In the last few months, a lot of conversations with my friends have started like this:
“Alright, so he’s your perfect man…”
Whether we’re walking down the drag to get some Kerbey Queso, hanging around the Winship Drama Building, or lazing about in someone’s room, the conversation always seems to lead to the same thing:
“…he’s absolutely perfect in every way.”
I always smile when I hear those words because I know things are about to get interesting. Whoever brought it up will go on for a good minute, playing up this perfect person (“he has the same music taste as you,” “he makes you laugh,” “he’s super good looking,” “your parents love him,” etc.) and just when you get a clear picture in your head…
“BUT…instead of laughing, he yodels.”
And there’s the kicker.
The name of the game is “Perfect Man,” though it’s easy to adjust the gender for whoever happens to be playing. You describe the absolute perfect companion for whoever you’re playing with and then slap some outlandish characteristic on them. Some are absolutely ridiculous and some are downright impossible, but there have been a few that I’ve heard that could really happen. The purpose is to think critically about the person who’s just been described and decide if that negative quality is enough to keep you from dating them.
Keep in mind: they’re absolutely perfect in every other way.
He’s your perfect man, but…
1) …he has wings. And he can’t fly.
This one is a little tricky because your decision would probably be based on what kind of wings they were. Angel wings? Insect wings? Bat wings? We can go ahead and assume that they’re very small if he can’t actually use them to fly, so maybe they can be hidden under a shirt or light jacket. Maybe this is “third date” kind of information, like “Hey, I really like you, so I should probably tell you about the wings I’m hiding under this stylish button-up.” As long as the wings don’t get in the way of his regular movement, they shouldn’t be a problem. But if they are enormous wings (think about a six-foot span) and he can’t use them to fly, it would be a little bit of a hindrance.
Deal breaker? It depends on the wings.
2) …he only eats woodchips.
One of my favorite scenarios, this is just ridiculous enough to be funny without making you think too hard. Yes, I’d be concerned for his digestive health, but I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with him eating a woodchip-only diet as long as his doctor approves. There’s always the concern of “woodchip breath,” but regular brushing would probably take care of that. You could bring a bag of woodchips for him to snack on if you go out to dinner and maybe his mom will whip you up something else if he ever takes you home to meet the folks. And let’s face it, we’ve all probably seen worse on “My Strange Addiction.”
Deal breaker? No.
3) …he’s a Sooner.
Now I know you’re just appalled that I would even suggest such a thing, but it’s a very realistic scenario that should be discussed. Could love truly survive the distance? The rivalry? The “OU Sucks” jokes? It would be tough, no doubt (who would want to date someone who actually chose to go to school in Oklahoma?) but there’s a chance that it’ll work out. I might be biased, because I actually know a couple who have a healthy relationship, despite the fact that she’s a proud Longhorn and he’s a die-hard Sooner. As long as you keep the rivalry relatively playful, there’s definitely a chance that the relationship will persevere (and while you’re at it, can ask him why writing “Texas” backwards is supposed to be an insult?)
Deal breaker? Maybe. If you can make it work, power to you!
4) …he hates your favorite TV show.
This might seem insignificant, but really think about it: would you be able to deal with your guy rolling his eyes and sighing loudly whenever you tried to gush about the latest episode of your show of choice? You couldn’t even talk to your other friends about it if he was in the general vicinity. He also wouldn’t be up for lazy days on the couch, binge watching all of the episodes you missed while you were waist-deep in assignments. Simple indifference or even dislike is one thing, but hatred is a whole other story. You should be with someone who supports all of your life decisions, including the shows you choose to watch (instead of getting your work done).
Deal breaker? Yes.
5) …he’s shorter than you.
This might be a problem for some more than others. I know plenty of girls who would have absolutely no problem dating someone shorter than them, especially if he was perfect in every other way. But of course there are some who just can’t stand the thought of being taller than the guy they’re dating, especially if they have a love for high-heels. This is one of those scenarios where you have to look inside yourself and figure out what’s really important to you. Yes, he’s shorter than you, but he’s also kind, funny, smart, sincere, and incredibly good looking. He’s your “Perfect Man,” in every way, so would you really let him go just because you happen to be a little bit taller? I mean Nicole Kidman still rocks the heels when she goes out with Keith Urban, so why shouldn’t you?
Deal breaker? No.
While “Perfect Man” is usual a hilarious game, it does bring up some serious questions about what you look for in a significant other. The more realistic the negative qualities are, the harder it is for you to make your choice; there’s a chance that your friends will call you out on a shallow decision, or that you’ll call a friend out on their shallow decision. This game certainly has the ability to change your perspective on the qualities you’re really looking for in other people.
There are so many amazing self-love campaigns going on at UT, like Her Campus Texas Body Love and Brave Face UT. It’s awesome that we’re spending time learning to love ourselves, but we should also think about the way we perceive and treat other people. We’re all human, we all have our flaws, but that doesn’t mean we’re worth any less. Even people who have a strange quality or two are capable of being a wonderful. Before you make rash decisions based on someone’s appearance or the one little thing you know about them, take a moment to realize that loving yourself can be so much greater if you spread that love to those around you.
So don’t let first appearances fool you, because the guy you pass up might just be someone you want to spend your time with. It’s impossible to find someone who’s actually the “Perfect Man,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t find someone amazing. Just as long as he’s perfect for you.
(and hopefully he doesn’t eat woodchips)
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