Pursuing Your Perfect 10

Photo by HerLanieShip via Flickr

Photo by HerLanieShip via Flickr

My friend has embarked on the noble journey of making himself into the “Perfect 10.” He figures that if he wants to date a woman he considers the ultimate match, he himself needs to be a perfect 10.

Everyone has their own idea of who their optimal mate is. My friend wants someone who is confident, sexual, financially-stable and many other remarkable and understandably desirable qualities. So, he is working on improving his own shortcomings in these areas.

I love the idea of self-improvement and becoming the best person you can be. There’s nothing like the self-confidence having a great job, a nice car, a fantastic body, stable finances and interesting hobbies gives you.

It’s a wonderful idea, reaching your full potential as a human being and meeting someone who meets all your requirements, who is simply right for you. But what happens when your exemplary partner loses his job or she gains 20 pounds? What happens when the stock or housing market crashes or that marathon runner has to have surgery on her knee? What happens when you have kids and can no longer afford or have time for all of those interesting hobbies?

I’ve had excellent jobs that left me with no time for anything else, but looked respectable on paper. I’ve reached my ideal weight and fit into my skinny jeans. I’ve traveled to amazing places. I’ve run a marathon in Athens, Greece. Yet, I’ve never felt like a perfect 10. I don’t know the woman who does.

One evening, at a time when I was at my skinniest, the guy I was dating was complimenting me on my small waist and chest. A year later, I’m wearing my fat jeans again and my chest has grown a few cup sizes. Would he still find me attractive now? I wonder.

Like my weight, all aspects of life fluctuate, which is why the part I love most about marriage vows is the promise to love and care for one another “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.”

The problem with falling in love with someone at their peak, when they are at their most perfect, is that there’s no guarantee you will still love them when they turn out to be merely human. Experts often cite finances and life changes like a new career as reasons for divorce. Another explanation for people being unhappy in marriages: reality sets in. No one can be at their best forever.

Conversely, someone falling in love with you at your peak, when you’ve finally gotten everything you’ve worked so hard for, makes you wonder if he or she would have loved and supported you through the tough times, as you struggled to become the person he or she admires.

I’m sure my friend will become the man he wants to be, his ideal self. He’ll find his perfect 10, and she’ll recognize him for being her optimal mate.

As for me, I’m looking for the guy who will fall for me when I’m at my fattest, when I’m struggling financially and stressed out about my job. The guy who will love me without make-up, in my over-sized sweats, with all my little insecurities. The guy who will see the beauty in me when I’ve forgotten it myself, when I’m feeling like a 5 on my own list—that’s my perfect person.

If someone can fall in love with you during the tough times, surely that person will be even more delighted to stick around for the good times. As Marilyn Monroe once said, “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

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  • poignant and potent. just like how i like my men, perfect 10 (or not).

  • loved this! and i adore that quote by marilyn… she’s ingenious!

  • Right on Meg! I totally agree. Although, I am kinda over my quest for love anyway, as I seem to attract crazies or, well we won’t go into that here…but I do love the Marilyn quote also.

  • To me, it’s all about attitude. The fact that the person *wants* to work to be a Perfect 10 (whether or not it’s attainable) is, in my opinion, more important than where they are on the actual scale. I’d rather date a 5 who strives to be a 10 (not just in a physical sense, but in a mental, emotional, intellectual, etc. etc., sense as well), rather than the 10 who’s complacent.

    Hence, my Are You Annoying? article that you hated, Meg. 🙂

  • Having been an ugly person with a low self-esteem I would trade any day with an ugly person with high self esteem any day. Ignorance is bliss and confidence is beautiful.

  • Would you, really? Don’t you think you’re an attractive person today exactly *because* you had low self-esteem? If you were an ugly person with high self-esteem, you’d still be ugly today because you never would’ve felt the desire to make yourself more attractive. When channeled properly, low self-image inspires us to better ourselves.

    And, take it from a guy, confidence is beautiful. But false confidence is not.

  • Or maybe what has changed about me and what makes me more attractive is the very fact that I see myself as attractive rather than ugly! It’s not like I got plastic surgery or went on a fad diet or discovered some self-help secret. I simply don’t see myself as an ugly person, which increases my self-esteem, which is more attractive and thus I’m an attractive person rather than an ugly person. Are people more confident because they are beautiful or are they more beautiful because they are confident?

  • I never thought of that before.
    I think we always need to strive to be better. Yes. We hit rough times. The trick is choosing someone who has common ideas on sticking it through the tough parts.

  • Ah, but here’s the thing, whether you improve your image or your self-esteem, it’s still striving to improve oneself.

    In my opinion, finding someone who wants to better themselves is one of the most important things, especially since dating someone who doesn’t can stunt your own ability to improve yourself.

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