How to Give Up the Idea of the Perfect Man

This excerpt is from the book The Surrendered Single and part of the Relationships Debate, "Does surrendering your idea of "Mr. Perfect" mean you're settling?" Read on, then share your opinion in the debate!


One who looks for a friend without faults will have none. --Hasidic saying

Do you size up every man you meet against a mental checklist? Do you have requirements regarding age, education, income, previous marital status, background?

It's time to surrender your checklist and accept an imperfect man.

You can be blissfully happy with an imperfect man. You will certainly be perpetually lonely without one.

Your Standards May Be Too High to Leap in a Single Bound

Maybe the man of your dreams has green eyes, curly dark hair, and towers over you. Perhaps he's a successful businessman with a private airplane, or a family man who wants to live on a ranch. You may meet someone who fills your bill exactly.

More likely, your beau will touch your heart and impress your mind, but in some ways he won't be quite what you expected. That means you won't necessarily recognize him when you first see him, especially if your search is limited to someone who meets all the criteria on your list.

If you find you're breaking off budding relationships, not dating at all, or just generally dissatisfied with the available pool of men, you are waiting for the perfect man.

Make a list of all the available men you know and those people whom you have dated. Why have you chosen not to go out with the single men in your circle? Have you discouraged a friend from fixing you up with someone she thinks you might like? Who decided to end the relationships you've had? Why did you decline a second date?

Write down your answers to these questions. See if you find patterns that reveal the ways in which perfectionism made you pass up good men.


From The Surrendered Single by Laura Doyle. Copyright 2002 by Laura Dyle. Reprinted by permission by Fireside/Simon & Schuster, Inc.



Do you agree with Laura Doyle that most singles have a checklist, and this is the way to abandon it? Share your opinion in the debate: Does surrendering your idea of Mr. "Perfect" mean selling yourself out?

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