Are You Dating A ‘Paper Doll’?

Flickr / Jonas Weckschmied
Flickr / Jonas Weckschmied

Are you dating the wrong guy?

When I say the wrong guy, what I actually mean is the seemingly “perfect” guy that you like, but whom you will never love.

Let’s label this the “paper-doll complex.” I happen to be an expert at falling for paper-dolls.

Chances are you too have fallen for a paper-doll at some point in your life, and maybe have not even realized it. In fact, you may be with one right now. And no, I am not referring to literally falling for your childhood doll, that is a separate issue, that I will not be addressing, but you should probably seek guidance on that.

The paper-doll boy seems so great at first, and, the truth is, he is a great guy. In fact that is the core issue at hand. He does everything right, he cares for you, makes you dinner, has a fantastic job, values you, and well, he genuinely really likes you. Sounds ideal right?

Of course you talk about him at “girls’ night,” he becomes the constant gossip of your coffee break at work, you make lists with your friends about the pros and oh those other pros, and he has all those qualities you’ve been listing for years as “what you’re looking for in a compatible partner.” He looks immaculate – on paper. But as time goes on, and your relationship develops, well, you notice that you keep finding a hint of a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when he says something so kind about you, and you seem to have no desire to reciprocate it. In fact, his kindness, his irreproachable qualities begin to weigh on you, as you enter the deathly hallows between the black hole of disconnect of your head and your heart. The closer you grow, the more the anxiety mounts because you know your emotions are growing, but some undefined component is missing.

As you try to scream your feelings out onto your blank journal pages, you stare and question why don’t you love him, he is “perfect” for you. You so desperately want to feel the love for him that you know he feels for you. After all, he deserves it, he’s been nothing but good to you. Your relationship continues to develop, but slowly you’ve stepped out of yourself and evolved into playing a part. You’re simply playing a character in a beautiful fairy tale that you are trying to believe into reality.

Yet, the beautiful simplicity embedded in the pain of truth, is that living a lie, is not a sustainable solution.

So full disclosure, he is not perfect for you. Sure, in the two dimensional world he may be seemingly “perfect” for you – but what surprisingly takes some time to figure out is that we don’t live in that two dimensional world. For all its glory and all its pain, we live in a three dimensional world. Which means we need more than a paper-doll for a partner. It’s in that third dimension that exists the chemistry of love. Sure, there is plenty of science and psychology behind love. In fact, if you stay with your paper-doll long enough, he will propose, and by now you have love for him, but it’s not the love that you have always imagined. Is this it? Is this how the princesses in every fairytale actually felt? Are true relationships just coming to terms with the idea that fairytale love doesn’t exist?

Now I’m not a huge proponent of fairytales and princess, but we’re on doll theme, so go with me. And no. This is not it. Instead you have settled for two-dimensional love. Someone might seem perfect on paper, but we don’t live on piece of paper. Our soul cannot be sustained by checking off boxes on a list.

Leaving your “perfect” paper-doll, may be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. But the instant you feel that third dimension come rushing back into your life, you will know that you were never meant to love a paper-doll. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog