Chasing Perfection

How many women err on the side either of caution or of recklessness when we begin new relationships?

Venus & Mars Dance

I was speaking to my dear friend, Red, yesterday and we identified our initial list of potential sure to fail strategies we have either executed ourselves or seen our friends and family undertake in their pursuit of happiness. Our list grew throughout the day as she polled her vast Facebook army. By the end of the day there were so many it will be impossible to address them all individually!

There were some common themes though, in no particular order (yet) here are the top deal killers.

  1. Giving up our own life (family, friends and interests)
  2. Playing mind games (manipulation)
  3. Carrying our baggage into the new relationship (matching luggage though might be fine)
  4. Suffocating the new relationship or person
  5. Nagging
  6. Chasing Perfection (are any of us perfect)
  7. Lack of Ambition or Sacrificing Ambition
  8. Money Honey (keeping some of our own)
  9. Beginning a new relationship to soon
  10. Not being our authentic selves
  11. Moving too fast (sex, I love you and all that jazz)
  12. Not hearing what is said (Listening with our ears instead of our notions)
  13. Failing at trust and failing to trust
  14. Talking about the previous relationship or ex ad infinitum
  15. Trying to change ourselves, worse trying to change him

Number 1 on the hit parade seems to be ….Chasing Perfection


Building the Perfect Mate in Your Mind and Leaving no Room for Adjustment

It is my suspicion that many of the others fall under this one. Nevertheless, to start the ball rolling let’s explore our propensity to build our Dream Man, our Perfect Mate and our seemingly constant desire to mold our latest and greatest into that icon of flawlessness.

The Faceless Prince

When we are little girls we dream of our wedding day, we have a picture in our mind of what we will wear, how many attendants we will have and even what colors we will use. We see the groom standing at the front of the church in our fantasy wedding; usually he is one big tuxedo with a blank face. As we enter our teen years our imagined wedding matures with us, of course. We now have access to greater fodder to fill our minds, including the blank that is our future groom. No longer is his face blank, no indeed now he looks like our latest crush either the school hunk or the latest movie idol to hit the market. We sigh; we sign our names on multiple pages of our notebooks “Mrs. TwiddleTwaddle”.

Eventually we grow up, we reach some magical age of maturity where we recognize that Sir TwiddleTwaddle is unlikely to sweep us off our feet and marry us; or do we? Indeed, it is almost certain most of us have not only by now filled in the blank face of our childhood

Princess Bride Forever (image)

but have also made a list of attributes we require of our future mate, some of which may be non-negotiable. In keeping with the idea that we have defined our perfect mate, identified all his required characteristics, filled every last portion of his personality with our desires, I must ask is there any man that will fulfill our wish list? Will we always be settling in our heart and mind for ‘less than’? Is this what any man who enters our sphere of influence has to look forward to when they hope for a relationship with us? Really, are we always going to be this hard to please or have we left some room in there for our future mate to be their own authentic selves and for us to be happy they are there without equivocation?

There are certainly some things that are non-negotiable or should be at least. From the very beginning of a relationship we should be able to nix any of the following as deal breakers:

  1. Abuse of any kind – kick this one to the curb immediately and without thinking twice if he is verbally abusive it will without doubt escalate eventually. Run; don’t walk to the nearest exit.
  2. Liars – if someone will lie to you early in a relationship, whether on the big stuff or the small stuff, they will always lie to you. See the exit sign over the door, yes the one that is flashing red; make your way to it and leave now.
  3. Cheaters – if you agreed between you to exclusivity and he failed during the early days of your relationship, he won’t change. Forgive him, sure it is always nice to be forgiving nevertheless, get out he isn’t going to stop cheating.

Those are my own hot spots, there are surely more and likely others can add theirs.

The real point is though; men and women are imperfect in their design. If we have built up our perfect mate there will be no one who will measure up, no opportunity for us to explore our options and find that person that just might be perfect for us rather than simply perfect. If we shut the door there will be no opportunity for us to find that future mate that brings their life lessons and experiences, ones that balance ours and help us to live more fully together than apart. If we fail to open the door to imperfection we lose our chance at future love.

More on common themes in future posts, for now I think I will end this with one other thought; when we find that imperfect possibility and our first thought is how we can change them we have already lost.


  1. I wait until I’ve trapped them to do those 15 things. You know….in case they figure me out and want to leave.

    Seriously though, great posting. I have someone in mind, who sadly did many of the things on that list and the result was a lose lose for her in the end.

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  3. I never dreamed of a prince charming or all the rest that goes with it but I had choosen poorly. For me the number one death knell is:

    1. Giving up our own life (family, friends and interests —LOSING yourself in a marriage / who you are / who you want to be / isn’t apparent immediately but when it finally is, it might be too late to be heard. For me, this is the reason I have not pursued coupledom. I might be growing up and finally want to do things for me. Anyway, I’ve been alone more than 15 years and finally retired.

    Great discussion you and Red are initiating.

  4. Bang on, Valentine. Unrealistic expectations are encouraged and planted in the minds of idealistic, breathless and excited young women by society and particularly by the ‘marriage retail’ industry. “Great expectations” of a perfect life and “perfect mate” are seldom if EVER met — the lack of reality and common sense almost guarantees disaster. The perfect wedding, 400 guests, $15,000.00 wedding dress and perfect groom quickly dissolves into huge after-wedding bills, pregnancy, dirty diapers, screaming kids, and to top it all off, the potential of a weiner, abusive, unemployed big-screen couch-potato addict demanding yet another beer.
    The awakening of young, foolish couples prior to marriage should be mandatory social training.
    GREAT post Valentine….keep up the good work. .

    • Ah, but is it really just those young foolish couples? I think we are chasing perfection each time and that is the problem, we leave no room for ‘perfect for me’. It isn’t just the wedding, while of course those things can be a costly mess, it is the whole looking for love and forgetting to open our hearts to the possibilities, don’t you think.

  5. This all plays into something I have seen happen too many times…and for the better: The moment we stop looking (for love, for the perfect one, for another one), M. Perfect walks through the door.

    Pun intended.

  6. I’d shorten Chasing Perfection to just chasing. Looking for another to make us happy is a recipe for disappointment. It’s our job to find our own happiness within ourselves. I think your #10, not being our true authentic selves, should be promoted to number one Val.


    • Ah, but I didn’t rank the list only aided by the ranking, this one seemed to be part and parcel of what many felt, somewhat of a compilation. Believe me my friend, I will get to the rest!

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