My dad always says that the first thing he thought to himself after one night out with my mom was "never get involved with this woman."
She was loud, wild and totally unfiltered. She wasn't exactly the type of woman who comes to mind when you think of "marriage material."
And it's not like my mom was dying to live happily ever after with him either. He was a player who loved to party, and he was her little brother's friend — also not exactly the type of man who comes to mind when you think "marriage material."
But they ended up falling in love anyway. And they have a pretty great love story, if you ask me.
If I'm being honest, I don't think anyone ends up with someone who checks off every single one of their boxes. And I think that's the coolest part of falling in love.
I mean, how boring (and creepy) would life be if you made a checklist in your diary and *poof*, Mr. Perfect just materialized outside of your front door?
The things you love about your partner — that you never anticipated yourself loving — are what make your particular love story so unique and special. Here's why.
Life never goes quite how you planned.
At 7 years old, I wanted to be a pop star and hopefully date Ricky Martin by the time I was 23.
Unfortunately for me, I'm tone deaf, and Ricky Martin is gay, so that dream didn't really end up panning out.
As a teenager in high school, I wanted to be a social worker, living in San Francisco and dating a like-minded guy I met in college (who was preferably a carbon copy of Seth Cohen).
But then, college happened, and I realized there were no Seth Cohen carbon copies and being a social worker seemed really, really sad.
So I decided to apply for an internship in New York on a whim, and now, a few years later, here I am at Elite Daily. I'm across the country from my family and my college, working as a Sex and Dating writer and dating someone who doesn't resemble Seth Cohen (or Ricky Martin) in the slightest.
You get what I'm trying to say here.
No matter how hard you try to, you just can't strictly plan out your life. Similarly, you could spend hours, days, months or even YEARS mapping out the perfect list for the perfect guy and instantly fall for someone who contradicts everything on that list.
In fact, I'd bet serious money you'll meet and fall for that different guy before you even find this mythical person who checks every box on your list.
I don't care if you're dating someone with Channing Tatum's looks, Mother Teresa's heart, Kevin Hart's humor, Barack Obama's eloquence and Donald Trump's bank account. NOBODY is perfect — not even your dreamy boyfriend.
If you are currently under the impression that he is, in fact, perfect, this is me warning you that there will come a day when you realize he isn't actually flawless.
There will be a box (or maybe even two or three or four boxes!) he doesn't check. And that is perfectly OK.
Actually, I think that's the best part of it all because you know what? You're not perfect either. And whether he admits it or not, I have a feeling your boyfriend had a list of his own. And I'm going to guess you might not have checked off every single box either.
I like to think that the ways in which he doesn't meet your criteria are the ways in which your love is special and unique.
Those qualities are what make him him, as opposed to a human manifestation of a checklist in your diary you created when you were desperately single and angsty.
Falling for something different isn't the same as settling.
I need to be clear here: The line that separates falling for someone who doesn't check all your boxes from settling is a blurry one. But there is a difference between the two, and I'm here to break it down for you.
The difference lies in a gut feeling.
Falling for someone who's different from whom you expected to fall for feels exciting and good. You're willing to overlook the fact that maybe he doesn't make as much money as you would have liked him to, or that he has blue eyes instead of hazel because of the overwhelmingly wonderful feeling you have every time you're with him.
Even though you could write down a million things wrong with him on a piece of paper, something about how you feel when you're with him just feels right. That's love, and that's OK.
Settling is a different sort of gut feeling, though. Instead, settling happens when you don't love someone, despite the fact that they check all your boxes.
Or maybe he doesn't check a particularly important box, and something deep down inside you feels uncomfortable about it, no matter how hard you try to look past it. The point is, something in your gut is telling you it's wrong.
So when all else fails, if you're worried about whether or not it's OK to date the guy you're with right now, tune everyone else out. It doesn't matter what your best friend and your mom has to say about it. It matters what you have to say about it.
When the two of you are alone in bed, how do you feel? That's all that matters at the end of the day.