Disclaimer: While this post is directed at women looking for true love, Mr. Right, the one and only, etc, just replace all female references with males ones to make the post equally valid for men.
My flatmate sent me this article, “Why Mr Right is Not Real,” because she thought it would make for a good commentary piece on this blog…and she is right.
Overall, the article argues that we women are constantly fed stories about perfect, easy, everything-falling-into-place love through rom-coms, TV shows, etc. and we hold out for that. We become convinced that anything less than that is settling. The article mentions a new study published in Mass Communication and Society that found that if married women believed in the TV portrayals of relationships, they tended to be less committed to their own pairings and to find alternative partners more attractive. That is one scary thought, that some fictional or grossly exaggerated relationship could have such a profound effect on your real life relationship.
“The problem with looking for the perfect mate is there’s no such thing,” says clinical psychologist Jennifer Taitz, Psy.D. The article does go into how we may think we know what we want, but in reality, we don’t actually know what is good for us; however, since that was already covered in yesterday’s post, I think it’s fair to skip that.
What I really like about this piece is that it urges readers to realize the distinction between letting go of the idea of Mr. Right and “settling”.
All of this Mr. Everything brainwashing has made women feel as if they’re settling even when they aren’t. Unless a guy is some sort of Matthew McConaughey/Channing Tatum mash-up, you believe you could do better. If butterflies don’t break-dance in your gut when he’s around, you think you’re settling. If he’s a morning person and you’re not, you’re convinced he isn’t The One. We want kismet, frictionless matches or none at all.
Most women these days generally fall into two camps: 1) they want to/do marry someone they are not in love with but accept this because there is something else more valuable to them than love in that relationship; or 2) they vehemently abhor the idea of settling for someone and run away from anything resembling “settling.”
“Relationships are messy and scary; they require vulnerability and a loss of control.” This involves accepting the imperfections.
When you aren’t sure about whether you are settling or not, make two lists: on one, write down the top five traits you need your significant other to have and on the other list, jot down all the nice-to-haves. If the guy checks off the need-to-have boxes, then you are NOT settling.
Sure, I want my boyfriend to plan a trip once in awhile. It feels like whenever it’s time to go away, it’s always me bringing up the idea of a holiday, it’s me discussing where to go, it’s me looking for hotel rooms and how we’re going to get there. And yes, this does frustrate me. However, travel planning is not a need-to-have for me, it’s a nice-to-have. I know that he is organized in other areas of his life and he loves traveling just as much as I do (which is a need-to-have), so if he is utterly unhelpful at travel planning, that’s fine. I’m not “settling,” I’m just aware that a lack of travel planning skills is not, for me, something worth dismissing a guy over. I’m accepting that he’s not Mr. Right, but he is Mr. Real (if I can be permitted to use the cheesy language of the article).