The “Perfect Guy” Isn’t Always Perfect For Everyone


What really makes a perfect guy? | Source: Shutterstock

What is “The Perfect Man” you ask? Well, it is a Hilary Duff movie, but for many of us, it’s more familiar as a term to describe who we consider our ideal date. According to a survey by, it turns out that at different ages in a woman’s life, her standards for “perfection” in a guy shifted quite a bit.

For the 18-24 year-old set, nearly half of the women said they were looking to get involved with a guy who their friends would like, and the survey participants also said they were more likely to date a guy who had similar pop culture interests.

Other common responses came up in the survey for the following age groups, including 25-34 (“ambition,” “sexual compatibility”), 35-44 (well-mannered, “older”) and 45-54 (“secure”). In case you were wondering, the 55 and over crowd of ladies gravitated toward funny guys and was also found to be the choosiest when it came to finding a new beau.

The article makes the important point that relationships often continue to grow just as we do, so it’s not like you’ll need to definitely plan on picking up a more desirable dude every 10 years. Every relationship is different, but it is fun to see some of the common traits that popped as “perfect” at different ages.

Now, the survey obviously focuses on larger chunks of a woman’s long life, but in my experience, I even noticed my priorities in guys changing almost yearly as I went from middle school to college. I’ve prepared this sampling for you:

Age 12 – Nobody: I just wasn’t super into crushing while in middle school, but I also was scared of crushing on the “wrong” guy. Seventh grade was my favorite year of school though, so just doing my own thing and not really worrying about boys was fine by me at this stage.

Age 13 – Jess from Gilmore Girls: He was angsty and liked books, just like me! I was so jealous of Rory’s bad-boy boyfriend. In my opinion, he was way better than Dean.

Age 14 – A Senior With A Varsity Jacket: I had a rough start of high school, but I felt if I could date a senior, that would give me the cred I needed among the rest of the school. The varsity letterman jacket was a very specific, but necessary, part of the attraction.

Age 15 – A Licensed Driver: Having your own car was super cool and kind of dangerous (you could just drive away and never come back!). It also meant I could avoid awkward date drop-offs from my mom. I was also way younger than my friends, so I could also always conveniently “need a ride home.”

Age 16 – The Athlete From The Other School: I wanted to date nearly every guy on the hockey team from the school across town. Not only was their team actually good, I remember them all being super good-looking. There must have been something in the water over there. Having an attractive, athletic boyfriend (like in all the teen movies) consumed my thoughts.

Age 17 – A College Student: Senior year, I was over high school. The guys in college were surely going to be cooler and more mature (you know, like me).

Age 18 – He Just Needs To Like Me: I spent most of high school being desperate for a cool guy to notice me and not a lot of time with guys actually dating me. Once I got to college, I stopped caring about who I thought would be “cool” to date, and just wanted a nice guy who liked me for me without all the over-the-top effort. Note: This actually worked out well for me.

What do you think of the survey results about what women want in a perfect guy? Do you think your idea of a perfect guy has changed over time? Tell us in the comments!

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