“Nkem, I have found the perfect man for you!” Of course, you can imagine the excitement that surged through my veins the moment one of my close friends sent me a message with those very words. Having been without a man for some time now, I have had everyone –family, friends, colleagues- try to hook me up with some man they thought would be perfect or ideal for me. In fact, during an interview with some presenters for BBC, my sister actually asked the interviewer to take me out on a date… since he too was single.
While I have never been remotely interested or excited about most of the people introduced to me, I was particularly excited about this one though. I felt the friend, who planned to introduce us, was one of the few who knew me well enough to actually tell when someone could be perfect for me.
“Sure, send him my number. He can contact me.” I said. I have never been one to hit up a guy or make the first move -even if it was a do-or-die situation, so I didn’t expect it would be a problem. “Nkem, this guy is different. You have to come out of your comfort zone for this one. None of that your woo-me-to-get-me MO please. I believe he has a thing for confident women and I think you hitting him up will let him see that you are one and will spark things up”. In my mind, I was already saying “Hell, No!” I mean, I don’t need to make the first move to show that I am confident. Besides, what kind of man would want a woman to make the first move on him anyway? It all reeked of “fuckboyry” and as I opened my mouth to counter her suggestion, a voice in my head halted me saying: Why not try something different, you never know…what is the worst that could happen?
Sure, I took the guy’s number…but it took me 2 whole days to convince myself I was not being a fool. Finally, I took out my phone and typed: Hi. So…my friend tells me you are the perfect man for me.
He did not take long to reply and before I could say ‘Jack Robinson’, we were on a good flow.
After about a week of texting and chatting every day, we agreed to meet up for lunch. He was more handsome than his photos; his breath was fresh; he was well-dressed and he wore a really nice perfume. He also seemed charming, smart, confident, smooth, successful, fit and well… perfect in every way. He was the ideal man… he had everything a girl could possibly check off her fantasy wish list. I was very well impressed.
Over the next 6 weeks, we got closer. He had jokes (though they were mostly dry humour), he would call me at least 4 times a day, invite me out on great dates, listen attentively … he always did what I asked of him – even when he didn’t necessarily have the time or the resources. Even more, there was no drama, he never upset me. He seemed to know to say the right thing at all times or concede to keep me “happy”. The effort and struggle to be the perfect man was quite evident. Now, an outside observer would think I was on the path to forming a long lasting, deep connection with him… but at some point, I became bored and cynical. It was a mix of not wanting to deal with that level of perfection, and not being able to relate to him really.
No one can relate to “perfect” because as humans, that is not what we are. Being human means being flawed, impulsive and emotional… and when things are perfect, they become devoid of these things. In the course of being perfect, he had become a people-pleaser…the kind of guy who lived his life for the sake of other people, making sure that everyone always has the best opinion of him. He made sure that he never made the wrong move… and that was utterly unattractive and boring.
Again, it occurred to me that my suspicion of him being a “f*ckboy” was probably true after all. He was a different kind of f*ckboy…the kind who went after women confident (desperate) enough to reach out to them as they are the only ones that can swallow their “perfect man” act without any cynicism. They do not have a sense of self, but would be whatever they thought the woman perceived as the perfect man to get them(the women) to be with him. The thing about these “perfect” f*ckboys though is that, they eventually become the caricature of a man that no normal or grown woman can truly relate to or understand in the long run. No one woman/girl wants a man who likes every single thing they like, and agrees with them on everything, and never challenges them in any way. It just is unrealistic and tedious. It has nothing to do with girls not wanting “nice guys” either.
The concept of the ideal or perfect man is great, but in the end, a girl does not want a man who sets unrealistic standards. She just wants a normal guy: someone who is unique, spontaneous, has a little mystery and maintains qualities and values that he does not compromise for anyone. Yes?