s five-foot-ten instead of my ideal of over six feet, or because he drives a Toyota when I’d prefer a Lexus. But, I know plenty of people who would.

“He’s too tall!”

“He’s too short.”

“I didn’t like his shoes!”

“You know I don’t like light-skinned guys!”

I had a friend who stopped dating a man because she didn’t like the way he sneezed. I have a friend who didn’t like the length of the guy’s tie.  I had a man who I liked a lot and who told me he likes everything about me and finds me very attractive but he thinks I’m “too skinny” (I’m meeting more and more of these thick guys who only like other thick guys lately), for us to get serious. “You’re just not my physical type,” he said. Now that we’re relegated to being friends, we talk about it a lot. We talk about it whenever he meets some new boy who meets his physical ideals but whose personality he hates.

The fact of the matter is we all have a type – we all have ideals and things we look for to make a person perfect for us. We just have to realize that all the things on our lists of ideal traits, characteristics and looks probably won’t come in the same person. And that shouldn’t be a bad thing. If you make up a list of 10 traits in a man and you meet a man who only has eight and he likes your crazy ass, then bitch, stick with it! Don’t let him being a few inches too short keep you from having a man. Compromising isn’t settling. Nobody’s perfect, you’ve just got to find someone perfect for you.

  • Cold Fire

    I think that when folk think of their dream guy or gal, they tend to forget it is wonderful to think of all the good things about them, but we must realize that is a person. It is a whole complete person with flaws and all just as we are. No one wants to think of the possible unfavorable things this person may say or do that might infuriate us.

  • Brent

    I don’t think it is anything wrong with having these ideals. You have to find a balance that works for you. Everyone isn’t going to be a 10 out of 10 on your list. We all have qualities we want in a partner. It is a give and take for both because trust you’re not the complete 10 either.

  • Abram

    I found the perfection in my imperfect boyfriend. He certainly wasn’t what I envisioned. Nevertheless, I know we’re in it for the long haul because we accept each other for who we are. My chronic single friends have these exhausted lists of superficial qualities they want in a man, the secret to a long-term relationship: be realistic.

  • http://www.anorexicescapades.com/ BougieHippie

    Good post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.sims.908 Timothy Sims

    I am 50 years old and have had my share of relationships, i always search for that perfect companion and can tell you for a fact that there is no such person. I have had many a happy and productive relationships based on love and have never been let down even when the relationships ended I have always remainded close friends with my ex partners and today I am in a beaustiful relationship with someone who is nothing like that 5’11 165lbs dark skined blue eyed person I envisioned but everyday I thank GOD for the partner he sent me and not the one I envisioned. As gay men we are somewhat vain and ther are those who are lazy as well, Men who are way over weight and perfer to be with someone slim with muscles everwhare only to be rejected. I’ve learned that you must sometimes become that which you desire. But happiness does not come in a look or a body type!

  • Tracy

    THIS article is true in both the homo & hetero world! People tend to seek in mates what they rarely offer in themselves! Sometimes, we as people want what we can’t have or know we shouldn’t have! It’s nothing wrong with having standards but don’t be surprised if you’re constantly a bridesmaid and never a bride!