Magic Man: Dating Your Imagination

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How much time do you typically need to determine if someone you’re getting to know has the potential to be something more? Not to solidify if you want a relationship with them; just to establish if you want to explore the possibility of one.  A few weeks?  One month maybe?  One thing that I’ve come to realize over 10+ years of tragicomic dating, is that it doesn’t take long to know if you want to friend-zone someone or date them.

it doesn’t take long to know if you want to friend-zone someone or date them.

You may not know with certainty but you do have some idea pretty early on of the direction you would like to explore.

If anything, it takes longer for us to share our epiphany with that person once we’ve reached it.  I could never understand (or respect) that; stringing someone along for personal gain after having already had this epiphany.  Most of us are no stranger to heartbreak and we know the pain that comes with being kept on standby.  So why put someone else through it?

Why continue sending heart and kiss emoji’s, knowing that you aren’t really interested?  Why not put an end to the flirting and pet names to enlighten them on where you see your relationship headed?

I waited 4 years for a certain someone to figure out disclose his intentions with me.  How it ended? I was left in complete shock and humiliation after he walked down the aisle and exchanged wedding vows with another woman. To say I was hurt would be an understatement.  Needless to say, I decided it would probably be best if I shortened that four year grace period a bit. It needed to be long enough to figure out if we have something worth exploring and short enough to pull out unharmed if not.

Why are we so resistant to lose something that we have already decided not to invest in?

I don’t know about you but I could fill pages with all of the theories and possible answers to this question.  But there is one possibility in particular has been stuck in my mind as of late – uncertainty.

Do you know the simple definition of uncertainty?  It means not being completely confident or sure; having some doubt about something.  Sometimes we keep people around simply because we doubt our decision to let them go.  We like them.  Heck,  we may be crazy about them.  But they don’t quite fit the image of the ideal man or woman that we’ve subconsciously committed to.

They aren’t as financially stable as we would like them to be.  They aren’t as chivalrous as we had hoped.  They don’t like to go out as much as us.  They go out too much.  They have an unpretty past.  They don’t dress sexy enough.  They dress too sexy.  They don’t workout as much as you.  They’ve been married before.  They post too much on Facebook.  They don’t post enough on Facebook.  The list goes on…

So we hesitate; keeping their position “tentative until further notice” while disregarding the cost of their emotional investment.  All because we’re holding out for something better.  How is it that we’ve become infatuated with not settling for anything less than a figment of our imagination?

There’s nothing wrong with having standards.  Or with being alone while you wait for someone who meets them.  But sometimes we become so fixated on waiting for this magic image to materialize that we talk ourselves out of offering any sort of commitment to anyone.  As a kid, I was infatuated with romance novels.  There was no doubt in my mind that soon after finishing the latest love story, one of my own would materialize before my very eyes.  With each read, images of chivalry and romanticism would invade my mind as my imagination worked to create the perfect man.  

He was confident but not full of himself.  A deep thinker who didn’t over-rationalize.  A tenacious leader who willingly submitted and surrendered to love – among a million other things.  At 15, I could spot this magic man with my eyes closed.  Now that I’m 30, I can’t spot this man with my eyes open.

But Omar Tyre and Danielle Steele didn’t prepare me for the possibility of my perfect man not existing.  So I dove into the dating pool with filtered binoculars; quickly dismissing any possibilities that didn’t meet my magic man criteria.

We have to start leaving room for individuality, differences and flaws.  

Our feet hit the pavement so hard when someone reveals their flaws that we end up missing all of the things which make them so unique and amazing!  Great things don’t always come ready made and compliant.  I’m convinced that if we weren’t looking for quick and perfect results, many of us would have already found happiness with someone by now.

Please don’t go digging through your old text and Facebook messages for potential suitors that you’ve overlooked.   Just consider not throwing in the towel with each other (and in life) so soon.  Our job changes our performance metrics and we’re ready to put in our 2 weeks.  Our best friend stops checking in on us for a few days and we start rejecting her calls.  Our cousin doesn’t come through for us and we disown them for the month.  Anything or anyone that falls short of our expectations is often at risk for getting written off.

A friend of mine inspired this article when saying these words to me:

I first dated my partner for the person that I wanted him to be and not the person that he actually was. This led me down many mistaken paths because I developed expectations from a man that was never  the person I made him out to be. I had to reevaluate the “Magic Man” that I made up in my head, and begin dating my partner for who he actually was. I like him more now!

