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Reality check for those who seek perfection

Prince Charming is limited to the imaginary realm of Disney World
photo by Ariella Brown

I wasn't looking for a follow-up piece to the one posted yesterday, but couldn't help noticing the connection between the idea that people tend to marry within their circles and favor those who resemble themselves and the analysis of why so many women drop men they consider not perfect enough for them.

That's the subject of a recent Telegraph article, From zero to hero: A modern girl's guide to why most men will never be The One: She poses the question of women's self-delusion with respect to finding a "perfect" mate. She gets an answer from psychologist Ben Boyer who explains that this is a product of our own culture and times:

"We want a partner or significant other who will make us feel better about ourselves. In many cases, the person who shares our life is also a mirror of ourselves: if he or she is successful, we 'are' successful, as a transfer.”

He also says that the focus on "an ‘ideal’" person to marry is much more common for girls than boys because they tend to absorb that cultural expectation from society. "Simple examples include the myth of 'Prince Charming', fairy tales, etc. These stories contribute to the idealisation process of the dream partner, both consciously and unconsciously.”

So there you have it: don't confuse fairy tale idealization with reality when you look for a marriage partner. You don't have to settle for a Mr. Collins, but you may have to give up on a Darcy or Mr. Knightley to be happy with a more suitable Mr. Martin.

Related: Cinderella myth