How To Date As A Perfectionist—Or Deal With Dating One

Whether you’re the person in the relationship who identifies as a perfectionist, or your boyfriend is the one striving for perfection, it’s a trait that will bleed into your relationship.

It can be difficult to navigate dating someone who has crazy high standards, and many self-proclaimed perfectionists have said they feel they have a harder time dating, but it’s not impossible. As with many things in life, you just need to be prepared and know what you’re getting yourself into.

Being Flexible Can Be Difficult

couple looking at checklist sitting on top of moving box
Photo Credit: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto
Photo Credit: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto

For someone who is a perfectionist, they like to have a plan. They’ve thought through their decisions already, they’ve made choices about their day, and they expect things to turn out a certain way. Because of this, flexibility is not always going to be their strength.

Compromising Isn’t Easy Either

couple in casual clothing standing talking in kitchen with coffee
Photo Credit: Pexels / Jack Sparrow
Photo Credit: Pexels / Jack Sparrow

Going hand in hand with flexibility, the ability to compromise probably isn’t going to be something they come by naturally. That doesn’t mean that they can’t compromise when they want to make something work; it just means it can take some extra effort.

They Love To Know What The Plan Is

colorful planner open to january page with tabs sticking out and pens
Photo Credit: Pexels / bich tran
Photo Credit: Pexels / bich tran

What time are you going to be picking them up tonight? Where are you taking them? A perfectionist wants to know what the plan is so they can prepare for it.

Perfectionism And Realism Don’t Always Go Hand In Hand

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Gustavo Fring
Photo Credit: Pexels / Gustavo Fring

In other words, their idea of what a perfect person or relationship is might be completely unattainable or unrealistic. That’s a conclusion they have to come to on their own, though—it’s not something you can just tell them and have them accept.

They’re A People Pleaser At Their Core

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Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

They want to help their friends and family however they can, but they’re going to over-extend themselves, and then at some point, it will catch up with them or blow up. Part of being a perfectionist is wanting to please the people around you to a tee.

Conflict Can Feel Like Failure

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto
Photo Credit: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto

In a perfect world, no one would ever fight with each other and we’d all just be happy 24/7. This kind of thinking can bleed into your relationship if you’re dating a perfectionist or if you are them. Conflict can seem like a failure because it usually happens when something is going wrong. You have to remember (or show them) that it can be productive too.

You Can Expect To Receive Great Gifts

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Photo Credit: Pexels / any lane
Photo Credit: Pexels / any lane

Your perfectionist partner is going to go to a lot of effort to make sure that they get the right gift for you. They want something that you’re going to love, something that represents who you are or what you mean to them.

They’ll Also Probably Cover The Gift-Giving For Others

woman in black overalls handing gift to camera
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Kira Auf Der Heide
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Kira Auf Der Heide

If you’re someone who does not consider “gift-giving” to be a strength, you get the added bonus of now having someone who can help you. She can be responsible for buying the gifts for your teenage sister, and you can just sign your name on the card.

Words Of Affirmation Are Very Much Appreciated

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Photo Credit: Unsplash / Christiana Rivers
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Christiana Rivers

People who identify as perfectionists are also probably people who would say they’re very critical of themselves. Hearing compliments from you or positive comments is always going to be appreciated, even if they don’t ask for it.

They’ll Fully Commit To Whatever They Do

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Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

If they’re going to put in the effort to do something, it’s never going to be a half-effort. They’re fully committed to making something work and getting their desired outcome—and that includes your relationship.

They Can Come Across As Critical

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Photo Credit: Unsplash / Alev Takil
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Alev Takil

Just as they are their own biggest critic, being in a relationship with a perfectionist is opening yourself up to feeling criticized sometimes. They have super high standards for themselves and the people they spend their time with. If there’s something you’re doing that they don’t like or are unhappy about, you’re going to know.

They Are Their Own Worst Enemy, Though

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Martin Pechy
Photo Credit: Pexels / Martin Pechy

Try to remember that even if they’re coming across as critical or judgmental, they’re definitely aware of it, and they’re harder on themselves than you could ever be.

They Might Be Big Into Their Social Media

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Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

Curating the perfect Instagram feed might not be something that you care about, but the same might not be said for your partner. Why wouldn’t they want to share the perfect aspects of their perfect life on social media?

Giving Up Control Is Not Easy

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Photo Credit: Unsplash / Emma Frances Logan
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Emma Frances Logan

If you’re a person who likes to always be in the driver’s seat (literally or metaphorically), you’re in for a change. They have a personality that wants them to be in control, so sometimes you’ll have to step back and give up the reins.

They’re Going To Be Defensive About Their More Neurotic Tendencies

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Anete Lusina
Photo Credit: Pexels / Anete Lusina

Nobody likes to have their flaws pointed out to them, but this can be especially true for someone who is a perfectionist. Their whole being is centered around the high standards that they set for themselves and for others, so you pointing out their neurotic tendencies or annoying behaviors is not going to help.

But Don’t Be Afraid To Push Back A Bit!

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Artem Beliaikin
Photo Credit: Pexels / Artem Beliaikin

While you want your partner to be happy and be in control of their own life, it’s also okay to push back a little bit. If you’re the non-perfectionist in your relationship, challenge your partner by forcing them to let you be in charge sometimes.

You Might Think They’re A Workaholic

overhead shot of woman seated at table with laptop, notebooks, iPad and cup of coffee spread out
Photo Credit: Pexels / Anthony Shkraba
Photo Credit: Pexels / Anthony Shkraba

Not only is it possible that they’ll seem like a workaholic, but they actually might be one. Their job is important to them, and if they have certain career goals, they’re going to do what it takes to achieve them.

First Impressions Are Their Forte

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Wialliam Fortunato
Photo Credit: Pexels / Wialliam Fortunato

Whether you’re bringing them along as a date to the company Christmas party and they’ll have to impress your bosses, or you’re taking them to meet your parents for the first time, they’ll be okay. They know how to make great first impressions.

On-Time Is Probably Late

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Marius Mann
Photo Credit: Pexels / Marius Mann

Someone who is chronically late is probably not going to be able to successfully date someone who is a perfectionist. If you say you’re meeting at 7 p.m., that means you’re meeting at 7, and they’ll probably be there 10 minutes beforehand.

It Can Be Hard To Graduate From The Honeymoon Phase

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Vera Arsic
Photo Credit: Pexels / Vera Arsic

The honeymoon phase of your relationship where you’ve got your rose-colored glasses on and nothing ever fazes you is a fun place to be, but it doesn’t last forever. A perfectionist will want to cling to that stage because it’s blissful and perfect, but it can be limiting the growth of your relationship.