What if we allowed ourselves to fall in love with a personality that wasn’t in our original plan?  What if we tried sticking around a little longer instead of letting our feet hit the pavement for the thousandth time?

How do you feel about abandoning your magic man or woman?

  Nosy Josie


About nosy josie (88 Articles)
Josie is an aspiring writer living in Chicago Illinois, inspiring self-love through her own tragicomic life journey. Follow Josie as she details her collection of dating fails, life lessons and heart-to-heart confessions with her nosy readers.

53 Comments on Magic Man: Dating Your Imagination

  1. cvaughan02 // April 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm // Reply

    nice! I really feel like this is a universal issue that we have with just not seeing things as they are, but instead how we wish them to be. I see people do it in every facet of life! When I talk about being “in the moment” this is exactly what i’m talking about. Things and people just are, and if we become content to let them be just that (and don’t superimpose our foredrawn conclusions, sweeping generalizations, and own insecurities on them) we create much more rewarding and genuine relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know why, but your comments also get filtered to a certain place where I receive NO alerts lol. I’m so sorry it took me so long to reply but I’m just now seeing your comment. You are spot on with your perspective and I couldn’t have said it better. Sometimes I feel we are working so hard to prove something to someone (or to ourselves) when dating, that it becomes more about “reaching the finish line” than about the “conditioning process.” Trying to prove to someone that they are wrong with their foredrawn conclusions and sweeping generalizations becomes a chore and after a while you’re just focused on that, rather than the person. Its sad


  2. Although I have not dated in quite some time, I do practice this benefit of the doubt giving. I have dated men who didn’t check nearly all of the boxes I thought I needed in a man, yet some of them blossomed into actual relationships. In doing this, I’ve learned to be more flexible, practical. And I can only hope future possible suitors will hold me in the same regard. Or maybe the next man will be “the one” and I won’t have to date anymore! Yay!

    Great post. Super relatable.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. After being single for over a year I got back into dating on complete accident. I was so focused on myself and creating a new normal for my family that I found myself saying yes to dinners and never thought it was a date. Lol. Taking time for myself definitely made my choices much different. Before taking time to myself I could easily see myself not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt bc I had a ‘strict list’! After tearing up that list and letting my guard down I can honestly say I’m in the best relationship of my life. Whether he’s the one or just another lesson I can truly appreciate him and our time now. He’s seriously the complete opposite of anything/anyone I’ve ever thought I wanted but I would have never known that if I had if stuck to my list. In conclusion I agree with you, if we weren’t so fixated on perfection we would have already found happiness.
    Life is too short to be unhappy so take chances and RELAX! Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that is a powerful testimony! I think sometimes we are both stubborn and scared of trying something or someone outside of our comfort zone. Which is crazy because most timeals, what’s in our comfort zone doesn’t even work out lol. I would love for me to start dating on accident, honestly but I don’t even know how that’s possible when I don’t put myself out there enough. How did that work for you? Did you still go out, mingle, socialize with people a lot? Because no one is in the position to offer a dinner date when I’m always at home or doing things alone, it feels like lol.


      • Lol. Yea you can’t be sitting at home 24/7 and on social media and want to date. No I didn’t go out and mingle or socialize a lot, I did quite the opposite! My divorce made me quite a seclusive individual. I’m a firm believer in diving appointments and colliding with your destiny. So I never thought about dating but rather focused on being the person I would want my kids to bring home. Opportunities arose out of nowhere and my last first date came from me jokingly inviting myself to someone else’s solo date. Lol. We still laugh bc I ddnt think I was on a date!! Don’t worry about mingling what is meant for you will definitely find its way to you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you! I love that your relationship wasn’t forced and that it happened when you were working on YOU. It gives me a sense of relief since I’m on the same path lol. I wish you the best in your relationship and THANK YOU for reading AND sharing your experience!


  4. Sheeeesh! This is a great post! I think you are so right here on so many things:
    1. I wouldn’t want to hang around too long without having a real sense of where this is going, but then again when in love it is hard to put a time limit…but I totally feel you on this.
    2. I have learned from past relationships that they can look good, smell good, be a perfect gentleman and fit all the “dream” boxes and turn out to be a super liar and untrustworthy so digging deep helps.
    3. Being comfortable with self and knowing what you want is key but being too rigid may just keep away that one person you would love to get to know and build with..internal work is necessary.
    4. There is no set time and no set way to build a relationship with another person, like you said above you basically got to feel it out and you know whether or not you want to hang on…I think waiting for the next “best catch” while already in a relationship sucks and either be in a relationship or not…why hurt others and string them along..not cool.

