I feel more and more that our culture is conditioning us to expect, no — demand a perfect romantic or sexual partner for ourselves. It’s easy to forget that finding someone you truly want to be with isn’t a matter finding someone who is perfect or flawless, but finding someone who you actually grow to love their flaws.
As an avoidant attachment-type, I know that my sub-conscious will find a million minor reasons to get me to wiggle my way out of some sort of commitment or long-term prospect with a girl and it often does this by amplifying flaws. And I know I’m not alone, a lot of men (and women) suffer from the same nitpicking disease.
As I’ve grown to understand myself and my own psychological tendencies more, I’ve also started to learn which psychological tendencies, pathologies and flaws I tend to look for (or even need) in a long-term partner. If one browses a lot of dating and self help blogs, many people write and pine for their perfect partner, their dream girl, their soulmate, their one-and-only, their ideal other-half. The descriptions they write are flawless. This is bullshit. They omit one inconvenient detail: that everyone comes with baggage. So you may as well as love their baggage too.
“True love occurs when two people’s pathologies complement one another’s.”
– Alex Grey
So here’s to the baggage, to the imperfect women, warts and all. Here’s to the girl of my dreams and her issues, her traumas, and her deepest flaws. And not just the faults that I can tolerate, but the faults that I can love.
FLAW #1: She’s Slightly Neurotic.
I’m an extremely laid-back guy. Some people may say too laid-back. But every girl I’ve developed a strong emotional connection with has told me that I have a calming effect on them. Girls who are slightly neurotic feel right to me for two reasons: for one, if there’s something I should be worrying about, but I’m not, they’ll always catch it. And secondly, when they’re worrying about something that’s unnecessary, I enjoy being able to help them relax and feel more secure about it. It’s a nice dynamic, as it makes me feel needed and they’re always appreciative.
FLAW #2: She Blames Herself Too Often – This one’s a little twisted, but I like it. It makes me feel more at ease. My biggest pet peeve in the world is people who do not take responsibility for their actions. So if a girl blames herself too often, then I never have to worry about her shirking responsibility for things going wrong. But the biggest reason is I don’t handle people blaming me or judging me well. Never have. When I feel like I’m being blamed unfairly, my tendency is to either shut down or to simply leave. Obviously, this is not a helpful tendency in a relationship. On the other hand, I’m an EXTREMELY non-judgmental person and rarely blame the person I’m with, so I’m unlikely to pile on the blame if she’s being hard on herself. On the contrary, as a recovered Nice Guy, I have a tendency to want to help my partner feel better about herself and let go of whatever is bothering her, so this gives me another opportunity to do that. Hey, I never said I didn’t have flaws either. But it seems women with this flaw complement my flaw really well and the relationship works.
FLAW #3: She’s A Work-A-Holic – I get bored easily. If I’m with a girl who doesn’t have a lot going on in her life, I get bored with her easily. I find ambition sexy. I run my own business and will often pull 14- or 16-hour workdays and I need her to understand and support that. Women who work their ass off for something just tend to be much more interesting.
FLAW #4: She’s A Risk-Taker – I need someone who thinks outside the box, who is open-minded and up for trying something crazy or stupid on a whim. My last serious girlfriend, the day we broke up, we decided to go skydiving together to commemorate it. Don’t ask me why, but it was awesome. I love taking risks and having adventures. I want a girl who if I say, “Hey, I just bought us plane tickets to Dubai tomorrow, let’s go!” she won’t hesitate to say yes. She won’t complain about work or worry about what her mother would think or whatever. She’d drop everything and go.
FLAW #5: She’s Vain – I realize this is entirely self-indulgent, but I love it when women take the time and effort to make themselves as beautiful as humanly possible. The 90 minutes in the bathroom before we go out to get dinner? I like that. I want her to look stunning. I then want to tell her that she looks stunning. I then want her to love it when I tell her that she looks stunning.
FLAW #6: She’s Pushy – Like I said earlier, I have a tendency to be too laid-back some times. And I also have a tendency to avoid commitment. As a result, some times I pull away from the person I’m seeing even if I really care about them and feel strongly about them. It’s an unconscious reaction and habit. So I need someone who won’t let me off the hook easily, because I know at some point I will try to get off the hook. Even though it annoys me at times, it’s good for the girl I’m dating to be pushy, the kind of girl who will call me three days in a row and bother me for not hanging out with her. I’ll hate it in the moment, I’ll complain that she’s needy and annoying and smothering me, blah, blah, blah — but I think in the long-run it works out better because if left to my own devices I’d let myself drift away and never come back.
FLAW #7: She Wears Her Heart On Her Sleeve – You know the stereotype of the concerned husband saying, “Honey, what’s wrong?” and she says, “Oh, nothing.” So he tries again, “No, really, what’s wrong?” and she still says “Nothing,” even though she’s obviously really pissed about something. Then eventually she blows up and acts as if he was supposed to magically know why she was pissed off the entire time and fix it. It’s a stereotype you see in movies and TV shows a lot. Yeah, I hate that. I can’t be with a girl like that. I think if that happened to me now, she’d be out the door. Anyone who reads this site knows that I’m obsessed with blunt, painful honesty. I always want to know what people are thinking and feeling and I want everyone to always know what I’m thinking and feeling. I love women who wear their hearts on their sleeve. I want them to have the opposite problem of not being able to hide their emotions even if they want to. This goes along with passion as well. Women who let their emotions just flow out of them tend to be incredibly passionate. I get weak in the knees for passionate women. It’s why I love Latin women and Eastern European women so much. Their emotions are so intense you think the world is going to crack in half some times. As a boy who came from an emotionally-stifled family in an English-speaking culture, I can’t get enough of it.