Original Link : https://psiloveyou.xyz/crafting-the-perfect-partner-c6192bb75a74
Stop any single person on the street and ask them to describe the perfect partner, their ideal soulmate, and listen.
Of course, a few will tell you that they don’t believe in soulmates. They’ll have reasons- born of logic or disappointment, depending. There are the true unbelievers, the philosophers, the dreamers and romantics, and the ones who can’t even fathom what we’re talking about.
The lists might be specific to looks, a long list of preferred physical characteristics.
Height, weight, hair and eye color. It might sound more like a health form than a list of what we want in a person to love.
Or else it will be a laundry list of personality identifiers. A great sense of humor. Intelligence. A good listener.
It might look like a list of what they don’t want — or all the things that they do want but don’t believe exist in a single person. They all encompass an idea of the ideal mate, whatever that is for the person in question. The lists will rarely be the same.
Few of these lists will include flaws, if any.
It’s understandable. When we think in ideals, we don’t really focus on the flaws. We focus on the positive qualities of the kind of people we want to spend our lives loving.
But the problem isn’t that we don’t list the flaws we can live with; the problem is that we don’t always allow for the flaws to exist.
We create the perfect person in our heads, and then we try to shove people into that box and take away their freedom to be as flawed as we are. We try to make them fit into the space we’ve reserved rather than allowing them as they are to simply share their lives with ours. When they won’t fit, we’re angry and disappointed because we made this spot just for them. How dare they be flawed and ruin it for us!
Case in point. I dated someone who idealized me. He’d decided before we ever went out on the first date that I was a very particular kind of person. He’d read much of my work, and he drew some of his information from that. But the rest of his idea of me came entirely from his idea of the perfect woman. He loved my independence, creativity, and tenacity- to a point. He just thought that once we were together I would shift into the person he was confident I could be if I tried.
The perfect woman, to his mind, would be independent and tenacious except when it conflicted with her man’s point-of-view. She would inspire him and encourage him to grow but limit her own creativity to the times of his convenience and choosing. She would focus her energy on housework and childrearing, leaving her own talents and interests for such a time as everyone else had been satisfied.
His perfect woman was a Stepford wife that looked a lot like a woman who used to be fierce, independent, and creative in her own right.
Needless to say, I am not in that relationship anymore. He kept trying to shove me into the mold of the woman he’d dreamed up, and he went from idolizing me to making me feel like a constant disappointment. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I could not measure up to the ideal he’d created in his head, and there was no room for my own flaws. His perfect woman didn’t seem to have any.
That wasn’t the only time I encountered this. I once went out on a date where the person opposite me at the dinner table came off the rails because he’d expected me to be his ready-made soulmate, and I had not obliged. It was a first date, and yet he came to it carrying so many expectations. It ended with him accusing me of using him for a free meal because I’d agreed to a date before he’d regaled me with stories of his addiction, time in prison, and criteria for his perfect woman, which could not have been more unlike me.
They wanted perfection. They got me instead.
When we imagine the person we would like to spend our lives with, it makes sense that we would focus on the qualities we want, not the qualities we don’t.
It’s understandable, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t allow for actual flaws when a healthy relationship presents itself. The fact that we’re able to show up as perfectly imperfect as we are and encounter someone else who is capable of owning their own identity, flaws and all, is what makes the best relationships happen. We’re not supposed to be our best selves all the time; we’re supposed to be our truest selves.
If we keep creating lists of the perfect person, we just might start ruling out the kind of people who could be right for us. We might make our lists so exclusive that not one human on earth could ever meet the physical and personality requirements of the person we’ve dreamed up. If those lists don’t allow for our flaws, we just might self-sabotage the relationship we need.
I’m not saying that we should settle.
I am saying that we shouldn’t expect perfection- particularly when we are far from perfect ourselves. We should understand that a healthy relationship doesn’t look like two perfect people loving each other perfectly.
A healthy relationship looks like two imperfectly perfect people loving themselves and each other the best they can.
A healthy relationship looks like two individuals growing together.
A healthy relationship doesn’t mean never arguing. It means being willing to work together to resolve conflict in healthy ways.
A healthy relationship doesn’t mean perfection. It means empathy and compassion and communication and loving each other on the bad days as well as the good ones.
We’ve mistaken healthy relationships for perfect ones, and no one is going to be perfect.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t perfect for us. In fact, my list would have included no long-distance relationships. I would have been firm in the fact that I didn’t want that. Yet, here I am: in a long distance relationship with the perfect person for me. Not a human without flaws but a person I love who is perfectly imperfect and right for me. The situation isn’t perfect, but neither are we, and none of that matters.
We can keep making our lists and deciding that the only person we’ll be with has to check every box on the list and come without a difficult past or without future complications. We can try to keep shoving every person we meet into the mold we’ve made for Mr. or Mrs. Right. We can show up with our expectations and demand that other people meet them.
Or we can show up as our truest selves and connect with another flawed human at a deeper level. We can say that this is who we are and what we need and allow them to be who they are in that space. Maybe they’re for us, and maybe they aren’t, but we lose interest in trying to make them fit into a predefined shape because it suits us.
We don’t waste time anymore trying to make the wrong fit the right one because we want it, and we don’t turn away from the right fit because it didn’t fit the idea we dreamed up in our heads before we realized that relationships are made up of humans with faults.
We can craft the perfect partner in our heads, or we can be vulnerable enough to get out there and meet people as we are and connect with them on a deeper level. We can make room for flaws. We can accept that no one is perfect- not even ourselves. If we can do that, we just might make room for our perfectly imperfect partner.