“He seems…different. It’s like I’m remembering something else.”

“Yeah, chicks have a talent for that.”

“For what?”

“Making their man a ten.”

This was the conversation between me and my best guy friend as I told him about running into my ex. To be honest, at first I was offended. It wasn’t like I was pulling a Hillary on Bosnia and “misremembering” the relationship. As much as I often tried to ignore it, I could remember every event leading up to our split. From start to finish, I had replayed the whole thing in my head.

But my friend’s comments stung me because I think I knew there was a little bit (ok, maybe a pound or so) of truth in his words.

As a woman, we are guilty of doing it- making our man a 10. We’re not talking upgrade you, we’re talking glossing over the flaws of the men we love.

In a post last week for Psychology Today, Professor Aaron Ben-Zeév outlined his theory on our ability to idealize the people we fall in love with. He writes:

One reason for idealizing the beloved is that we tend to evaluate positively that which we desire. Our inclination toward something often leads to its positive evaluation. Idealization of the beloved may also be considered as a kind of defense mechanism, enabling us to justify our partly arbitrary choice.

It’s interesting to see how as women we can transform the men we love from who they are in actuality to these fantasy versions of what we want. As a woman who’s done it and heard my close girlfriends do the same, I have to admit, it’s hard to look back and found the point where it began. Regardless of when the habit started, odds are that the things that made us begin glossing over should have been the point where we started asking ourselves if we deserved something more.

What do you think Clutchettes, do we fall into the habit of making the men in our lives 10s?

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  • Rastaman

    I have seen this more often than I care to comment and I think the women who indulge in this oversell are probably trying to convince themselves as much as everyone else. See when you build people up beyond their actual achievement they will eventually disappoint you. Not because of anything they did but because the bloom eventually fades from a rose.

    Read recently that it takes a certain degree of delusion to maintain a love relatioonship. I blame the prevalent idea everyone seems to hold that they are so fabulous and so their mates have to be equally fabulous at a minimum. Majority of us, myself include are average at best. Once we begin to accept that then we won’t need to oversell to ourselves or anyone else.

  • Kinya00

    Aren’t we as women also guilty of complaining about the ones we are with and then after a break-up realizing that our complaints weren’t necessarily justified? That while, they may have been valid points at the time, we allowed these complaints to stand in the way of our potential happiness? Isn’t this why so many of us are bitterly single and fantasizing about the “one that got away?”

  • This isn’t a ‘woman’ issue..this is a human issue.

    I can’t tell you the guy friends and men who I’ve dated who idealize a present or former loves. The worst ones are the ones who idealize an ‘unavailable’ person. Talk about whacked out….

    Idealization can sometimes serve as a ‘defense’ mechanism that keeps people from participating in healthy love. I mean, if someone feels so ‘deeply’ for one that got away, no one present will EVER compare.

  • BrwnSuga

    Nicely said. My favorite: “Regardless of when the habit started, odds are that the things that made us begin glossing over should have been the point where we started asking ourselves if we deserved something more.” That’s real talk right there. I wonder, do men do the same thing?

    • I think men do the same thing as well. I have seen men refer to their women as “thick,” maybe not realizing that the woman in question is pushing 250 lbs, and probably hasn’t seen “thick” since 1985. I’ve known men who believed that their girlfriend’s shopping habits were cute and quirky, not caring that most people perceived her a golddigger after his money. I know a man who is with a woman who refuses to work because she believes a woman should be in the home. I see this as lazy and opportunistic (they don’t even have kids and have a housekeeper), but he sees it as tender and nurturing. My question is, unless you’re rationalizing away some sort of abuse, then what’s the harm? Who’s it hurting?

  • Why is this necessarily a bad thing? Is it wrong to believe your man has a bangin’ body when in reality he may have a bit of a gut? No, because even with the gut, he may still do it for you. Is it wrong to love your man’s goofy smile even though his teeth may be a little crooked? No, if you think a slight gap or overlay builds character. Is it wrong to think your man looks cute with a lopsided ‘fro, while everyone else thinks he just needs a haircut? No, because ultimately, you’re the one running your fingers through it. Is it wrong to believe your man is a struggling, but talented artist, when everybody else sees him as an out-of-work painter? Not necessarily.

    I don’t think it’s being “dishonest.” I know women who honestly believe their man is absolutely gorgeous, while I may think he has a strong resemblance to Flavor Flav. Defense mechanism? Maybe. But that’s just how life works. Not negative, not positive.