What makes a perfect man? Does such a man exist? Perfection is surely subjective – so what’s your idea of a perfect man?
These are the fundamental questions explored in a recent survey commissioned by Remington (the UK supplier of hair care and personal care appliances). Remington asked 2,000 women what they thought about the perfect man. The result: 75 per cent of women don’t believe in the concept at all. Intriguingly, media like The Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported that ‘most see their partner as only 69 per cent perfect’. I’ve always seen ‘perfect’ as an absolute term, like unique – so one is perfect or is not, but isn’t a bit perfect. Still, we understand the point – that most women see their men as largely, but not wholly, meeting their vision of perfection.
The usual faults were listed by the survey participants; here are the top 20, in order:
- Not getting on with her family
- Using her toothbrush
- Leaving her toilet dirty
- Hating her friends
- Not being good with children
- Being lazy
- Having a big bushy beard
- Leaving nail clippings out
- Driving like a boy racer
- Being grumpy
- Being a mummy’s boy
- Using the toilet with the door open
- Leaving dirty washing on the floor
- Unkempt facial hair
- Criticising her driving
- Noisy bodily functions
- Not liking dogs
- Not helping with washing up
- Watching too much sport
- Not helping with cooking
[Source: Daily Telegraph]
And the number one quality in a ‘perfect’ man? Having a ‘good personality’ (not defined) and a good sense of humour. Perhaps unsurprisingly, David Beckham was picked as the most perfect celebrity.
Personally, I think ‘ideal’ man is a better dream than ‘perfect’. As Goethe said, ‘Certain flaws are necessary for the whole.’ And what woman is ‘perfect’ herself? I believe there is a man who is ideal for a woman, who brings out the best in her and she in him, who empowers her to live out her dreams. But although, as you know, I love a happy ending and I’m a true romantic, I’m also a realist. No partner is without is flaws, and being with someone is about loving him despite the less desirable elements of his personality or behaviour. It may well be an exhausting, stifling, boring relationship were Mr Right, well, always right!
When I write, I create male protagonists who are desirable for women, but that doesn’t mean they are flawless (which surely is a synonym for perfect). In Burning Embers, I’m glad to say that Rafe exhibits none of the irritating behaviours listed in the survey’s top 20 (really, can you imagine a romance in which the hero has a Santa-esque beard and is tied to his mummy’s apron strings?), but he has weaknesses – for example, he’s a womaniser and he’s emotionally blocked. And that’s the point of the romance story – any romance story. A couple come together, like each other, then meet obstacles in the other that, together, they must overcome. There’s no perfect love, or perfect lover. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to love in any case.