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The Secret to Finding Genuine Connection: The Shift from Mr. Perfect to Mr. Real in Mature Love

By Lisa Copeland April 27, 2024 Dating

At this stage in life, many women find themselves weighing the idea of searching for the “Perfect Man” who fulfills all their desires against the reality of finding a “Real Man” who isn’t perfect but has what’s important for creating a good, mature love relationship.

Let’s Start with the Idea of the “Perfect Man”

His image usually comes from the fairy tales we read as children. After my divorce, long before I was a dating coach for women over 50, my idea of a perfect man was Prince Charming. He’d come in and sweep me off my feet, pay for everything, and we would live happily ever after and never argue.

While this idea is funny now, we all have them. And the problem with Perfect Man visions like the one I shared is they can lead to impossible standards that get in the way of forming real connections with a good man.

Rom-coms have also done a masterful job painting a picture of perfect romance where the leading man embodies the ideal combination of looks, charm, and flawlessness. It’s important to realize that life doesn’t follow a perfect script, and it’s actually the flaws and imperfections that make relationships more real and a lot more interesting.

Let’s Move Now to Mr. Real

Mr. Real may have some baggage (let’s be honest here, we all do), and he may not have the looks of a movie star, but he has the depth, reliability, and genuine affection that can sustain a long-term relationship. He’s the man with whom life can be lived, not just dreamt about. And he’s the guy who steps up to make your life better.

So, a Question for You: Are You Looking for Companionship or Perfection?

The truth is perfection is both fleeting and subjective. What really sustains a relationship over the long term, especially later in life, is true companionship and compatibility. Mr. Real knows this, and he is more interested in building a genuine connection than in upholding an image.

So How Do You Identify These 2 Types in Real Life?

Let me give you some pointers you may find helpful.

Reassess Your Checklist

You want a man who shares your core values. He can have everything on a Qualities Check List and the relationship goes nowhere because you don’t live life on the same page.

Embrace Growth Together

As we age, we are still capable of growth and change. A commitment to evolve side by side often matters more than having a checklist filled with Mr. Perfect’s attributes.

Give a Good Man a Chance

Be open to getting to know someone who might not immediately seem to be your type. My clients tell me all the time they’d never have seen their guy in the past because they were so focused on their old type. Yet, by going out of their comfort zone, they ended up in the best relationship of their life.

It’s All About Your Willingness to Go for It

The dilemma with all of this lies in wrestling with your deep seated beliefs of the “Perfect Man” and a willingness to open yourself up to the possibility that “Real Men” can provide the substance and genuine intimacy that truly enrich relationships.

It’s also important to let go of fairytale narratives and understand that every individual comes with their own set of unique attributes and imperfections. The beauty of mature love is in embracing these differences and finding joy in the reality of who someone truly is.

And setting realistic expectations doesn’t mean settling for less; it means understanding and accepting that nobody is perfect. It involves recognizing that a strong relationship is built on mutual respect, affection, and the ability to face life’s challenges together – not on a checklist of ideal traits.

When you focus on the real, you allow yourself the joy of being pleasantly surprised by someone’s ability to love you in ways you hadn’t even thought to look for. Real men have real strengths, and often it’s these unscripted qualities that make for the strongest companions in the adventures you share together.

Try embracing the idea that perfect is not necessary, but real is essential. Switching the focus from finding Mr. Perfect to appreciating Mr. Real can lead to a more fulfilling and grounded relationship that stands the test of time. And keep in mind, that it’s never too late to find someone to share life’s next chapter with, filled with genuine moments, shared laughter, and a true partnership. It just takes looking at it in a different way than you had in the past. When you do, you could end up in the best relationship of your life!


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you been going after the same type of man all your life? Was that type similar to Prince Charming from the fairy tales? Have you met a Real Man that you were afraid to give a chance and now regret your insecurity? Or perhaps you have found the man who makes you smile and feel cherished?

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What a timely article, thank you! Finding real men, starts with discovering & knowing what you want from a relationship and what you can offer the relationship. Honesty is always best. Being cherished – exactly!


ok….agree… and where do we find those ‘real’ men?


I found mine years ago, on one of the oldest dating sites. He was a widower. Luckily he was able to see good things in me. We’ve been married now 16 years.


That is a good question!

Lisa Copeland

Real men are everywhere. What I found is most of the time we can’t see them because we are so focused on our old type. I suggest getting really clear on who you want and what values are most important to you. These are what need to match as you’re looking for the right man. The thing is most people look for chemistry and chemistry is not sustainable. It’s the values that will carry through a relationship. Makes sense?

The Author

Lisa Copeland is a leading internationally recognized Love Coach and Dating Expert for women over 50 inspiring and teaching them how to feel confident, empowered and joyful dating. You can get a free copy of her eBook “The 5 Little Known Secrets to Finding a Quality Man” at

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