After years of searching for my “Prince Charming,” I decided to throw out all my unreasonable expectations and just let the universe work its magic. And would you believe it? A few days later, I met my fiancé, Doug, who is fine.
Back when I was a naive 25-year-old, I would have rejected a guy like Doug right away. That’s because I am not physically attracted to him, and he shares almost none of my ethical values, like “always tip your waiter.”
But at age 33, I’ve finally learned not to let fickle whims like “sexual attraction” and “gut instinct” dominate my search for a life partner. After just three weeks of dating Doug, I knew in my heart of hearts that he was the perfectly adequate mortgage broker I hadn’t been seeking all along. Just what my mother always told me about!
Early on, a lot of my friends questioned my relationship with Doug. They made judgmental comments like, “Doug’s just an aged frat boy,” or “Doug’s selling repackaged subprime mortgages” or “You seem to not really like Doug.” This is because modern society has tricked them into thinking that a romantic partner is supposed to outgrow his college drinking habits, have his career all figured out, and be someone you like. I’m ready to settle down, even if it means settling for someone who is, you know, okay.
Ultimately “Mr. Right” is just some fantasy concocted by Hollywood romantic comedies about those perfect couples who “enjoy each others’ company” and “have a lot in common.” When we hold onto those standards, we deprive ourselves of the chance to find a completely fine soul-mate like Doug, who has perfectly sufficient conversational skills, and is generally passable as a life partner. He isn’t bad, but he isn’t perfect! He definitely isn’t perfect. He is fine.
It turns out, lifelong romance can’t be all polite conversation and red-hot, bi-weekly sex. True partnership is more about those hour-long silences during which neither Doug nor I have to say a word because we can read each other’s minds and and our minds are saying, “I really don’t feel like it right now.” Superficial qualities like “sexual generosity” or “the ability to pass an audit” simply don’t matter that much in the long run. The only thing that matters is not winding up alone, and finding someone like Doug, who will do.
I can only hope every woman is able to find a perfectly okay guy like Doug. Sometimes when I see those poor, single female-souls, wandering, lost, through the grocery store, I want to shake them and scream “Mr. Right does not exist. But Doug does. And he’s at home, breathing through his mouth while watching the Poker World Series.”
Looks will fade, but Dough—sorry, Doug—will keep his passable personality and slightly-below-average credit score forever. And each year on our anniversary, as Doug performs my annual cunnilingus, I will remember why I married this reliably satisfactory man.