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I’ve never really been the girl who took dating too seriously. I’m only 25 and prior to now, my main priority was having fun—and of course studying. There were only a few guys (two or three) I actually developed feelings for. While dating, I truly believed that I had genuine feelings for them. And maybe I did somewhere in the mix of things, but for the most part, I realized that I was just attracted to the idea of them.

Whether the boy who spoiled me crazy with gifts, the “bad boy” on the other side of town, or the one with a promising future, they were all cool and each possessed some great qualities. But when those relationships came to a halt, so did my feelings. I was able to let them go and not look back. I remember wondering, “Aren’t I supposed to be depressed and watching Pretty Woman over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s?” While I was happy that I wasn’t severely saddened, I knew that there was a reason for my nonchalant attitude and perhaps I wasn’t wrapped up in them the way I thought I was (not for the right reasons, anyway).

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When the most recent of these charades ended, my sister asked me, “So what is it that you liked about him?” I paused and tried to reach for something worth saying like, his strong sense of morals, or his ability to always make me laugh when I’m down, or his daring and fearless nature. But the only thing I liked was his towering height that hovered over me (even when I wore heels), his handsome features and the fact that he had a PhD—nothing sufficient enough to make a relationship work though.

He and I knew each other prior to dating, and we went back and forth for about two years—on again, off again. I’d obviously developed some feelings, but more so out of attachment and not really out of legit connection. I wanted to make us work because the image was cute: two youngsters who knew each other prior to the magic, both driven and educated and equally beautiful. But that was about it. Once you scratched past that very sheer surface, there was nothing we shared in common.

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I feel like as women, this is a lot of our stories. As early as we start developing crushes, we also start creating “Mr. Right” with our imaginations. With time and maturity, he evolves from someone like Barbie’s boo Ken, to the cutie in the boy band (For me this was J-Boog from B2K. #DontJudgeMe!), to the “bad boy” who lived on the “other” side of town, to the tall, handsome, established gentleman who can take care of you (I imagine an Idris Elba type character).

We, not all of us but the ones who are anything like me, can set ourselves up for disappointment because instead of looking for a sincere connection with someone, we first try to find someone who meets our preconceived (often unrealistic) idea. Some ideas or criteria are worth maintaining: financially responsible, well-mannered, etc. But some of them are just a bunch of bull that will keep our options very limited.

Through experience I’ve learned that no matter how cute or “established” a person is, it means absolutely nothing if there’s no sincere connection or if the two of us can’t seem to agree on very critical issues. I think it’s something that I always knew in the depths of my brain, but while young and still maturing, I kind of ignored it. Currently, I’m content with my single life. But when I do get ready to start seriously dating again, I’ll ditch my perfectly painted picture and look more into their individuality.

Let’s keep in touch! Follow me on Twitter: @VerityReign.

Do you find yourself chasing ideas rather than individuals? Know anyone who does? Share with me!

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