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Mr Perfect vs. Mr Good-Enough


allcity

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After reading a few posts here at ENA about how women should choose to settle if they want to find a decent man and start a family, not to mention all the great women I know in my personal life that have settled for guys that really aren't so great, I'd love it if the women here at ENA could answer two questions for me:

 

1. What do you feel are the qualities that make a man the man of your dreams? I don't mean the realistic 'perfect guys don't exist' man of your dreams…I mean the REAL man of your dreams.

 

2. And what qualities make a man be the one you choose to marry and start a family with, once life has taught you that the man of your dreams doesn't exist or is very hard to find?

 

I'm fascinated by what qualities are considered ideal and what are considered good enough, once ideal is not an option, since I know far too many women that admit they settled for the guy they're with, as the guys they really wanted either couldn't be found or were arrogant jerks when they did find them.

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I don't quite have the answer to this question and I'm not sure if I want one either. My prior ex has many, many qualities that I thought I was looking for. He was outgoing, had similar morals, religious, traveled a lot like myself, lived a similar lifestyle, very ambitious like myself, passionate about his career and family, etc. Yet, he didn't really make me happy, he was often selfish because he was so ambitious and passionate about his career... rarely made time for "us" and so on. He seemed religious but didn't actually practice his morals. He was passionate about HIS family but didn't really care about making a relationship with my parents, even talked badly about my family and often had me skip family outings just to be with him and his family. He never reciprocated it. So now I want a guy who cares about his family but also wants to build something with mine as well. I loved that we traveled a lot together but it wasn't really great for saving money. Basically a lot of those qualities that I wanted and still want, had some negative consequences that I didn't really anticipate.

 

I'm not perfect myself either. There's lots of things that I love about myself and hope that it's something a guy would be looking for too, but realistically he may not enjoy those qualities or have it exactly be something he's looking for.

 

Basically what I want in someone that I might potentially settle down with is someone who is reliable, has a career or is working towards a career, is educated and intelligent, is open-minded and willing to try new things with me, has an excitement for life and ultimately who adds to my happiness and I add to theirs. The other details may be fun to think about but may ultimately be too limiting. Also qualities I thought were a must, really aren't at all.

 

For instance, I'm very ambitious. So was my ex. We even started a popular organization together through this ambition. Yet, this didn't bring us all that much closer as a couple. I also turned into a workaholic and felt like it was a competition of whose life was busier than the other. I know I can't be with a guy who is lazy and doesn't care about what he does, but if he's the type to work hard at his job and come home and just relax, that's fine with me. He doesn't have to be ambitious, just hard-working. If he's ambitious, then that's great too, but he needs to have a good work-life balance.

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Great post. Thanks mbee.

 

It shows exactly how what we want can often turn out to have elements that we never could have predicted they would bring into our lives.

 

That's why this interests me so much, as I've seen how women that I've known for years have changed so much, in terms of what they want/don't want as they've gotten older.

 

While most guys I've known have always wanted the same things and have barely changed at all over the years.

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man of my fantasies that i was looking for for a long time-

 

he is desired by many women but only has eyes for me.

he is intelligent

he is sexy

he is a great father

PASSIONATE

he can hold down a good job and is happy in his job.

he is spontaneous and affectionate.

openminded

 

So basically i was looking for alpha male, strong, sexy, loved by other women, but still had all the qualities of a good guy.

 

and now after years of searching for THAT, HERE ARE THE QUALITIES I LOOK FOR.

 

a good friend

sexy to me, but not necessarily to others.

openminded

can hold a steady job

a kind father

behaves like an adult around the house regarding daily chores

similar morals as me

 

so basically now i just want a good guy, i've let go of that alpha stuff.

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NOBODY is what you expect them to be. Somebody is always different than what you expected. ALWAYS. Sometimes this is good ,sometimes this is bad. If you always have the expectation that somebody's going to be exactly what you think they are you're going to be sad and sorely disappointed. People are people. They change ,they modify and they grow. The only thing you can 100% count on is change. Life is about learning how to be flexible to change. And life is about not having expectations that people are going to be exactly like us or how we think they should be.

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Absolutely. But since that's true of everyone, it's not reason enough for a person to change their dating choices, since (as you said) everyone will be different to what you expect.

 

And yet a lot of women I've known have changed from trying to find Mr Right to just finding Mr Good-Enough, for one reason or another, as if settling is their only choice.

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Thanks charity. Do you think your tastes changed because you didn't find the ideal man that ticked all the boxes, or because you did and he wasn't all you expected him to be?

 

i never found him. i fond many that had some of the traits i wanted. but actually MY OWN wants changed as i got older. i have far more respect for other stuff now. the sexy passionate stuff.... i've had it... and it bores me now.

the guy i want now....... if we got together i know other people would say that I am 'settling' for him. and that is so far from the truth. i want him because the qualities he posses are so attractive to me even though they used to be an afterthought back when i was searching for mr perfect.

