Forget 'ideal' - look for the real

I was married to what I thought was an “ideal” man. He was married to what he thought was an “ideal” woman. While dating we both spent a lot of time being someone other than ourselves, and once we were married a few years and had a few kids, the “ideals” we were slowly gave way to who we were and surprise, we weren't wild about one another!

The person I am with now is not someone whom I originally saw as ideal in the beginning... and given the circumstances under which we met—he helped me change my flat tire in the rain, so I hardly looked or was acting my best LOL—I doubt he thought I was his ideal.

But today, I think when we wake up each morning, we know that we are ideal for each other. I am no longer the svelte woman he met—but he revels in what he calls my “curvy” figure, and I get to cook and eat the things I—and he—loves! He tends to get testy when I don't do as he asks, but I revel in knowing that I am with an intelligent man who only asks me to do what is best for our family.

I love the possessive nature of my husband. I love the freedoms I have with him, knowing that although I am the boss and totally responsible at work, that I don't have to be the boss at home.

We have enough trust in each other to share our desires and dreams. I was comfortable enough with him to tell him I didn't want to be in charge at home (been there, done that with the ex and it was exhausting!). He was comfortable enough to tell me that he really wanted an old-fashioned woman who was strong and intelligent, but not always trying to be in charge. So we got what we wanted by looking past the “ideal” and into the “real”.

We are not perfect. We have our moments. But all in all, I am glad that I stopped looking for the “ideal” man and I am really glad that my husband stopped looking for the “ideal” woman. If we had kept looking for the “ideal”, we would have never found one another. Sometimes the “ideal” is not what is ideal for you.


Taken In Hand Tour start | next


What a beautiful post. I too

What a beautiful post. I too, thought I had my ideal but it didn't work out for us to remain married. Then I met someone who I never could have predicted meeting. While the weather was nice the day we met, he has since seen me in various weather-whipped looks and it does not scare him. So it feels good for me.

We are very different, but the relationship is amazingly real and I can't believe I have missed this part of life for so long. How does that happen to us?

The Idea of "Ideal"

I have to agree with M on this one. There is no ideal man. No one can be as perfect as our fantasy. I love the fact that he stopped to help you fix a flat. Personally, my first thought would have been serial rapist. We have that a lot here in the states, enough that most women won’t even inch their window down to a state trooper, let alone a stranger. A sad state of affairs I know, but a reality in my world. I think it is why some of us have such a hard time finding “Mr. Right”. He is out there, but we do not have enough trust in the male population to let him get near us. The more alpha, the more aggressive he might be, the further we keep him. It is at times hard to distinguish a genuine concern and wish to help, from a predatory act. I consider myself a strong and self-reliant woman, able to handle herself in dangerous situations (have before, will probably again), but there are times when my little voice in my head screams warning. I now have to wonder if it was warning that the man was truly dangerous, or was it simply he was all male, a true alpha and that he could easily take what he wanted from me? Have I missed out on numerous men that could have proven a life-mate because I was too timid to let him get close? I think in many instances, I would have to say most likely. All women can sense the predator in an alpha. The thing we were never taught was that this is not necessarily a bad thing. The alpha male is a dangerous animal, make no mistake. But he is only dangerous to those that threaten him or his loved ones. I tend to think in terms of the alpha wolf when thinking of alpha men. They are very loving and caring in the pack, playing with all members, nurturing and caring. But when danger threatens the pack, they act, going all predator and will attack and defend to the death if necessary. This does not mean to the pack they are not also dangerous. The alpha’s job is to maintain control of all members to protect the pack as a whole. This is the same with the alpha man and his family.

So how do we tell the difference between the predatory man and the good alpha man? I am not really sure. A woman has to allow a certain amount of letting them get close to be able to get a feel for them. I work with a number of law enforcement men and most of them have an alpha personality. I tend to use their personalities and “feel” to make the distinction in my own mind. They can set off the “radar” in my head, but I have become more adept at telling the difference. The alpha may do things like step into my personal space, speak forcefully, stare me in the eye, or such, but I can tell that while it might be intimidating, it has not been done to intentionally intimidate me. It simply is the way they are made. A predator, however, has the “feel” of terror to me. He will do the same things, but you can see in his body language and his eyes that it is intentional and that he enjoys doing that to women.

Ok, I have digressed enough. What I wanted to convey is that we women have to be able to give a man a chance to get close enough to test the water if we wish to find them. I am still learning to do this, but this has become a problematic condition for me. I have not dated since high school and have absolutely no idea about how to do so now. When I figure it out, I will share it with you. Hopefully it will help some of you other older women like me trying again. And just maybe Mr. Right is reading this and will find me instead. Have I mentioned I am a bit lazy too?




