I’ll tell you right now; he’s a myth. One Hollywood crafted to give women unfair expectations of men and it’s something we need to talk about more.
As I’m writing this and you’re reading, we both have two very different images in our mind. No doubt crafted from the golden era of rom-coms; the 2000s. I can think of a thousand films with the same leading man winning me over (Yes, I’m talking to you, Ryan Reynolds) or wishing I was the stunning leading lady in a completely fictional narrative (Oh, Katherine Heigl, how I envied you).
Although the more I think about it, the more wild the memories get. Every male love interest in any film always has a dead set of values that can just never be achieved by one man. It’s unfair to expect men to be chiselled like a Greek sculpture but spend all his time at home with you.
Or to expect men to flounder to your every whim. No one should ever have to give up their independence or have an incredible career to make them worthy of you. It’s time to let the cat out of the bag; you will never find a picture perfect romance because humans are flawed.
Get ready for the real kicker now; men are as normal as us.
I’ll give you a moment to process that, okay you’re good.
Men are not all made of strength and expensive cologne that make your knees weak. Truthfully, men are just as human as anyone else, they have emotions, insecurities and some nasty prejudices against them in society.
There’s too much pressure put on men to be ‘The Perfect Guy’ in our lives. To give partners their everlasting love and give up everything they value about themselves to appease us. Men are sometimes pressured to fit into the small box society has designated for them.
To be ‘macho’ and ‘stoic’ no matter what their personal history is. Men are painted as violent and aggressive but then these traits are romanticised. When really, space needs to be made to discuss these issues, rather than glossed over.
For so long, plenty of people have been told to hold out for this flawless man. There are so many quizzes out there challenging you to describe yours. I’m sure he has qualities like having a high earning job to take care of you, loves all your problematic quirks and enjoys everything you so happen to love.
Whatever man you choose in life, he’ll have flaws like anyone else. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s to be expected. Just like us, everyone in the world has flaws, men included. Whether it be leaving the toilet seat up or eating your last snack.
And you’ll do the same to them.
We also need to ditch our physical expectations of men. Time changes everyone and everything, so unless you want to date a Ken doll then expect life to set in. In every rom-com, in that deliciously satisfying flash-forward, the guy always looks like perfection with a haircut or a baby in his arms.
Really, we need to lower our expectations. We can’t just go looking for the hottest guy in the room, because he might have the worst personality. However, we can’t always expect a good-looking guy to have an awful attitude.
And that’s on the really toxic “jock” stereotype.
Also, to hell with the “The Good Guy” and the “Bad boy” stereotypes too. Just because a guy wears a leather jacket, it does not mean he’ll make your mother cry. Anyway, why would you want to? Men do not deserve to be used as props in your life to hurt other people.
Men deserve to be in loving and fulfilling relationships just like anyone else. Anyone should be allowed a safe space to express emotions, to feel safe and engaged with. To dedicate this only to “women” is an injustice, one that I’ll happily throw down against.
It’s almost as if we’re trained to search for the man of our dreams, and not just a good man.
Because that’s what the world has to offer. It’s not just bad men and good men, we’re more diverse than that. Yes, there are problematic men in our society, but there are shifty women too. Also, yeah, men are just as guilty as projecting their ‘Perfect Woman’ into society, but we’re not here for that right now.
You shouldn’t feel bad about any of this. Ever since we were young, we’ve been creating a mental checklist of what makes ‘The Perfect Guy’. Whether it be what your family thinks, your friends, or based off the men in your life. It’s just a sad reality that your Prince Charming only exists in Hollywood.
So, ditch the list, people.
Stop projecting your expectations onto men. Do not compare them to your ex, that’s hurtful. Be aware that there is no textbook standard guy, this isn’t ‘Mean Girls’. This idea of perfection rejects flaws and that’s harmful for everyone, because our very nature is to be…as we are.
And we will make mistakes, there will be emotions and to gatekeep that from everyone is unfair. Not to mention unrealistic. Not every man has to be the breadwinner, not every man has to stay at home.
Men deserve to live without romantic expectations and societal ones. Just like everyone else. So, unfortunately, it’s time to kill that pretty dream of perfection you have and invite reality into your life.
Featured image credit: Elitedaily.com
Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.