I have been dating for years, but I constantly feel like I am coming up short. I am a hopeless romantic and want it all; the white picket fence, 2 1/2 kids, a dog and a cat, etc. but I haven't met a man that even comes close to what I have always imagined my future husband to be. I don't want to end up alone, but I also don't want to settle for less than what I had always hoped and dreamed for my life. Please help! --I'm Not Settling Nadine
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Dear I'm Not Settling Nadine--
Ahhh, the white picket fence and 2 1/2 kids -- well, while that sounds ideal to you now, unfortunately that picture perfect world only exists in fairy tales. I am all for dreaming big about your future, aiming for the stars and not lowering your standards, but what you need to find is what is ideal for you, not what movies and television shows portray as "happily ever after."
Are you open to being set up? Have you asked any friends or coworkers to fix you up with someone that fits your criteria? There are a plethora of dating websites out there that are made specifically for people to find their perfect match, so that might be a good place to start. When you date these men, are you giving yourself enough time to really get to know them, or are you possibly being too hasty and writing them off too soon? Remember that it takes some time for people's true colors to shine.
Dating is really a great time to get to know a lot about yourself, so try to let your guard down, little by little, and see if the white picket fence is really what you want after all. There might be a very good reason why you feel like you are constantly coming up short -- perhaps it's because no one is perfect, but Nadine, there is someone out there who is perfect for you, you just need to be open to looking outside your comfort zone. As the great E. Jean states, meeting a good guy is like a numbers game if you surround yourself with like-minded men. Don't give up, you will find your price charming soon enough. Good luck.