Thanks for the comments. The tire in the rain incident was in a parking lot full of folks after a community event, so I wasn't afraid.

I also live in the US and was raised in NYC. I don't however, have the perception that I am in any great danger from people (men or women). I tend to like to get to know people, I love meeting people from different parts of the world, or from different cultures, religions, or just regions that reflect something different than I find in myself. I generally think that people are good & find that I'm rarely disappointed as long as I don't expect people to share my opinions or values.

Anyway, when you stated:

"I think it is why some of us have such a hard time finding “Mr. Right”. He is out there, but we do not have enough trust in the male population to let him get near us. The more alpha, the more aggressive he might be, the further we keep him."

I think you are right in your musings. Many women I know who would like to meet someone are so closed to meeting men because they are afraid of what he might "do". They are also afraid of his "bossiness". I think this is unreasonable. First of all, not all men are serial rapists—nor do they have the tendancy to be one. I think that we (women and men) allow the media to influence too many of our actions and become fearful of anything different than what we believe is 'right'. Caution and common sense are always good, but to be fearful of others just because the person 'looks or speaks different / suspicious' is not logical. And it prevents us from being open to new relationships (friendships or romantic relationships).

S and I found one another because we were open to meeting and getting to know people who were different from ourselves. I was able to get to know him because I wasn't afraid of dating someone new (in a public place of course) even though there was no spark at first.

I hope you open up to finding someone new. Someone that might not spark at first, but in time will stoke those embers deep within to make them erupt into a flame of love, joy, passion, and committment. I really do find the who 'spark, immediate chemistry, love at first sight' stuff to be the stuff that long term relationships can NOT be built upon. These things fade in time. And intimacy—true intimacy—is what creates a beautiful relationship.

I'm not a scardy cat, just cautious

Hey M!

I guess I did come across as someone that jumps at their own shadows. Sorry about that. What I intended was that having spent most of my time in rural Midwest growing up, we had to be very cautious. In my home state in my teen years, we had a police officer (I can’t remember if he was a state trooper or sheriff) that would stop a lone woman, pull her out of her car on some pretence, handcuff her like a criminal then rape her in the back of her car. I was in high school at the time and to this day am still cautious around stranger law enforcement men. I have also been on the wrong end of this conversation both in personal and new acquaintances so I do have a point in my statements. It is still a very big part of what makes me tick and yes I am very cautious when out and about on my own.
I think it is wonderful that you were so open and receptive to your knight in shining armor and I think I am now able to do the same. Of course that I took six years of intensive martial arts training in the past doesn’t hurt either. My instructor was over the top about women’s self defense and even though I no longer actively participate, can still take down and get away from a much larger man (Just ask my sons, I used to wrestle with them and both are over six foot and over 200 pounds, and I am my still scrawny five seven and 120 pounds).

As an ER Nurse I meet many alpha males in law enforcement and EMS and I have absolutely no problem opening up to them. It is much like being the only sister in a huge group of brothers and many of them are very protective of us girls. Kinda nice feeling on those nights when they are constantly bringing in the belligerent drunks. They make them back off even if it is only in their cursing. I am one of the more independent of the gals in our group but I find myself enjoying even this gentle caring shown to me as a woman that deserves to be respected. In fact, it is part of what has drawn me into the search for an alpha male and this website. I finally feel I have the right direction in my life and search for my life-mate. As for love at first sight, no I do not believe it is always that, well maybe lust at first sight. I agree that true, soul-deep love needs time and nurturing to grow and am looking forward to the day that I finally find that one in a million man to do so with.


Hi Libby,

Hi Libby,

I can understand how prior bad acts by someone could influence how you live every day. My guess is if I had experienced the same issues as you when I was younger, my perspective might be different.

I guess what I was trying to relate was the need to 'put yourself out there' if you are seeking love. So many of my single girlfriends (in their 40's and 50's) want to share their life with someone, but are so consumed by children and career that they don't make time to do some of the things that they like to do, or they don't take time to try something new. I really think that people are most attractive and desireable when they are participating in an activity that speaks to them.