    I may have gotten a bit random here but I really enjoyed this post and LOL at the don’t go looking to old phone numbers and Facebook messages for anyone you may have overlooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooo I love this feedback. With #2- it’s crazy because I used to think that time would make people reveal their true selves but if your time with them is surface level or inconsistent, who they are still remains a mystery. Digging deep is so important but I think people have to really explore what it means to do that. #3 is the HARDEST but the most necessary lmao. We get so stuck in our ways, especially the older that we get. But goodness we gotta learn how to let go on some things and be more receptive to others. We are so cut and dry these days. No bueno. I’m so glad you enjoyed and I always appreciate your feedback sis. And YES I had to put the FB and text comment I there because I could see already foresee a few fingers twitching to search from the other side – you know we’ve all been there!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. LOL. Yep, I loved the line “Please don’t go digging through your old text and Facebook messages for potential suitors that you’ve overlooked.” I think as someone whose been married and divorced that when I date someone, I rule out the potential in the first 3 dates. I don’t want them to string me along and vice versa. I learned a lot about myself at the end of my marriage and realized that I needed to stop inventing the man I wanted him to be. Realistically, I didn’t like the man he was. It was my fault that I married him. However, when I date I look at the person with my real glasses and not the rose colored glasses to determine if there is compatibility. That makes it easier to see if you can accept the person as they are and build from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! You know you have to give a a disclaimer when you get people in their emotions. Over what period of time would you typically go on 3 dates? Investing in someone’s potential is the biggest trap of dating, isn’t it?! You expend so much energy and time into something that you actually have so little control over. I’ve been guilty of this so many times and never has it paid off. And I’m a nurturer so I always want to help someone with something. I think once you get older, it becomes easier to see which people are compatible with you. It also helps if people are transparent when getting to know you – all of the games they play just prolong the inevitable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Within a couple of months. I tend not to date on the weeks I have my son so that allows me to determine your level of interest through phone calls, emails and/or text. Yep, I always say that I don’t think we’re compatible and I’m going to exit at this point and wish then luck on their journey. It’s not to hurt their feelings, but why make him feel like I’m taking advantage when I know he’s not that interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been placed in this same situation, holding on to something for too long even though in the back of my mind I knew he wasn’t right, only for him to settle with someone else. I wish I could explain why i held on so long, but you hit it right on the head! Uncertain, I didn’t want to miss out on the possibilities of what could be smh. Live and you learn. Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • o0o yes we do (live and learn) – all of these life lessons repeated generation after generation. The fear of missing out is so scary…you know that relationships take hard work but you never know how much work is a healthy amount. Well…unless you’ve learned that lesson already too lol. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience. <3

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “Bye-bye magic woman” lol I swear, she really looked good though, too bad our imagination really kicks our magic persons’ characteristics into 5th gear hehe. The thing about expectations from what I’ve realized is they make you unhappy. From saying something a certain way or not doing something the way I picture them doing it in my head (its a bit messed up). The worst loop I ever got stuck in is choosing the worst girlfriends due to my sub-conscious mind trying to find the good in them all (A result of my first heart-break). I guess I was so stuck in the past that I kept looking for someone similar to outdo the mistake my ex had made (foolish old me). I feel like I connected with this post; I don’t usually share my personal stuff lol but I feel like you deserve knowing, you’re one of my good friends on WordPress Jo….take care :P (No editing, if you see typos well, its cause I just attacked the keyboard to say all I needed to say without forgetting)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You better ATTACK that keyboard Dante lol! I love that you keep it open and real with me (and the other nosy readers on here lol). We need that to grow. Blogging has changed me in so many ways because people share things that I need. And what do you mean you don’t share your personal stuff?! You must have forgotten that I read your poems :). Its interesting how your explanation about your dating past compares 2 complete approaches: having expectations vs. letting go of expectations. It’s like “damn if you do, damn if you don’t” right? lol. I’m so glad that you connected with this post – it came from my heart. And I view you as a good friend as well <3 Thanks for sharing your experience

