Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Is there an Ideal Man...anywhere?

This is for the reader who wrote me a personal e-mail asking me about my thoughts on the ideal man, versus the thought that an ideal man does not exist.

With the recent wave of celebrity divorces - Reese Witherspoon and Britney Spears - and this e-mail from the reader who asked me my thoughts on the notion that perhaps an ideal man does not exist, I have been thinkinga a lot about relationships.

I don't actually believe an ideal man does exist. I know, this sounds bad. But does the ideal woman exist either?

I do have a number of single friends, in their 30s, who are still looking for that ideal man. Here's my problem with the people who hold out for that "ideal" man, or who don't believe an "ideal" man exists.

I love my friends. But, truthfully, out of all my single friends, there are only a couple who I'd like to be my wife, if I played that way. If you know what I mean. There are only a couple who I could actually live with day-to-day, without wanting to throw myself out the window.

Do I have an ideal man? Well, he is ideal for me. Together, we work.

Meaning, I am SO not an ideal woman. I am very selfish, I am very self-obsessed, I am extremely moody, and I probably suffer from never-ending depression. I am also very hard on myself and always feel that I'm always failing at my career, as a mother, and a wife. I don't know how to cook. I hate all chores. I leave my wet towels on the floor.

But my man, well, he puts up with it. In fact, he helps me through it all. Often I wonder if I were in his shoes, would I put up with me?

I am ideal for him because I keep him entertained and he likes to take care of me and if anyone ever says a bad word about him, well, I'd beat them up.

He is ideal for me because he's the only man I feel I can tell anything to and he won't judge me. He is my best friend. And if I'm going to be with someone for decades, it should be my best friend.

But he too isn't perfect. I hate that he is always on his blackberry, for example. It drives me fucking crazy. But, as I said before, I'm so far from perfect. So I don't say anything when we are at the movies and he's busy checking his messages. After all, I leave my wet towels on the floor.

So, yes, the ideal man sort of does exist - and that ideal man is the one who can put up with, and love to be with, us women who are so not ideal ourselves.

Once us women can admit we are not ideal ourselves, well, I think it will make finding an ideal man a heck of a lot easier.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The older I get the more I realize that my ideal man only exists in my imagination.

2:19 AM

Anonymous Franny said...

Well put. I've had some thoughts about this very subject too lately, with this celebrity break'up trend happening once again. I just happen to feel the same was about the ideal man. No one is perfect, and certainly not I, but my husband puts up with me on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, and he still loves me?? That's my ideal man. Thanks for this post, you took the words right out of my mind.

8:25 AM

Blogger joyce said...

No ideal man exists...but like you and your have to find one that works for you. After 9 years of being with my guy...i count myself so lucky that 1) he still makes me laugh and 2) i still like kissing him!

12:49 PM

Blogger Denice said...

You are exactly right. There is no such thing as an ideal man or woman, but there is someone who is ideal for YOU. My hubby is not perfect and neither am I, but our strengths and weaknesses complement each other and it works out perfect for the two of us. We even work together every day at the same very small newspaper (6 person staff). Not many people can say that!

2:26 PM

Blogger Jen said...


That's exactly true.

3:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree 100%. And the sooner the single women looking for Mr. Perfect read this and understand you are 100% right, the better off they'll be!!

My boyfriend is ideal for me and I am for him also, but I think that if anyone else had to put up with me, they would have put me out to the curb long ago!! (same with him!!! ; ) )

7:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree 100%. And the sooner the single women looking for Mr. Perfect read this and understand you are 100% right, the better off they'll be!!

My boyfriend is ideal for me and I am for him also, but I think that if anyone else had to put up with me, they would have put me out to the curb long ago!! (same with him!!! ; ) )

7:39 PM

Blogger hautemama said...

You blog has rekindled a new appreciation for my BH--thanks!

10:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mine's ideal for me. Like your fiance, my guy puts up with wet towels on the floor and all my wackiness! And we've been together for nealy 13 years, since I was 17! Now, that's crazy!

7:02 AM

Blogger Sheena said...

I always follow my sister's attitude on relationships:
"I'll never settle down until I can find a man who loves me as much as I do".

8:31 AM

Blogger mad muthas said...

don't you think we have absurd ideals relating to romantic lurve? passion is great - i'm not knocking it (if you see what i mean), and i've had my fair share. but i've always felt passion is rather destructive and that something a bit closer to companionship is easier to sustain - certainly once you do that baby thing. having said that, i have a kind of a theory (actually, i've got a stack of theories - even more than i have pairs of shoes) that you need a different kind of partner for different stages in your life - and it's sheer good luck if the one you're with at one stage is still the right one at a later date.

9:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about doing a column about less than ideal men and some of the mean or inconsiderate things they do, so then we can appreciate the good things our men do. When I think about men in my past, I have to really appreciate my man. He may not be ideal at first glance, but when I think about some of the men my girlfriends and I have had in the past, I realize how lucky I am. I've heard some real horror stories. When you hear those, your man doesn't seem so bad.

2:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once dated the "ideal man"--intelligent, excellent career, the right religion, sensitive, chivalrous, etc., etc., etc. He drove me ape-shit crazy. It was then that I realized that my ideal man was nothing like the widely touted "ideal."

I would be interested to know the percentage of single women who acknowledge the points that you make vs. the attached women who have realized this truth.

7:45 PM

Blogger Haley-O said...

Ooo...this was a good one! I totally agree with you and love how you put it. Beauty. I should send this to my single friends....

8:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a single woman, and in defence of many single women out there, a lot of us already do recognize that fact - but sometimes it's still hard to find the guy who's ideal for you - the guy who will put up with my unique array of quirks, and the one who i can handle his unique array of quirks.

or maybe i'm just THAT difficult to deal with?

6:39 AM

Anonymous DavidR said...

Something is missing... both men and women change. Thus perfect for today might not be for tomorrow as circumstances changes. I prefer by far to see core values being compatible.

If the right values are there...she can leave her wet towel on the floor I couldn't care less.

p.s. I copied your post and sent it to my wife... the only difference is he uses a blackberry while I use a palm pilot!

11:12 AM


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