TODAY   |  March 04, 2013

Forget ‘Prince Charming’ and find Mr. Right-For-You

Are you still waiting for your Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet? Dr. Michelle Callahan of Women’s Health explains how you can wake up from the fairy-tale fantasy to find real love.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's" relationships, why mr. right is not necessarily real. psychologist michelle callahan is "today's" contributor and says stop watching for mr. right. good morning, michelle .

>> good morning.

>> we watch these chick flicks and think there's got to be a prince charming out there for you. but you say not so much. we have to stop internalizing these fairy tale romances and find the true person for you, right?

>> we have to be a little more realistic. these movies are great. they're entertaining. people take them too far and they actually expect to go meet someone who looks and acts like these characters and forget that these movies or books are just showing off the most romantic part. they're not showing the other side that normal couples have problems and no one really gets partnered up with someone who is perfect.

>> you're saying we have to open our minds, consider different people out there for us potentially.

>> more than one person may be great for you. if you're not giving yourself a chance to date people from different backgrounds, if you're thinking my guy has to go to this school, have this background, you'll never find them.

>> we all have that friend who has that list and she checks it off and says that's a deal breaker. you say don't take those lists too far?

>> they're too long and they're not prioritized. if you have a list, you need to dwooit divide it into two. here are the things you need. here are the things you want, right?

>> right.

>> the wants could be the looks and something like that. but the needs could be something important, like if you're divorced and have children, you need someone who likes kids, who likes pets. you want someone who is 6'3", you want someone who graduated from harvard, but what if they graduated from yale? you won't date them now? some of the things we use are silly when we really prioritize what's important for the relationship.

>> next you suggest that some women kiss some frogs. we're not talking literally here, obviously. what do you mean by this, though?

>> we see people as frogs or princes and forget about all the stuff in the middle. it's not just mr. right. it's mr. right for you. what we found in the research is that it's values that connect people not these other surfacey things. you need to think about what will make this person a better match for me and being willing to try other people and different backgrounds and trying different things. you never know what's out there. if you have such a specific list of things you're looking for, you're not going to find that guy. you're going to end up alone.

>> and sometimes it takes opening your mind a little bit, meeting somebody new who has a different perspective that could completely change your own.

>> we're not talking about settling. we're saying, hey, why does it have to be just like this specific picture that you drew? you will be surprised to discover that someone who doesn't look like you thought they would look or is from where you thought they would be from is such a great match for you.

>> you say you're not lowering your standards here, don't lower your standards but looking for that mr. perfect is not necessarily going to always work out.

>> no. if you're constantly seeking perfection, you're going to be disappointed, they're going to be disappointed. the problem comes in, people really believe if you're not this exact way, it won't work. a recent study came out in the journal, communication in society and it found that married women who believe in these tv portrayals were less satisfied with their relationship. and then looking for other --

>> for romance and butterflies constantly.

>> looking for other partners, less committed to the relationship. you'll be unhappy even in the relationship you're already in if you get caught up in that.

>> embrace those imperfections and don't look for mr. perfect?

>> no. no one is perfect.

>> michelle callahan, thank you very