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post Josie! For some reason we all are geared to believe there is a perfect person out there just waiting for us. We all have to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect person. Oh and expectations are the worse. They ruin everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chris Blackmon // April 13, 2016 at 10:15 am // Reply

    There is a typo

    Great things don’t always come ready made and complaint (instead of complete)

    Otherwise i so love this article. Speak on soooo many great points that i myself try to get people to see
    When they come to me for dating advice. We must leave room for individuality and growth, if we’re choosing monogamy. Choosing a partner is an investment in your future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Chris! No typo, I meant compliant :) as in “inclined to agree with others or obey rules.” I’m so glad this backs up what you advise others on because it reassures me that my perspective isn’t crazy lol. From the people you’ve talked to, how often does it seem as if they are struggling with accepting the person they are dating?


  10. Great read I know I need to reevaluate some things

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I hear you and for the most part I agree. However, I’m at this place in life where I’m no longer “consistently” giving the benefit of the doubt. Why go against what I feel to be true just because I may be wrong? If I pick up a jerk vibe from you on day 1 you will be a jerk until you’ve proven not to be a herk. I won’t treat you like a jerk on day 1 but in my mind I will trust my gut feeling…if that makes sense. Lol. But you don’t push someone out your life for such minute mistakes. :-) I enjoyed reading this chica.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post. Thanks for the insight

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve definitely been an idealist and wanting to find that magic woman so I can relate. I’ve never considered different personality types though because I felt like I knew what I needed. This makes me think otherwise now. Great piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the love! There are so many people out here, you know? I can only imagine how many of them would have been the one to wake me up with smiles and laughter to start my day right. To hold my hand at a scary doctors visit when I need a friend. All while I was looking past them and toward the people who would put work first (because having financial stability was impt. to me). We always think we know best. What personality type have you never considered but might be willing to try now?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anytime! I think I’d consider someone always on the go, I’m more reserved and laid back so I usually aim for quiet intellects. Sometimes it has worked, but more often I’ve struck out. I tend to veer from the more needy types, when in reality I wanted to be needed. I want to be the man a woman wants to spend time with, instead of ALWAYS doing her own thing. Even if that means being taken out of my comfort zone and having new adventures.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I love that you know what you want now and that you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone to get it! Dating your opposite is always an adventure. Less predictable and offers a better balance 😊. It may be good for you to find someone that although outgoing and needy, also enjoys being indoors and “in the calm.” That way she can appreciate your need to be in the quiet at times, while still challenging you to be active.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. this is just perfect – putting it on my desk – “We have to start leaving room for individuality, differences and flaws. Our feet hit the pavement so hard when someone reveals their flaws, that we end up missing all of the things that make them so unique and amazing! Great things don’t always come ready made and compliant.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Great things don’t always come ready made and compliant.” Love! I need to remind myself of this and also remind myself that I ain’t a Magic Woman either. I am a human with flaws, scars, mistakes and shortcomings too. I really believe those fairy tales really did a number on us as children and now we are trying to fulfill child-like dreams with adults.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you didn’t just speak the truth lol! Not only the fairy tales but those love movies too smh. We spend the early years of our life recreating what humanity and love should look like. Just to spend the later years searching for the very same love and humanity we worked so hard to forget.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. tunisiajolyn84 // November 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm // Reply

    It’s so funny… I re-read this today and it was so needed. Thanks again for this! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reblogged this on mind JO business and commented:

    It’s the one year anniversary of one of my favorite articles! <3


  18. The words of your friend echo my thoughts a lot nowadays. I think we all have an image of this Magic Man in our heads. And lately I’ve been thinking more and more that not having everything you want in a man isn’t necessarily settling. I found my Magic Man… it took us 12 years say it out loud but it was possibly too late. I don’t know what really happened there. But we’ve parted ways and I’ve moved on.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow! That was the story of my life, except the stringing someone on for four years part. I know have made up a magic woman in my mind. I can have a beautiful, young lady that cares for and respects me and does everything she can do to be my woman. Buuuuuutttttttttt….. She will be missing some parts and need much work, or at least needs work in my mind. And I will let her go. I have been trying to become better at it but a lot of the women I have been meeting have been so far off that I can’t just settle. Crazy thing is. The other day I met a woman that her and me both had an incredible magnetism towards each other. I mean we met and were talking and staring at each other for three hours. But it didn’t go anywhere because she is in a relationship. She actually fit my magic woman description. But I’m sitting here burnt thinking about it.


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