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Absolutely. But since that's true of everyone, it's not reason enough for a person to change their dating choices, since (as you said) everyone will be different to what you expect.

 

And yet a lot of women I've known have changed from trying to find Mr Right to just finding Mr Good-Enough, for one reason or another, as if settling is their only choice.

 

I don't believe that is true at all. What I believe is that people not just women go from unrealistic fairytale like crap to reality. Some people just ditch fairytale crap earlier than other people do.

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i never found him. i fond many that had some of the traits i wanted. but actually MY OWN wants changed as i got older. i have far more respect for other stuff now. the sexy passionate stuff.... i've had it... and it bores me now.

the guy i want now....... if we got together i know other people would say that I am 'settling' for him. and that is so far from the truth. i want him because the qualities he posses are so attractive to me even though they used to be an afterthought back when i was searching for mr perfect.

 

And if you met a guy that had all the traits you want now AND had the sexy, passionate stuff? Would the sexy, passionate stuff really mean nothing to you anymore?

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I don't believe that is true at all. What I believe is that people not just women go from unrealistic fairytale like crap to reality. Some people just ditch fairytale crap earlier than other people do.

 

Kinda harsh to brand another person's expectations or desires as nothing more than 'unrealistic fairytale like crap' isn't it, just because YOU place no value in the same things as they do or you don't believe they can find it?

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I don't believe that is true at all. What I believe is that people not just women go from unrealistic fairytale like crap to reality. Some people just ditch fairytale crap earlier than other people do.

 

^This.

 

But also, superimposed on that, I think one big factor here is that for marriage-and-family-minded women, there is an inherent knowledge that the clock is ticking. You can keep chasing rainbows and romantic Romeos, or you can look for something that looks stable, loyal, with basic good values. It may not have all the exciting flourishes of the passionate, adventurous, emotionally in-touch man all bundled together that you dreamed of, but you start realizing that some of these qualities tend to not occur all in the same person (and sometimes, the personality of the charming man is anathema to someone who is prepared to be present, stable, and domesticated), so you start re-evaluating your priorities accordingly.

 

You realize you can keep searching for the guy who is theoretically the best of all worlds, and that this could mean searching the rest of your life -- when in fact, someone who loves you and is prepared to stick by you is right in front of you. That becomes a choice not too hard to make, with the stakes either way what they are. "Being realistic" and not getting everything on your wish list, compared to possibly nothing at all after years of search? No contest.

 

I do think as women evolve in those relationships though, they start wanting to actualize parts of themselves that they CAN'T with these partners, and as their role as mothers starts to become less forefront, the question arises again: is this a man I want to spend the rest of my life with, when my deepest core needs are not being met? As partners, what exactly do we have together, outside of family values? I can't share my soul with this person.

 

I think men who are not personal-growth oriented tend not to go through as much conflict over these questions (or if they do, they tend to repress them)…but the ones who are, I've seen equally disillusioned.

 

I think for both sexes, what constitutes love matures. When you're a teenager, you love someone because they're cute and cool. When you're in your young adult years, you love someone because they're sexually exciting, intellectually challenging, ambitious with their life plans, and possibly hard to obtain. When you grow into seasoned years, you love someone because they are companions that share your heart, mind, and soul. These are extreme generalizations, but the point I'm making is that as people get older, they start looking for more enduring things as the "glue", and are willing to compromise the shallow, easily-changing things. Not because something has to go, but because some of those things really don't MATTER or seem desirable even, anymore.

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Kinda harsh to brand another person's expectations or desires as nothing more than 'unrealistic fairytale like crap' isn't it, just because YOU place no value in the same things as they do or you don't believe they can find it?

 

There are things that are fairytale crap. And that is why a lot of people get so unhappy. When there are distorted expectations there is always unhappiness.

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There are things that are fairytale crap. And that is why a lot of people get so unhappy. When there are distorted expectations there is always unhappiness.

 

So, to be clear, what exactly do you mean when you say 'fairytale crap'? I'm guessing you mean exactly what ToV wisely (as always) just said, but I'm interested to know.

 

It seems like a harsh and seemingly bitter/angry statement, without the context of what you really mean.

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I consider fairytale crap to be :

 

1.I'm never going to be disappointed in the person that I love. And they are never going to disappoint me.

2. They are never going to change and they are always going to be exactly what I expect them to be.

3. They are going to fulfill absolutely every single one of my requirements in looks ,personality ,ambitions morals and every other way and that will never change.

 

Those are absolutely unrealistic expectations and will fail every time. Yet surprisingly many people have these expectations. Those expectations are completely unrealistic ,unreasonable and entirely distorted.

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I think for both sexes, what constitutes love matures. When you're a teenager, you love someone because they're cute and cool. When you're in your young adult years, you love someone because they're sexually exciting, intellectually challenging, ambitious with their life plans, and possibly hard to obtain. When you grow into seasoned years, you love someone because they are companions that share your heart, mind, and soul. These are extreme generalizations, but the point I'm making is that as people get older, they start looking for more enduring things as the "glue", and are willing to compromise the shallow, easily-changing things. Not because something has to go, but because some of those things really don't MATTER or seem desirable even, anymore.

