Most of us aren’t perfectionists. However, some of us end up dating a perfectionist. Though you know no one’s perfect, they might not be on the same page.
I dated a perfectionist. Let me tell ya, that lasted maybe two months. For the people who are not perfectionists, like myself, and are dating a perfectionist, I applaud you. There’s some true love in that relationship of yours.
For myself, I went mentally insane because I didn’t want to understand him. He didn’t like this or that, and I was trying to pay attention to myself in ways I never thought I would. Making sure that my hair was perfectly styled, my clothes were without any wrinkles, and my makeup was on point. It was exhausting, especially since I’m someone who cuddles with my dog and can wear the same sweatpants for weeks. I wash them in between, okay.
Dating a perfectionist
The point is, when dating a perfectionist, it can be hard, if you’re not one yourself. Though, in some ways, it made me more aware of not only myself, but how I interact with people. So, did I learn something about myself from the experience? Absolutely.
Would I date a perfectionist again? Maybe a moderate perfectionist. A radical perfectionist is too much for me. If you’re dating a perfectionist, there may be some moments which will drive you insane, but if you learn how to handle and understand them, it could be a great relationship. It’s hard, but totally doable.
#1 Are you, yourself a perfectionist? Before you go off pointing the finger at your partner, see what type of person you are. Many of us have qualities which could be described as perfectionism. Now, maybe not to the extent of your partner, but there may be some things that you need to do perfectly. So, look at yourself and see where you fit along the spectrum.
#2 Talk to them. Listen, they probably know they’re perfectionists. I mean, if they are true perfectionists, they’ve been reminded of this throughout school and work. It’s not hard to spot this quality. So, just chat with them about it. See what makes them tick, and how it makes them feel when things aren’t going their way.
#3 Set up some boundaries. You both need to set up some boundaries for each other. You must accept some of their behavior, and they will have to accept yours as well. So, let them tell you some things that they can’t budge on.
Maybe they always need to be on time, so let them be on time. Or they need to get up two hours before you to get ready for the day, let them. But, you need to also express some things that you are not okay with.
#4 Make decisions. Now, if they’re important life decisions, then, of course, you’ll have to talk to your partner. But if it’s a decision about what movie to see or where to eat, don’t always let them take control. Remember, they’re perfectionists, so they’re going to want to plan everything to a T. However, you’re also in the relationship as well. Life doesn’t always go by the plan.
#5 But allow them to make suggestions. Now, I don’t want you to be a dictator in your relationship, that isn’t the goal. The goal is to get them to ease up on their controlling behavior. So, don’t ignore their thoughts and opinions, they should be able to voice them. Listen to their suggestions and have an open conversation about them.
#6 Limit the daily schedule. Perfectionists have everything planned out. Some have it written on their calendar or schedule book, but you want to slowly move away from that. Of course, structure is helpful and a positive thing but so is not having a plan. So, for example, try to make the weekend plan-less and show your partner that going with the flow is also enjoyable.
#7 Work together as a team. Perfectionists are used to doing things on their own and taking complete control over situations. But you need to change that. Instead, focus on working together as a team. Have them assign you tasks from a project and make sure you complete them without their assistance. They’ll try to take over and do it for you, but that’s not helping anyone in the long run.
#8 Positive reinforcement. If a perfectionist’s plan doesn’t go exactly how they wanted it to, it can be a disaster for them. But this is where you come in as a supportive partner. You need to provide them support and show them that just because their plan didn’t work out doesn’t mean it went bad. Show them the positive side of not needing everything to be perfect.
#9 Show your imperfections. For many of us who have dated perfectionists, we tend to do what they want. If they don’t like something, we change it. But that’s wrong. They need to see that imperfections exist. Don’t hide your imperfections or drastically change yourself to please them. They need to know who you are!
#10 Make sure you like them. I know, this sounds weird, but dating a perfectionist is a lot of work. You have to invest heavily in the relationship and them. So, make sure you actually like them. I’m not saying this because of them, I’m saying this because of you. There will be some tough moments, and if you truly have feelings for them, you’ll push through.
#11 Give them time to think about themselves. Most of the time, people rarely think about their own personality flaws. But, if you’ve pointed out their perfectionism, give them time to think about their behavior and why they behave like this.
There may have been past trauma which placed them in this mindset that they need to control everything. But they have to find this out on their own.
#12 If you’re a planner, that can be good. Yes, opposites attract, but if you’re also a planner, maybe not to their degree of planning, it can be good. It elevates some of the anxiety and the need to plan. Plus, if you’re a planner, you enjoy planning, so this won’t be a burden for you.
Now that you know some helpful tips for dating a perfectionist, I hope you use them. Everyone is different, but you can use those differences to not only learn about yourself but to make the relationship strong.