He’s Perfect On Paper
Dear Miss A,
My boyfriend and I have been dating for eight months. He’s perfect. No, really. Tall, handsome, wonderful family, great career, mature, stable, considerate, and loved by my family, friends, and coworkers. He’s sweet, adoring, and very supportive of all my goals. We’re in a committed relationship but still have our own space, and he’s always supportive of girls’ nights out or weekends for myself. He’d be the perfect man to marry, have children with, and grow old together with.
But I just don’t know if I’m in love with him anymore. He’s perfect and it’s fun, but there’s just no spark. It’s like living a movie — but I recognize it’s a really, really amazing movie.
Is how I feel just a phase? (I’m only 23, so I think I’m in a flighty stage of life.) How do I know? Is he the right one, and if I let him go, will I be haunted that I let Mr. Perfect slip away?
Maybe Lucky in Love
Dear Maybe Lucky in Love,
Thank you so much for writing me with your question. There is no such thing as perfect. If a man tells you everything you want to hear, and seems perfect, give it time, Honey. Wait for the other shoe to drop. Remember if it seems too good to be true, it most often is! A man can be perfect on paper. He may be exactly what your parents expect for you, and what all your girlfriends want, but that doesn’t mean that he’s perfect for you.
If you have lost interest in him in only eight months, that is a bad sign. Imagine how you’ll feel after 8 years with him. It sounds to me as if you are happy that you actually caught a “good catch”, proud to show him off to friends and family, and thrilled that you could get someone like him. Perfect on paper doesn’t make him perfect for you. I notice you write more about his specs than you do about his sense of humor, his personality, or his brain. I don’t hear you saying how much he makes you laugh, or that you have so many interests in common, or how he makes you feel. You only rattle off statistics — the on paper stuff. The reason there is no “spark” is because you have objectified him. You see him as Mr. Perfect, the sum total of these traits which your parents, friends, and you want, but it doesn’t sound like you are connecting with him on any sort of deep level. I think he’s little more than “Arm Candy” to you. Men often do this to women, and then wonder why they lose interest, but women can also do this to men.
Just remember, he may be “perfect” at 23 year old, but that doesn’t mean he will he be perfect for you at 43 years old — a great father, and husband. I married my college sweetheart and he was perfect for me then, but we both grew so much in our twenties that by thirty we wanted different things. Your boyfriend still has a lot of growing up to do, as do you. You don’t have to make any major decision at this point. Enjoy your time with him, and think about whether you love him, or if you love him on paper. If you just love the idea of him, then you need to break up with him so that he can find someone who will appreciate him for who he really is.
As an older woman, I can tell you that you will look back on your past relationships from time to time, and sometimes wonder “what if?” but not with regret. We all make our decisions as best we can with the knowledge we had at the time. I don’t think you’ll be haunted by this. I think you may reminisce fondly about what an innocent young love it was.
I hope that this helps!
– Miss A
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