Ladies, You Can't Just "Build-A-Boyfriend"

Ladies, You Can't Just "Build-A-Boyfriend"

Why we need to stop building up "the perfect guy" in our heads
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I think we all remember going with our moms to build-a-bear for our birthdays or Christmas when we were younger. It was so much fun— we could choose a bear, how much to stuff it, how to dress, and a name. We got to choose everything about it and loved it because it was just what we imagined.

It was super expensive, but worth it because we got to make it!

Even though we are older I think we sometimes have this Build-a-Bear mentality with relationships. And it comes at a high price as well. Imagine if they created a "Build-your-own-Boyfriend store." I bet all of us ladies would rush there as soon as we could to create the man of our dreams. He would be charming and compliment us perfectly. But we have to remember, we are not creators, only God is.

Even though there's no physical build-a-boyfriend store, we often adopt one in our mind. We build up the perfect boyfriend in our head. We make checklists of exactly what we want in a guy. We try to build up his looks, his personality, his specific interests before we even meet him.

But I hate to break it to you-you can’t create someone, God is the only creator. Having bottom-line expectations for a boyfriend is good, such as you want someone who shares your faith and values. But we often think, "I want someone with abs" or "I want someone who will bring me flowers randomly" or "I want someone who is a really good cook." This is problematic, because when we do meet a great guy, we will want to change their clothes or inner stuffing to make them just like we desire. We may be closed-minded or pressure people into being what they are not.

My friends, that is not love. Loving someone is not changing them. Loving someone is accepting them where they are and mutually challenging each other. Yes, you can have basic expectations, but the beauty of being in a relationship is loving someone for who they are, without condition. My boyfriend talks about cars all the time, and even though they don't interest me, I try to keep up and learn because that's something that makes him, him. Also, I don't necessarily like when he has some road rage, but I sit there and choose to love him through that. Besides, if everyone found someone just like them, the world would be boring.

So, ladies, we need to stop having this unrealistic expectation of building up the perfect guy in our heads. Love is not found in the build a bear shop. God does much better than us anyway.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.

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"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"

"Yep."

"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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A Poem For An Old Friend Gone Too Soon

"Tributes"

rcdoerr
rcdoerr
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I remember the first time I met you

back when I still believed in magic

and tore through more books

than meals at the dinner table.


I remember how small you seemed

how I could wrap my middle finger and thumb

around your wrist

and still, have both fingertips overlap.


I remember how I flung my winter jacket into the air once

in the fourth grade

and the zipper caught your right eyebrow;

I didn't mean to hurt you, but you cried anyway.


there is no elegant way to get the words out now

I can't take your conversations out of other people's mouths

and string you back together with them--

they are not mine to cut up and spit out.


those moments have soaked into the soil beneath us

they say we are all in a constant state of becoming--

you have stopped becoming

you have simply become.


become a wilting memory

become a name whispered under breathless pain

become something pulled from twisted metal on a highway

but I suppose you already know that.


there are no delicate realizations

the morning after

when we wake up

and you do not.


and the people who don't know you

will feel emptiness in their ribcages nonetheless

they are afraid that one day your face will take on the features

of a corner of their own heart, too.


your peers cried over your godliness at the service

and it sickened me

call it a collision with fate

but there was nothing holy about this.


the wreckage is what heartbreak feels like;

ours have all stopped pumping blood

we are just trying our hardest

to be closer to you.

rcdoerr
rcdoerr

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