Yous might have a list that goes similar this: “Hot. Smart. Rich. Sugariness. Likes his mom. Has hair. Tall-ish.” It’s your platonic guy, in bullet points, and if you can’t find someone who’s able to cheque off every unmarried quality, well so, you’ll just accept to keep looking. We put our Barbie and Ken dolls away ages ago, but the perfect-mate idea still looms—and then much so that it’southward even popping up in some women’southward therapy sessions. “I’ve seen many women who are fixated on finding Mr. Correct,” says clinical psychologist Jennifer Taitz, Psy.D.

Desperately Seeking Dream Human

Perhaps considering of the princess stories we were fed forth with our animal crackers, or the rom-coms like
The Wedding ceremony Planner
that came afterward, the idea that Mr. Right—or, rather, Mr. Perfect—is out there took root. At present, every bit an developed, y’all may call back you’ve outgrown the Cinderella stories and the idea of waiting for your dream human. But the truth is, on the same level that you accept a fondness for Rice Krispies Treats, it’s hard to let become of the notion that The 1 is out there. He’s hot! He’s sensitive! And he’d never practice something equally average equally striking a strip guild with his buddies.

In fact, many women who seek therapy for human relationship bug find this is 1 reason for their troubles: “The problem with looking for the perfect mate is in that location’s no such thing,” says Taitz.

More than From Women’southward Health

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The girl-meets-platonic-boy stories haven’t stopped, either. Cinderella has been replaced by Bella Swan. Recent enquiry shows that even
married
women are still waiting for their prince to come up. A new study published in
Mass Communication and Society
found that if married women believed in the Telly portrayals of relationships, they tended to be less committed to their ain pairings and to find alternative partners more attractive.

It’s Not About “Settling”

All of this Mr. Everything brainwashing has made women experience equally if they’re settling even when they aren’t. Unless a guy is some sort of Matthew McConaughey/Channing Tatum mash-up, yous believe you could do better. If butterflies don’t interruption-dance in your gut when he’s around, you think y’all’re settling. If he’s a morning person and you’re not, you’re convinced he isn’t The One. We desire kismet, frictionless matches or none at all.

Our modern dating ways—online, via a site such equally OKCupid or even through Facebook—may be making our intolerance for existent guys even worse. An infinite number of options means there’due south always a meliorate prospect around the corner, says Susan Kolod, Ph.D., a psychoanalyst at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology in New York City. Plus, there’s the illusion that in selecting a mate who meets Ten, Y, and Z criteria, you’ll be scripting your own storybook ending.

Mr. Real vs Mr. Correct

The Mr. Correct fantasy isn’t really near property out for excellence, says Kolod. It’s an excuse to avoid intimacy. Relationships are messy and scary; they require vulnerability and a loss of control. So if nosotros focus on an unattainable platonic, we have a ready-made excuse for not trying.

The betoken, however, isn’t to surrender what’s of import to you lot or to exist with a man you’re non attracted to. Information technology’s to be with someone who fits you, personally, rather than some catchall paragon of manhood.

What you should look for is a guy who shares your values, says Taitz. If you have an anything-goes attitude about sex, a guy who considers handcuffs out of bounds probably won’t cut information technology. If yous’re independent, don’t try to make it work with someone who needs you nearby at all times. And if you lot desire kids, your partner should also. Try making 1 list of requirements and some other of preferences, suggests Taitz. You might
want
a tall guy but
demand
1 who loves dogs.

Happy Endings Are Real

Proof: Christine*. When she was in high school, she wanted a big, stiff, daring guy. “Somebody who’d be a protector,” she says. She didn’t want merely whatsoever hero: She wanted Hugh Jackman’southward Wolverine. She began dating a guy who fit her list to a tee. But it didn’t plow out to exist the movie-perfect relationship she’d hoped for. He was strong and gorgeous, certain, but also uninterested in sharing his thoughts or feelings—or learning hers. Her supposed platonic was someone she didn’t actually similar. After they broke up, she met someone new. This guy “wasn’t who I’d go for on newspaper,” she says. “But, in person, he was then exciting.”

They married six years later they started dating, and Christine is still love struck. “The value of the relationship is in the fact that it isn’t perfect,” she says.

*Proper name has been changed

Go Over It

If you still can’t let become of the dream, employ this listing to rehab yourself.

one. No more Nicholas Sparks.

two. Listen to Lena Dunham, not Mindy Kaling.

three. Don’t ever wait your guy to hoist a boom box playing “In Your Eyes” over his caput—unless he’s in costume.

4. Forget Beauty met Animate being. Or that Meg Ryan’s character met Tom Hanks’south. Or Emma Stone’south met Ryan Gosling’southward.

v. Osculation a frog. See what happens.

6. Face information technology: When yous take away all the ethereal sexiness of being a vampire, Edward Cullen is slow.

seven. Endeavor to think of a rom-com that doesn’t terminate the 2nd the couple gets together.

8. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? Simply three out of 24 pairs are nonetheless together.

9. Ask any homo what he thinks about making out in the rain. For that matter, ask yourself.

10. Prince Harry? He’d break your heart.