We’ve all done it: dreamed up our perfect wedding, tried on the rings, and imagined life with the “perfect” guy. All too often, we make up impossible standards and believe we will find a man to fit the mold that we have created in our heads.
For me, he had to be at least 6 feet tall, with perfectly styled hair to accompany his toned body, make a good living with a decent job, be good with kids and a natural when it comes to talking with my parents. I wanted him to be respectful, but fun; motivated, but unassuming. I wanted him to be someone who would hold my hand when we are walking down the street and pull me close when I’m sad.
Don’t get me wrong: High standards are a good thing! But we’ve probably all been guilty of being so focused on finding the “perfect man” that we miss some pretty good guys in the process.
In my junior year of high school, I met my now boyfriend. He was kind and charming, but he wasn’t in any of my classes, so I never had the chance to get to know him well. Over the next two years, we would run into each other occasionally, chat a bit, and pass each other in the parking lot, but we never hung out. It never crossed my mind that I would date this guy.
Part of the reason is that I had made up a list in my mind of the kinds of must-have qualities for any guy I would consider dating. Jacob, my now-boyfriend, then-acquaintance, had many of those qualities: He was nice, good-looking, a hard-worker, and responsible, but he didn’t meet every expectation I had. He wasn’t as tall as I liked, and he wasn’t an athlete. He was also kind of goofy and always joking, and I had rarely seen a serious side to him.
When we finally started hanging out as friends during the summer after graduation, I realized there was a lot more to him than I had thought. He’s not only good-looking, kind, and responsible, he also has a good plan for his life. And he’s aware of the needs of others and always gives a helping hand. He’s also respected by those around him.
One night, when we were hanging out with some friends, Jacob sat down next to me. We started talking, and he mentioned that he enjoyed getting to know me and wanted to continue to do so. But he said that if we were going to date, and make this official, we needed to write out some goals for our relationship, so we could make sure that we do things right. At that moment, I saw Jacob’s maturity and understood that under all of the humor and fun, he had a good heart and a sincere motivation to do the right thing.
I needed to take the time to get to know him to realize these qualities and to see him for who he really is, rather than making assumptions. After a year of dating, I am so grateful that Jacob pursued me and that I am getting to know the kind of man he really is.
I have begun to realize that no human being, much less a potential husband, could ever fulfill all my hopes and dreams. No one is “perfect.” But he has the qualities that matter to me most: He’s kind, capable and respectful.
I need to be careful not to have unrealistic expectations and remember that it’s worth it to get to know someone before deciding whether or not they are right for you. When we stop pining after a guy who looks the part, we just might find a guy who is what we were looking for after all.
University of Tennessee. Abby loves to be outside whenever she can whether that be a day trip
to the mountains or a boat ride on the river. Abby is a part of I Believe in Love because she
knows that love has saved her and she wants others to know its power.
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