Perfect on Paper

By Rachel

The problem with finding a mate is that we make lists of unrealistic qualities that this “perfect” person should possess in order for us to make the jump.

For example:
Working professional during the day
Tattoos visible with casual wear
Green/blue eyes
Dark hair
Never completely clean shaven
6’0” or taller
Loves metal music
Loves hockey and baseball
Knows how to dress himself
Wears Pittsburgh Pirates classic black hat with the yellow P
Can ice skate
Loves kids
Not a sloppy kisser
Dances like Justin Timberlake
Loves dogs
Looks good in jeans, a white t and hoodie
Is somewhat sarcastic, kinda crude sense of humor
Has at least one romantic bone in his body
Not clingy/needy-willing to let me have some space

You tell me where I can find this man because if he exists I want him and I want him NOW. I will wreck whatever home I need to if it means I get this guy.

Or would I?

He may be gorgeous. He may be the best kisser in the universe. He may be a geek like me who loves to sit around watching Discovery Channel and Military Channel. He may be the best baseball fan on the planet and be so committed to our hometown team through thick and thin. But is he really the perfect guy?

Just because you’re perfect on paper, it doesn’t mean you’re perfect for me.

After the end of my last long term relationship, my brother and his girlfriend at the time encouraged me to join eHarmony just to have some fun. They had met via that site (They were together for about a year). So I said, okay. I need a pick me up, I should have some fun so let’s do this.

Oh my fucking God. The weeding out process was just more than I could bear. The first guy I went out with was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was from Sweden. He is a published and quite accomplished scientist. Talk about way out of my league! Very handsome, classy and debonair guy. We had a nice lunch together and he wanted to see me again but…eh. Couldn’t do it.

Onto the next.

Next guy worked in town like I did. We met for lunch. Coat and glasses reminded me of Neo from The Matrix. *Price is Right Fail Horn* On top of the fact that he had major drama with his son’s mother. No thanks, dude. If she is being psycho about you dating, I want no parts! I have a child, but my situation is drama free! Not putting my kid in the middle of that.


Next guy I really liked. We texted and talked constantly and got along like we had known one another forever. Went to dinner, went for drinks, made plans to see one another again and then he disappeared a week later. Okay, then.

Next. *Sigh*

Talked to another guy. Same exact voice inflection, mannerisms and quirks as the guy I was trying to get over. *Head desk head desk head desk*

*Sobbing* Next.

Guy that turns out lives about four blocks from me wants to meet for coffee. His idea of getting to know me is like me filling out a fucking chain mail survey from when AOL was all the rage! What are you favorite movies? What do you like to read? What’s your favorite food? What brand of toothpaste do you like? What is your favorite color? What is your choice of drink? What was your best subject in school? What type of milk do you drink? How do you take your coffee? (Those were all real questions.)


OKAY ALREADY! FINE! FINE! I’ll answer this guy!

Wow…his eyes are a shade of green I didn’t know existed. Real nice beard. Aw he’s an elementary school teacher? You have a dog? *Deep breath* Yes, we can go out. Pens game, you say? Right on, dude.

Pens game happens. He clearly is a casual Pens fan but it’s okay. Real nice smile. Oh my god, those eyes. Dinner after the game? Sure. Compliments me while we’re talking. I turn bright red. Yep. That means I’m smitten. (If I REALLY actually feel an attraction to a guy, I will blush profusely if he compliments me. Dead give away, guys. Tell me I look pretty. If my cheeks get flushed, you know I’ll say yes if you ask me out.)

We keep talking all week. Go out again the next week to a concert and then have some drinks. Have a great time. Fireworks kisser. Week later, we get together to stay in and watch Inglorious Basterds. Tarantino movie and brings over my favorite beer? Hi, are you perfect?

Perfect on paper. Perfect on paper. Perfect on paper.

Three months later I was over being smitten kitten. Nicest guy in the universe. He will make some girl very lucky some day and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. But it won’t be me. Sense of humor wasn’t there for me, his confidence was eh, and he was a bit clingy and pushing me to spend time with my son a tad and I wasn’t cool with that whatsoever.  He also treated me like I was fragile and made me feel like I needed help raising my son and couldn’t do it on my own. I don’t think he actually believed that, but was maybe trying to make it appear that I needed him, which I didn’t.

That was two years ago. Know how many dates I’ve been on since then? One. Coffee with a guy last spring who seemed kinda cool and then sent me a crude picture out of nowhere that was supposed to be funny but made me feel super uncomfortable. So I cancelled our first actual date and bid him adieu.

Why is dating so hard? Because no one is perfect and they cannot be perfect until you love them. Flaws, strange habits and all. People need to wake up and realize that being a perfect person and being perfect FOR someone are two completely different things! Being perfect is an illusion and in fact is something that is a figment of all of our imaginations. Being perfect for someone though, is quite real. Being perfect for someone means that even though they aren’t perfect, you wouldn’t change them for anything in the world and they wouldn’t change you.

I’m exhausted of the games, of playing hard to get, of meeting guys who are real nice at first and turn into psychotic shells of their former self after the second date.

I don’t want someone that I need. I don’t need anyone. To quote Jennifer Aniston from the absolutely horrendously awful movie Rumor Has It, I feel like this: “I didn’t come here to tell you that I can’t live without you. I can live without you. I just don’t want to.”

Just be honest and be yourself. It will save us both time and energy that we could exert elsewhere.

Making a list of things I demand in a partner is bull shit. You cannot revolve your life around an unattainable list.

So if you don’t like baseball, listen to country music, have blonde hair and brown eyes, are a reality tv addict, can’t manage so much as a simple two-step, have a cat, and no tattoos, you might be the guy for me.

But I draw the line at loving hockey. 😉


4 thoughts on “Perfect on Paper

  1. Oh, Rachel – I have a friend whom I’m convinced has “Seinfeld Syndrome” in which there is always something not quite right with her dates and will abate any further relations with them. One guy’s hands were too big for his build (??Yeah, whatever that means). One didn’t “freshen up” before they went out which I can only assume means “didn’t brush teeth” before walking out the door. I don’t know. One lived all of 35 minutes away which was just…too far to bear apparently. As a friend I’m forced to listen to this insanity time and time again and told her if she doesn’t get over herself she’ll never really know and that “The One” may have already come and gone.

  2. It really is quite sad. I admit that I can be picky but not to a fault… You have to give someone a chance. Once you get to know them and find out more about who they are, those things begin to fade in importance. You learn by dating what your deal breakers are and what you are willing to live with because you found something that you’re not so sure you want to live without.

  3. Love that posting and it’s true. Reminds me of a date I had with the classic “on paper boy”. Gorgeous looks, right age, right type of job, right background …. total lack of humor. Game over.

    But … but … but still … if you find that guy from your list and he’s got a twin brother … I’d love to give it a try anyway.

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