Let’s clear the air right from the get-go. I’m not perfect. I don’t think I’m perfect. I would never consider myself as such.
Others, however… sometimes, I feel like that’s a different story.
Where’d this all come from?
Some friends of an ex-girlfriend of mine actually created an initialism. WWDD -or- What would Dave do? Whenever they needed help making a decision, they’d ask themselves, “What would Dave do?”… as if I made all the right decisions, and picked the greatest, nicest, most awesome way to handle every situation.
While I have my moments of greatness; I am a pretty nice guy; and I think I have a good bit of awesome in me… by no means should you always do what I do.
More recently, I’ve had a couple friends (2 women) label me as Perfect Dave. “You’re the perfect guy to date, on paper. You’re good at everything. You’re super-nice. You wouldn’t hurt a soul. You get along with everyone…”
What a great compliment, right? Well, in many respects, yes, that’s a compliment. But it’s one I could definitely go without. See if you can follow this logic:
2017 Update: The following paragraph makes absolutely no sense. 4 years later, I have no idea what I was trying to say.
I’m starting to think perfection doesn’t exist. And if I’m perfect, than I can’t exist. I must not be real. And if there’s only one quality I could use to describe myself to someone, it would be real/genuine/authentic. So clearly, “Perfect Dave” causes a dilemma.
Eliminating perfect from our vocabulary
In college, I remember attending a speaker who was discussing terrorism, it’s impact on society, and how it’s perceived by different groups. I remember few details about the talk, but the one thing I took away was a challenge he presented us with:
Eliminate the word “hate” from our vocabulary.
I took him up on it, and have stopped using that word, in both written & verbal communication (with a few slip-ups, of course).
Now I’m considering giving up on the word “perfect.” Or at least in the context of human beings. It seems appropriate, as none of us are, or ever will be, perfect, so long as we’re human. And even those who choose to use the word as a descriptor, it’s so incredibly subjective that it describes something different for each person who hears it.
I can’t build a perfect website. Picasso can’t paint a perfect picture. Beethoven can’t arrange a perfect symphony.
I wrote a poem in high school English class called “Flawless.” It was about a fictional girl, whom existed only in my young, ignorant mind. It also happened to be one of the most embarrassing pieces of work I’ve ever performed in front of a group (A flawed version of “Flawless”?).
But everyone has flaws. Every painting, every symphony, every work of art, website, poem, design, presentation. All of these things, just like people, can be good. And some of them, great. But none are perfect.
Dating Perfect Dave
Is it possible? Is it… well… perfect?
I’ve had a few people tell me I can be intimidating. I didn’t spend too much time analyzing why, but I assumed it was mostly due to my confidence (which I didn’t always have, by the way. Got picked on and bullied in elementary & middle school.)
Very recently, I’m concerned that someone else is intimidated by me. At least that’s what she told me. She also told me she feels really comfortable around me, and has proven that through her actions, and how she has opened up to me. So if someone’s really comfortable with you, can she be really intimidated by you, too?
When you feel intimidated around someone, you often don’t act like yourself. You’re afraid to be who you are, say what you feel, and do what you really want to do. You second guess yourself. You hide. You take the easier way out.
And that’s EXACTLY the OPPOSITE way I want to see anyone live their life. Every interaction I have with someone, I hope that they can be themselves, and I encourage them to do so. I want them to feel comfortable around me, not intimidated by me. But how can you be comfortable when you’re talking to perfection?
Let’s talk about my mistakes. Let’s talk about the things that I’m NOT good at. Believe me, there are plenty. For starters, I’m an awful singer, and I just posted a karaoke video to prove it. And I found a karaoke track because another thing I can’t do (and I tried) is play an instrument. Any instrument.
Anyone can be decent at anything. There are things that some of us will never be an EXPERT at. But we can all learn new things. And with the right level of interest, practice & focus, you can become good at it.
I think people don’t give themselves enough credit. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of confidence. A lack of positive reinforcement from their peers. Or maybe a more strict stance on humility (or fear of being labeled arrogant or pretentious).
I’m hypothesizing here, but I had a friend (one of those 2 women who coined me “Perfect Dave”) tell me what she thinks is going on. She explained it really well because she felt the same way about someone else who wanted to date her. And her explanation resonated with me.
People (and in my situation right now… women) think that because I’m a really nice guy, good at a lot of things, etc., that I have such high expectations that they won’t be able to meet. And heaven forbid something should ever happen where it doesn’t work out between us, they’ll feel guilty because “Perfect Dave” would never hurt a soul, so it must be something they did.
I really hope that’s not it because it couldn’t be farther from the truth. And I have no idea whether any woman I’ve tried to date has thought that, or whether it has anything to do with my current situation.
- Please stop calling me “Perfect Dave.”
- Please stop assuming I’m some exceptional human being that lives according to an unattainable set of standards.
- Please stop thinking that I hold others to unachievable expectations.
I never want to be perfect.
With all that being said, I shouldn’t even need to point this out, but it seems like a good way to wrap up. I never want to be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist in the real world that we live in. Maybe in movies, videos games & virtual reality, but not in this life.
And if I’ve gotten a small glimpse of what it’s like to be perfect, trust me, no one wants to be that. It’s lonely. The conversation is superfluous. The interactions are a façade. Everything happens on the surface. And you’ll never experience anything real.