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The elusive Mr. Right

Updated on April 29, 2013

Dating can be an exhilarating experience. It can also be a frustrating one. After dating for a period of time and not meeting “the one”, it can become all-too-easy to turn dating into a job interview, interrogating man after man to see if they are Mr. Right.

Making checklists

Several years ago, I became a victim to this mentality. One night after a particularly horrifying blind date, I sat down and made a list of everything I wanted in a man. I started with the things I would not budge on to things that maybe I could compromise a little. The list had everything a girl could think of: physical traits, emotional traits, personality traits, life skills…even what two numbers he should have in his social security number for some bonus points. The next day I handed it to my friend who had set me up on the blind date and told her it was her future checklist to use should she ever feel the need to set me up again.

What started as a joke after a bad date became reality for me. I noticed that on future dates, I mentally referred back to that checklist and started marking off items as I got to know the guy. Even though it was unintentional at first, I began to rely on that checklist as I searched for Mr. Right.

Why can't I find him?

When dating, people become so obsessed with the concept of Mr. Right. They feel their soul mate is out there, just standing around the next corner or waiting for them at the coffee shop. When they don’t find him, they think there’s a reason. I have heard everything from he’s on a secret mission with the CIA to he must be already dead, anything to explain why he hasn’t been found.

It’s easy to forget that there is a difference between Mr. Right and one’s soul mate. Mr. Right is a concept a person has in their head of their perfect guy. My checklist was my Mr. Right on paper. Let’s just get one thing clear: Mr. Right, as we know him, does not exist. What we have created in our minds as Mr. Right is a fictional character based on what traits we are drawn to when we watch a romance movie or fantasize about being swept off our feet. It’s no wonder that Mr. Right is not helping us change our tire on the side of the road. There is a Mr. Right, but he’s much different than you think.

Re-write the list

When we put restrictions on Mr. Right, we restrict our dating life and preclude ourselves from actually meeting Mr. Right. We create standards that are impossible for any man to live up to, and therefore we find fault in every man we date. That mentality is completely unfair to men. Imagine if they had the same criteria for you? Could you live up to your own checklist?

Getting rid of your checklist and lowering your high expectations of a man does not mean settling. It means opening yourself up to meeting new men. If you are set on Mr. Right having brown hair, maybe you should try dating men with other hair colors. If he has to be a certain height, maybe change the requirements a bit. However, if you have children then it’s not too much to ask that your Mr. Right is good with kids. When erasing your checklist, it’s also okay to start out slowly. It’s not easy to throw away a checklist overnight, so you’ll want to ease yourself into it so you are not turned off from dating altogether.

Finding Mr. Right

There is a Mr. Right out there, and he will surface once you put away your checklist and change those impossible expectations into more reasonable ones. That’s how I found my Mr. Right. In fact, looking back at my own checklist he only met two items out of an entire page of requirements. He can cook and he happens to have those two numbers in his social security number. The hair color, eye color, height and everything else turned out to be something I never dreamed Mr. Right would be. Once the checklist is gone the dating pool may become larger, but something far more important happens. You have actually opened up your mind to accept Mr. Right into your life when he does come along instead of checklisting him out of your life forever.

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    • Angie Martin profile image
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      Angie Martin 4 years ago from Frazier Park, California

      More people have lists than you realize...but they are usually in their minds and not written down. Going for a certain "type" (i.e., tall, dark hair), making sure he's graduated from high school, or even saying you want to date people that want and like the same things out of life are parts of a list, even if it's not written down.

      There are cases where some people have to make requirements for those they date, for example, a single mom will want someone who is good with kids. That's an integral part of their list, and there's nothing wrong with that and shouldn't be left out.

      The only reason that I put mine on paper was to give to the girl that set me up on a terrible blind date because she was so far off from anyone I would ever date on my own. I also later found out I wasn't the first person she set him up with where it ended in disaster. The written list started out as a joke, but then caused me to really consider what I wanted in a man and made me overanalyze every date I had. I've talked to hundreds of men and women both that have fallen into this dating trap, even if their lists weren't written on paper (although some did have it written down). When I was dating, I found myself on the receiving end of a few lists myself. It's not a good feeling to know you don't live up to someone's expectation because you have the wrong hair color and you're "too old", even when you're younger than your date. And, that's the meat of the hub...not to exclude a date based on physical, emotional, personality or other traits that are assigned to someone's idea of "Mr. Right", because that person they excluded very well could have been their soul mate.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      Very interesting hub as I never had a list for a guy. I went by how well we got on and if we could laugh together & both liked - wanted the same things out of life .