Like many, you’re single and waiting for the right person to come along before you happily join the world of marriagedom. Along comes someone who ticks many of your boxes but at the first sign of a heated debated (misconstrued as an argument), a difference of opinion, or something (usually insignificant in the grand scheme of things) you don’t like, in your eyes it’s far from perfect so it’s just not going to work.
Whilst this is your prerogative, have you ever considered that relationships are like two rocks magnetically drawn together to become one?
Each rock is unique, it’s very rare that they would simply fit together perfectly from the moment they attract. It’s only if you give them ample opportunity to endure different climatic conditions – sun, rain & thunder – resulting in both heat & friction, they will become one. Once bonded, they either become stronger together to weather all conditions, or simply fall apart. Which it will be, I guess we never know unless we actually give it a real chance to run its natural course.
So doesn’t this beg the question of whether all these single people waiting for perfection have been deluding themselves? Is it time to wake up and smell the roses? Perfection doesn’t exist! Whilst you may have been waiting in earnest, the years just may have been passing you by. Every relationship requires compromise and work. Just so I’m not shot down let me clarify what I mean. I’m not talking about compromising your beliefs, values or anything that fundamentally makes you feel like you’re not being true to yourself. I’m talking about healthy compromise, which requires respect, understanding and the will to make a concerted effort.
Yes, when you first start out in a relationship, it should be all rosy but even if you do have a couple of disagreements it’s normal. After all, you’re trying to learn about each other and work out whether you’re compatible, it’s about being honest and open, not critical and controlling. Likewise, a discussion resulting in a difference of opinion does not equate to an argument unless you’re screaming and shouting of course. Ego’s aside, let’s be honest here, as the years pass it’s the conversation and mental challenge that keeps a relationship going, not the ‘perfect person’ who is going to hang on to your every word and agree with you every time – yawn how boring!
So where did this obsession of having a perfect partner come from? Are we really a generation of self-centred and conceited individuals, who believe that we’re the bees knees and set a bar of unrealistic expectations? Or should we be pointing the finger at our parents, who have raised us with an expectation to always strive for the best, be it top marks at school, a place at the ‘right’ university, a professional career and the list could go on, but ultimately resulting in our inability to consider anything less than perfect in our personal lives.
Arguably, society and our peers could also be held accountable. When you’re professionally successful, you want to be perceived successful in all aspects of your life and with that comes an unspoken expectation that your partner should fit a certain bill. Conforming to this may in reality find you the perfect partner in the eyes of others, but remember, you’re the person that has to actually spend the rest of your life with them.
Interestingly enough, would you be as demanding with these high expectations if you were stuck on a desert island and had to select a partner for companionship? Removed from all the influences & expectations of your family, friends and society, what would your criteria list look like now? How ‘imperfect’ would you rate the ability to have a heated debate with different opinions, or the fact that you did not like the way they dress?
But despite all of the above, are we not the educated & aspirational generation who should have the intellectual capacity to identify that perfection in any aspect of life, or the wider world, simply does not exist? How many good relationship opportunities have you overlooked, in search of perfection? Answers below if you dare...