The Perfect Girl—Separating The Myth From The Reality
You met by accident. Your coming together was not the result of any kind of design. There was an immediate spark when the two of you first spoke to one another. You got a light-headed, giddy feeling that you have not felt since your first crush. You arranged to see each other again, and you did see each other again. After that first date, you both knew without saying it that there would be a second, a third, and a fourth date, and that you would indeed start seeing each other regularly.
You think she is all you could possibly desire in a girl. Her hair, her face, her body, her brains, her sense of humor—all are exactly what you want. You believe her to be the perfect girl.
But this assumption takes you into dangerous waters. Even if you do not mean that she is the perfect girl in the sense that she is without fault, it is still a bad idea to think you’ve got a girl who is perfect for you in the ways that matter most.
The reality is that no such person exists. And what you really mean to say—and to think—is that you’ve found someone with whom you can rub along relatively easily. You will nevertheless soon discover differences with her. The one great thing about this girl is that these differences can be smoothed over—sometimes with understanding, other times with compassion, and still other times with wit and humor. The bottom line, however, is that different opinions on everything from food preferences to politics will soon emerge; and, in that sense, she may not be exactly who you thought she was.
Another hard reality you must face is that she will change. One of the great paradoxes of relationships is that women think that men will change while men think women will remain the same. It is the source of much grief, tension, anger, and conflict in coupledom.
Yes, your girl will change. Her relationship with you, her experience of the world in general will give her new ideas, new goals and aims. The relative success she has in pursuing these ambitions will determine whether or not she is happy, which will in turn affect the way she feels about other things in her life.
You must be prepared for this. She will not stay the nice, cheery, always sympathetic, ever-patient girl she was when you first met her.
You should also be warned that the idea of the perfect girl rarely applies exclusively to one person. If you believe that the perfect girl was out there for you once, you are likely to believe that another such girl is out there for you again.
This is a particular danger as the relationship gets on in years. As she changes and you start to develop new ideas and purposes of your own, it is quite easy to slip into the mind-set of searching for another perfect girl.
The bottom line is that it is best to disabuse yourself of the notion of a perfect girl. There is certainly nothing wrong with being romantic and passionate and having some sense of what you want from a woman you would consider having a relationship with. But you need not hold close to some ideal person who will meet some abstract criteria you’ve constructed.
Ticking off a box of requirements is no way to judge whether the girl you’re with is right for you. She is a flesh-and-blood creature. She is laden with all the complexity and variousness of mind, attitude, and character that everyone else is. She is not perfect and never will be. Remember that as you decide your future with her.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.