Waiting For Superman? Don't Hold Your Breath

By

Dating Advice For Ladies With Unrealistic Expectations
Why single women want the fairy tale, but never find it.

Dating announcement:
Desperately seeking Prince Superman.

Requirements:
Tall. Dashing. Handsome. Strong. Romantic. Thoughtful. Sexy. Humble. Philanthropist. Rich. Loves his mother. Great in bed. Loves to give massages. Volunteers at the local shelter. Reads to the blind. Rocket Scientist. Six-foot-two. Perfect teeth. Always in a great mood. Loves cellulite. Buys flowers every Wednesday. Always has good breath. Has own private jet. Does the dishes. Exactly like my father. Exactly NOT like my father. Makes the bed. Has NO FLAWS WHATSOEVER.

... The list goes on and on and on.

Unfortunately, I'm not making any of these up. These are examples of things I've heard from my female clients regarding what they want in a man. Of course, there are things on that list (and on every girl's list) that are perfectly appropriate and reasonable, depending on unique, individual needs, but would you really rather be single and alone just because he forgot you prefer lillies and brought you daisies instead? 

Here's the problem I see time and time again — unrealistic expectations. It's probably one of the top reasons many people have such a hard time finding the right person for them; what Ms. Single-and-Looking defines as "right" is actually completely wrong.

Let's look at this phenomenon a little more closely. Why do we have such unrealistic expectations to begin with? Where do these ideas come from? Who taught us that if it's not happily ever after then it must not be true love? Aside from the obvious cartoons we all watched with princesses, dwarves and fairy tale creatures, we get our lessons in love from what we witness growing up. Of course there's a bajillion and one messages people get from their families depending on the dynamics, parental relationship (or lack thereof), and ways we each interpret those messages as kids.

For example, if your mom constantly put your dad down and criticized him, you might have learned that women should emasculate men and men should be doormats. If your mom did everything for everyone else and always played the martyr (i.e.: never taking care of herself with a "woe is me" attitude), then you might learn that your own needs are not as important as everyone else's (and you might end up with a man who needs a mommy for a partner). If your dad was always betraying your mom and she looked the other way, you might learn that women should put up with anything and ignore any and all indiscretions.

Those messages will repeat themselves in your grownup relationships unless you've spent time trying to understand and change them. Keep reading...

More Dating Advice from YourTango:

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Stories we love
FROM AROUND THE WEB