One of the most awkward dating experiences is having to explain why you’re no longer seeing someone your friends and family thought was the perfect person for you. And you can’t even pretend they were wrong! Objectively speaking, it appeared that the stars had aligned and the Universe had finally blessed you with someone who seemed to possess all the qualities of a good romantic partner. Then, through a set of even more awkward circumstances, you got the distinct feeling that you needed to let go of this supposedly perfect person — even Mr. or Ms. Right just isn’t right for you sometimes.
This sucks, right? Like, who wants to toss a damn near perfect match back into the dating pool and run the risk of encountering an endless roster of jerks who don’t even come close to the one you voluntarily gave away?
It’s a tough call to make, that’s for sure. But wouldn’t you rather get to know someone who feels like the right one instead of someone who should be?
Despite what your well-meaning BFF (or your head) tells you, there are legitimate reasons why it’s fine not to date someone who’s objectively perfect for you.
1There’s no chemistry.
Sure, this ideal person is physically attractive, has a great credit score, and all the other things one should want in a mate…but they just don’t quite make your spine tingle. Some people who come face to face with this dilemma are willing to try and create sexual chemistry, which experts believe can definitely be accomplished. However, if you’d rather not invest this much energy in trying to stir up a feeling that may or may not ever materialize, it’s totally fine if you decide this person is absolutely perfect…for someone else.
2You’re not on the same page with them.
Sure, this flawless individual is single and looking for a partner who sounds so much like you. You could’ve written their online dating profile yourself. One thing that brief description failed to highlight, though, is the fact that you’re totally not on the same page with regards to relationship goals.
For instance, it would be a colossal waste of time and effort to continue dating someone who wants to be married when you refuse to budge on not getting hitched. At this point, press pause on dating Mr. or Ms. Perfect, Just Not For Me, and move on to the next.
3You don’t feel a connection.
Whether it’s incompatibility or an intuitive nudge that tells us we’re not staring into the eyes of The One, we know very well when dating someone who’s perfect on paper simply isn’t going to cut it. It takes more than professional accolades and physical appearance to form a genuine connection with another person.
4You can’t stop comparing yourself to them.
Sometimes, dating a person who is basically the partner of your hopes and dreams comes with an unexpected, embarrassing struggle: Instead of being totally smitten by their perfection, you cannot stop comparing their endless list of positive qualities to all of your perceived shortcomings. You might become so focused on feeling like you’re not good enough for them that you eventually ruin what could’ve been a happy relationship because of unchecked insecurities.
In some cases, this can be worked through without sacrificing a relationship. However, if you’ve barely gotten to know person beyond a superficial checklist and you’re already thinking this way, you may need to take some time away from the dating scene until you’ve built up more confidence.
5You don’t share the same values.
All seems right with this ideal person who appears to be everything you could ask for and more, until you discover their burning desire to include meat in every meal, have nine children and live in a McMansion when you’re a vegan who aspires to live kid-free in a tiny house with an even tinier carbon footprint.
Because a lasting relationship depends heavily on core values that are less likely to be compromised on than common interests, it’s totally fine to not date someone who will never actually be perfect for you. You simply can’t force something that’s not meant to work.