When I was fourteen years old, I flipped to an empty page of my diary, uncapped a lilac Gelly Roll pen, and wrote a list of attributes for The Perfect Guy. As if it was an assignment for Teenage Girl 101.
As someone who began her teenage years in 1999, you’d expect an homage to late 90’s heart-throbs:
♥~**lEo DiCaPrIo’S eYeS**~
♥~**rYaN pHiLlIpPe’S hAiR**~
My actual list isn’t like that at all. It’s either a lot cooler, or way lamer, depending on your perspective. It’s funny because it holds up surprisingly well 16 years later. With slight anti-bullying edits, I could create a passable Thought Catalogue article directly from it: “15 Things Women Look for In A Man” .
But I think lists like this are dumb. I’ve thought so ever since I was 14.
A month after writing my “Perfect Guy” list, I fell head over heals for an actual guy. Meeting an actual flesh and blood guy me rethink my list. I went back to my diary and drew an X across the page, this time in a much more mature black bald point. I edited it to read, “The Perfect Guy = Gabe”, then made a notation at the top: Dude, this is dumb.
Yes, that’s the actual list. No, I never made another one like it again.
I realized at fourteen that people are so much more than a list of attributes. That a list of your Ideal is close-minded and limiting as fuck.
I honestly forgot some people like making lists like this. That when some people say, “I’ll never settle! I’m picky because I deserve the best!” they are referring to a very specific, often trivial list! There’s a reason I got to reminiscing about my bygone Perfect Guy list.
We have a jerk from an online dating website to thank for this walk down memory lane!
He had several things going for him. His profile picture was very attractive, in an Abercrombie all-American way but still. His message was short, but it clearly showed he’d looked at my profile. Then, in a way that was charming rather than pushy, he’d messaged me again after I failed to reply to his first (I’ve sorta gone off online dating these days).
I clicked on his profile and of course looked at his pictures first. Because that’s what you do (they’re each worth 1,000 words)! Each was more attractive than the last. Dude was a good looking man. Then I looked at the words of his profile and POOF suddenly he was as unattractive as Donald Trump. I read the very first paragraph:
An Open Letter to This Douche
From me to you: EW!!! EW EW EW!!!!
YO BUDDY, my SHORT BLONDE hair is apparent the SECOND you look at my profile! That’s one of the great things about short hair, it keeps idiots like you from ever wasting my time. Usually. How the hell did you slip through the cracks? Instead of a bikini shot, I have a picture of my playing a little pink piano. Remember this one?
I thought that was fool-proof for keeping turds like you away! WHY are you wasting my time with your bullshit fantasy laundry list, especially when it’s so apparent I don’t fulfill your inane criteria? Granted, even if I PERFECTLY matched every single detail on your pathetic list, I’d still want nothing to do with you! SURPRISE! Women aren’t objects, BRO, online dating isn’t online shopping for your Ideal Women where you can check off boxes for your preferred color, size, and FLEXIBILITY.
Ugh. I sincerely hope writing all my thought about you on my blog helps me never, ever think of you again.
This guy really bothered me. I guess I should look at it as a blessing that my life is almost entirely free of this kin of crap. Every once in a while you need a jerk to make you appreciate what you have? That I put NOT SEXIST on my list at age 14 and I’m never, ever lowering that standard? I guess I do have a list. Not The Perfect Guy any more, simply:
The Only Kind of Person I Want To Interact With, Period