Part of the reason they don't make time to go out is because they are afraid of what 'could' happen. While I'm not advocating irresponsible or stupid behavior, I try to now live my life with as few "coulda, woulda, shoulda's" as possible. I certainly was not always like this. I stayed to myself for 8 years because I was fearful. When I finally decided that I was not going to let fear of the unknown (metaphorically) was not going to keep me single forever, I finally found the courage and energy to do things I like to do. And even though I met S changing a tire in the rain (not my idea of fun!), I was coming out of an event where I had just heard a speaker that I was particularly interested in—so maybe (I like to think) in spite of the rain, in spite of my wet hair & dripping makeup probably making me look like a clown, S could see something in me that he liked because I was afterall, originally doing something I liked.

Well, It's late, I'm rambling, so I better stop writing.

Anyway Libby, good luck in your adventures of finding that very special person. He's waiting for you!



You give me hope...

Hey M!

Thanks for the encouragement. I am trying to pull myself up by the bootstraps as it were and getting more adventuresome. It has been a trial though because I am new to the area and don’t know my way around, places it is safe for a lone woman, that sort of thing. As I get a better feel for how things are around here, I will start going out. My best friend has already threatened to drag me out of the house and take me bar hopping so she can play matchmaker and I shudder at the thought! It might be fun though and who knows? Mr. Right might sneak up on me.

Anyway, I love the story how you met your love and how fate seems to drive the right people together when they least expect it. Thank you for sharing it with all of us, it gives the ones of us still on the hunt hope to keep going!


My wife

When I met my wife, she was 53 and I was 52. She was over 300lbs and just 5'4". I'd been pursuing women much younger, and had been enjoying my newfound attractiveness to women. In the past I was always the guy that women didn't want, but as I've grown older they've started flocking around me. Immediately before I met my wife I was dating a very intelligent, wonderful woman aged 27, with perfect proportions, long blonde hair and blue eyes and she was highly athletic, being a marathon runner and triathlete. I'll admit to being a man that likes petite women who look after themselves, but my wife is nothing like the ideal I thought I wanted, yet I'm ecstatic with her.

Until I met my wife (we met on a train, not a dating site or in a bar) I had a list of requirements that was only growing longer as women started being more attracted to me. My wife is everything my ideal woman wasn't, but she is mine, my perfect soul-mate. She's the most exciting, sexually hot woman I've ever known. It's like there's more sex hormones in her large body. She's fun, adventurous, always game and she has a rapier sharp mind and strong opinios to boot. But the thing that makes her mine is that she's MINE. She loves the fact I'm in control of her, and she's shameless about it. That's why I married her-- hecause she's so mine, and she's so brilliant, and she wants to live under my control for ever.

My friends and relatives were disturbed by my choice at first. My sister said she's too fat. Another relative said she is too old for me. My best friend thought I was using her for sex and when I said no, this is my wife--or will be, he tried to make me change my mind. But I don't care what they say, because I know she is the right woman for me.

I'm not real sure if this helps any, but my wife says she thought I was having a joke at her expense when I asked her to marry me. No one expected me to be with a woman like my wife, but I made the right decision: she is my soul-mate, my lover and my best friend.

re: Mywife

I applaud you for getting to know someone who didn't fit the image in your head! Sometimes I think out antenna's are off and therefore we pass up people who would be just great for us, if only we took the time to get past superficial qualities.

I recall someone telling me that you need to want to talk to the person you spend you life with more than you want to look at the person, because EVERYONE'S true looks fade with time. I really agree.

I'm fortunate to have a man who is strong, kind, loving and compassionate. In my eyes he is quite handsome, and he tells me that I am beautiful --- however I know that my opinion of his looks, his sexiness, and his erotic power have increased over the years. I just think that is the way it is, (at least for me). I really do think that as the emotional bond deepens, the physical attractivness increases.

If we keep searching for the 'ideal' we will probably miss out on the 'real'.


Perfect Mates

To add to this—my man brings me great security because he is always "there". I have thought to leave him numerous times, which disturbs me, because of my own past and emotional abuses from someone who was always leaving me.
My man is rock solid and isn't going anywhere. I sometimes wonder why I haven't driven him away yet. The reason—he is a real strong man. As strong as or in many ways, stronger then me.
When I am upset, he holds me. When I am mad at him and have on occasion banged on his chest, he asks me if I need to continue or want to talk. He has helped me to work through many emotional issues related to my past.
That's why he is so important to me. That is why I overlook he is not "perfect". Yet in so many ways, he is.

Libby Not Missing

Have I missed out on numerous men that could have proven a life-mate because I was too timid to let him get close ---

Libby, my answer is no, because the right man will get close to you. He will break through, understandingly, your defenses and calm any fears.


"...the right man will get close to you." Thank you poster (8/15/08). I appreciate your words. Let us hope this happens because I am not an easy woman to get to know.