 

 

that's it, right there!

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So, to be clear, what exactly do you mean when you say 'fairytale crap'? I'm guessing you mean exactly what ToV wisely (as always) just said, but I'm interested to know.

 

It seems like a harsh and seemingly bitter/angry statement, without the context of what you really mean.

 

Is not bitter or angry at all. I don't have anything to be bitter or angry about. I am pretty happy about where I am in my marriage and in my life.

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You are going on the presumtion that all women want to get married and have babies since puberty and that is not true necessarily. In my 20's I had no desire for anything long term or heavily involed and certainly not marriage. So my Mr. Perfect was very different - he was fun and a free spirit, he was more about excitement than stability. I dated only Mr. Perfects in that respect and stayed far away from Mr. Marriage and kids and picket fences.

 

Once I got older and decided that I actually want a more stable relationship, my criteria changed for Mr. Perfect. Instead of short term excitement, things like loyalty, stability, kindness became a whole lot more important. I'm with my Mr. Perfect now.

 

It is not about settling or tucking your tail in and going back to guys you rejected because you don't have other choices or got burned. It's a lot about the fact that what you are looking for and your end goals are not the same. Life changes. If I want a stable relationship, it would be silly to seek the Mr. Perfect from my 20's and if I want to play, it would be equally silly to get involved with Mr. Staid and Stable.

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Looking back on my dating life, I've never been "too picky" in the sense that I had unrealistic expectations. I've always been pretty, but not hot. I've dated lots of guys, but I think my biggest mistakes were getting too emotionally attached too quickly, and putting men up on a pedestal, instead of really giving them the opportunity to show their true colors and then walking away. I mean, sure, it would be nice to be with a super hot man, perfect body, kind to me and animals, speaks 4 languages, master chef, etc... but I've never really expected that or sought that out. I often chose guys with several good qualities, namely "good looking enough," has a degree, stable job, seems like a responsible adult, is talkative/lively, and has some interesting hobbies.

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I think for both sexes, what constitutes love matures. When you're a teenager, you love someone because they're cute and cool. When you're in your young adult years, you love someone because they're sexually exciting, intellectually challenging, ambitious with their life plans, and possibly hard to obtain. When you grow into seasoned years, you love someone because they are companions that share your heart, mind, and soul. These are extreme generalizations, but the point I'm making is that as people get older, they start looking for more enduring things as the "glue", and are willing to compromise the shallow, easily-changing things. Not because something has to go, but because some of those things really don't MATTER or seem desirable even, anymore.

 

 

I think this is a great question originally posted by allcity, and a great response from tiredofvampires . I don't have an answer, and I'm not a woman of ENA... its a good question for debate!

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1. What do you feel are the qualities that make a man the man of your dreams? I don't mean the realistic 'perfect guys don't exist' man of your dreams…I mean the REAL man of your dreams.

 

2. And what qualities make a man be the one you choose to marry and start a family with, once life has taught you that the man of your dreams doesn't exist or is very hard to find?

My answer basically covers both questions. I have found my "Mr Perfect", the man of my dreams who has all the qualities I could ever wish for. It really is very basic and very simple: He is a man of great integrity, trustworthy, honest and treats me with great respect (which is mutual). That does it for me. There doesn't seem to be much of that around anymore.

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Thanks all for the great responses everyone. Some of you are slightly skewing the point of my original post, though, and are also putting some words in my mouth.

 

To be clear, I never said that all women yearn for marriage and kids. I just said that it was recent posts at ENA about that subject that brought this stuff up and sparked me to post this thread. My question was really just aimed at any woman that currently wants or has a relationship, as I'm interested in your thoughts, past and current.

 

And with all due respect to everyone here, I think it should surely be taken as read that most people's preferences can change over time. That much is obvious! What's far more interesting is how and why our tastes have changed over time, beyond the usual changes that occur as we grow older/wiser.

 

My main experience of this kind of thing is that many women I know used to have the usual list of ideal guy traits and then life taught them that either that kind of guy is almost impossible to find (as ToV said, a lot of so-called 'ideal' traits often don't go hand-in-hand with others) or that they CAN be found but they then have their own unique problems that can ruin things (arrogance, women hitting on them all the time etc).

 

I know that the whole concept of 'settling' is very broad anyway, so it can't be simplified easily. That's why this thread was just aimed at anyone that found their tastes in men had changed dramatically over the years and have thought about why this happened, beyond the usual stuff.

 

And is a guy that checks all the boxes really so hard to find that it falls into 'fairytale crap' territory? As I guy I find that really sad to hear! And it's again why I'm so interested in this whole subject, as I've heard a lot of women over the years say "Great guys are hard to find" but I can't remember ever hearing a guy say "Great women are hard to find".

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