This Is Why Perfect On Paper Doesn’t Always Mean Perfect For You

A man in sunglasses and a woman lay together in green grass with scattered fallen leaves
Clem Onojeghuo / Unsplash

It seemed that everything I wanted in a guy would not only be expensive, but it would be an extra charge because I was ordering a la carte.”

Having friends all over the world is great because it reminds us of how oddly similar the human experience is. Although you’re on completely different continents, in vastly different countries, states, or time zones, chances are you’re still going through some of the same life experiences. Being annoyed at work, issues with public transport, wanting to try new things but not having the time, money, or energy to do them, and last, but definitely not least: finding yourself drowning in the waves of the ever-flowing dating pool.

The phrase “there’s plenty of fish in the sea” definitely comes to mind, but, and hear me out, what if you aren’t in the mood to cast your net and sift through all of those fucking fish? What if you’re completely fine with waiting until you get a wild, freshly caught, oven baked trout nicely prepared with a dash of lemon and a sprinkle of parsley, and you won’t rest until you get it? Who cares if you end up waiting a while? Cause finally, the moment comes when you do indeed get that beautiful trout and it’s all you ever wanted but…it just doesn’t taste right? It’s much too salty, way too buttery, and not the kind of decadent you imagined? You start questioning your whole thought process of what you really wanted because now that you’ve had it, all you actually have a taste for is scallops? It seemed that everything I wanted in a guy would not only be expensive, but it would be an extra charge because I was ordering a la carte.

I’ll cool it with the food analogies. By now I’m sure you’re starving. The thing is, when it comes to dating, I feeeeeel you. My dating profile is outrageously specific. I like tall guys 6’3 – 6’6, dark hair, green eyes, funny, great smile, nice legs, well traveled, well read, cultured, ambitious. A mix of Tom Hardy, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jude Law (Jude’s early 00’s hairline of course) you know, just simple things! Is that too much to ask?

By demanding so much, I started to think I was doing myself a great disservice and was ultimately never going to fall in love. Maybe I had taken a page from the book of Sandra Bullock’s character in Practical Magic. She played a young witch who casts a spell on herself so that she’d never fall in love. She figured asking for a guy with the zany qualities of being able to flip pancakes, whose favorite shape was a star, could ride a pony backward, and who had one blue eye, and one green eye was impossible to find. Her list was child’s play. Turns out, he wasn’t. (Spoiler alert, this movie is from 1998, you should have seen it by now) Her guy found her, and mine found me.

My guy was Phillip. He was amazing, a handsome, devilishly charming Australian with a 100-watt smile, and emerald eyes that twinkled in the moonlight. He was extremely well read thanks to his private school upbringing in the affluent neighborhood of Richmond in Melbourne, which also, in turn, allowed him to be well traveled. He was tall, 6’5, falling just in the middle of my height requirements. Honestly, he was the best. But I was so bored by him. There was no chaos. No turmoil. No butterflies.

All the romantic movies and TV shows tell us that love is supposed to be difficult, that you have to work for it, day after day. Love is a choice you make again and again to either be in or be out of. It’s like the love between Olivia Pope and Fitz from Scandal. That was a love affair for the ages! She even tells him in Season 4 Episode 9 (yes I’m a Gladiator) “I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love.” Honestly, I wanted that too. To know it was worth it.

When love comes easy, we take it for granted, we forget what we have, and we think we no longer have to work for it. The strange thing is, as easy as it comes, that’s as easy as it can go. It’s like the quote from Thomas Paine says; “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

Don’t feel the need to have a long checklist of things you want in a person, and settle for boring love just because it’s what you think you want. Find that love that consumes you and sends you head over heels. Find someone who challenges you, complements you, and inspires you to be a better version of yourself. We all deserve at least one great love in our lives. Don’t lose out on yours. TC mark

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