I used to have pretty unreasonable standards when it came to men. I’d turn them down no matter how great they seemed, simply because they didn’t meet the very specific set of expectations I’d developed over the course of my life. I stayed single for years, until one day, I finally gave up on the fantasy of meeting the ideal guy altogether – a motionless and slightly faded 27” x 41” poster image of Aragorn, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now, I’m finally ready to settle for a man who’s not that poster.
Everyone needs to have standards, but mine were keeping me from finding love with any man who wasn’t a poster of Aragon I taped to my wall in ninth grade. I compared every man I met to the man on that poster, judging whether or not he could fight orcs, raise an army of the undead as the true king of Gondor, or stay put on my wall for years and years, even after it got to be a little weird.
But I’m through with those expectations now, and I’m happy to say I’m dating a regular guy named David I met at a boat party. He might not have the pure heart or excellent swordwork of Aragorn, son of Arathorn, but he loves me very much and he’s a real human man who can walk and talk back to me, unlike my poster, which has never said a word no matter how times I’ve shouted, “Stand, Men of the West!” at it (approx. 200 times).
I do still enjoy the films regularly.
Anyway, I’m glad to say I’m no longer adamant about my old standards. They only set me up for disappointment when I realized, time and again, no man in my life would ever possess every single quality I looked for in a poster of Aragorn. At best, they would only possess one or two, for example, if they had a beard or their nickname was “Strider.”
But the most elusive quality he had was being a two-dimensional movie poster. I never, ever found a guy who could be that for me so I had to give up on it entirely. If you find yourself in the same situation, here’s my advice: Sometimes you have to meet men where they are. A man can’t be a poster any more than Aragorn can keep his lineage a sectre, so don’t demand he become something he isn’t, especially not on your first date. I had to learn through experience you should never unfurl a poster of Aragorn at a Buca Di Beppo on a first date, point to it and say, “Can this be you?”
After all, dating isn’t about trying to make someone become your poster of Aragorn; it’s about finding someone you truly love for who they are. And that’s why I feel so free now that I’ve finally settled for a man who’s not just a picture of the Ranger of the North, heir of Isildur and confidante of Gandalf the White Wizard. He’s just a regular human guy named David and I love him for that.