Within the last few years of being single and attempting to date, I have heard many people claim that I- a virgo- am a perfectionist. And when I first heard this concept being thrown at me, I was quick to become defensive against it. But, sadly, it’s true…
Webster’s definition of a perfectionist states “a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable”. If I am being realistic with myself, I definitely fall under this category. Let me explain how bad I am. Back in 2009, I was involved in a fender bender that resulted in my having a pinched nerve in the right side of my neck. Because of this, sometimes my right arm is weak and I cannot complete simple tasks like washing dishes or cleaning or folding clothes. So, sometimes I have to pay someone to clean my house for me. This is the problem- if I am in the house while they are cleaning, and I visibly see them cleaning in a fashion or manner that I would NOT clean in, after I have paid them and they have left, I will clean up after them. I cannot help it. This also defeats the purpose of them coming in to clean in the first place. I know. It’s a psychological thing that I cannot help. If someone is helping me fold clothes, I re-fold what they have already folded. You can’t wipe anything down in front of me because I will go after you. You cannot help me make the bed, because your corners aren’t folded and crisp like mine are. If I see it, I have to correct. Once I realized this was an issue for me, I would purposefully leave when someone comes in to clean for me. This way if I don’t see it, I won’t go behind you to fix it. I am an all or nothing type of person because of it. BUT, it creates problems with people. They take great offense to this. My significant others included.
Because I am a perfectionist, I have extremely high standards for myself and the people I associate with. Which, to me, is a good thing. I see the potential in someone and I work to help push them to this potential. Buuuuuuuuuut, not everyone see’s it this way. Apparently, I come off nagging, pushy, judgmental, and annoying. excuse the heck out of me for wanting you to be a better version of yourself (I really need to figure this emoji thing out). If I know that I can do something, I will work at it over and over (failure and mistake after failure and mistake) until I get it right. But in my mind, it’s not a failure. A failure can be described as an inability to perform or a lack of something. Just because I didn’t get it right doesn’t mean I failed. It just means that somewhere along the way I missed a step, I miscalculated, or I overlooked something. I guess that’s the perfectionist mindset in me. It won’t allow me to give up until I get it. Then, once I’ve gotten it, I know that I can do it, so I have to keep at it and get more. And I expect the same in the person that I am dating; this is where the problem is created. Lol! Obviously, not everyone thinks, processes, and reacts to things that way that I do. It’s funny- as I was doing the research on perfectionists and their characteristics, one article stated that perfectionists will either do it or they won’t. There will not be in “in-between” stage. I laughed, because that is EXACTLY me. Once I have set my mind on doing something, I cannot let go until it’s accomplished. This neurotic obsession can get really annoying sometimes.
Because I am a perfectionist, it is hard for me to walk away from a relationship that I have invested in. This I can admit to, wholeheartedly. One of the reasons it took me such a long time to detach myself away from my ex husband-fiance-boyfriend-baby daddy (lol!!) is because we had such an invested amount of time together. Good and bad, we both had given over half of ourselves into the relationship, AND we had children together. In my mind, that meant that we HAD TO make it work. There was no option. I really don’t know how my perfectionist mind was able to shift out of that mind frame, but once it shifted I was out. And I doubt my brain would allow me to shift back into the opposite direction. I hear all the time, “you and your ex are going to get back together”. In my brain, I’m like, yeah-ok! Lol. I gave it my all, and now I have nothing more to give. All or nothing, that’s me. It’s also one of the reasons why I love so hard. If you can make it past my multiple walls of defense and get to the softer side of me, you are STUCK! I said that to the cop and he laughed at me. He must not know how serious I was. Lol! Once I make the decision that you are worth loving, I hold on to that. And it will take a while for me to be able to reverse that thinking. I have no clue why I function this way, I just do.
Being a perfectionist is not a bad thing. We have many imperfections within ourselves that we are constantly trying to fix. Either I look well put together all the time or I always look a mess. Either my house is always clean or I let my kids trash it. Either I put 100% effort into the project I’m working on, or I let it fall to crap (emoji insert!). But they all are with great intentions. Huge hearts, and warm smiles. It helps to make me a great cook, and I love to have random dinner parties and cook for everyone to come over and eat. It helps me to be a really attentive mother, paying attention to the smallest details within my children (especially when they are getting sick) and allowing me to care for them accordingly. It enables me to really get to know the person I am dating (likes, dislikes, wants, needs, how to calm them down when they are angry, how to piss them off) and helps make the relationships better. I am an imperfect perfectionist. Lol. Oh, the irony!