Are you constantly disappointed by men’s shortcomings? Endlessly frustrated in your efforts to snare the ‘perfect’ man? Does the tick-list in your head forever fail to bring up the ideal candidate? Well, it's probably your own fault. Get real princess and drop your unrealistic expectations, says Joanna Trollope.
The 66 year-old, twice-married, twice-divorced novelist says today’s generation of husband-hunters have ‘absurd’ expectations when it comes to men’s abilities.
“People have to throw away this absurd Vera Wang shopping list which says of a man that he has to earn £100,000 a year, that he has to be able to cut down a tree, play the Spanish guitar, make love all night and cook me a cheese soufflé,” says Trollope.
What? Accept men for the less-than-perfect specimens they are? But haven’t we been told for decades to be more assertive, to ask for what we want from our men, to be more…well, demanding of them? Haven’t we been encouraged to hold out for the ideal partner? That’s a pointless waste of time, according to Trollope.
“Do not go into a relationship trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” she says. “You can change yourself and you can change the situation but absolutely cannot change other people. Only they can do that.”
Does she (we ask through gritted teeth) have a point? After all, would we be pleased if they demanded as much from us?
“Be less adamant, more compromising, less whiney and princessy about it,” she says. That’s us told then.
So would we all be happier if we simply lowered our standards? Should we chuck out the shopping list and settle for a man with the usual shortcomings? After all, you could always get your dad to come and chop down the tree...
By Jane Mulkerrins