Spoiler alert, there isn’t one. BUT WAIT, please don’t let that deter you in terms of dating or reading this blog for that matter. I just think we’ve all spent enough time on this earth to know that perfection isn’t attainable in any area of life, least of all when finding then falling for a partner. And it’s sometimes in the pursuit of perfection where we make the greatest mistakes. So I thought today’s topic could be a little toe tip into that impossible pursuit of perfection in a partner, how great relationships can be ruined when expectations are too high and why the myth of ” The One ” is ruining today’s dating landscape. Grab a glass of wine or favoured non- alcoholic beverage, and let’s dive in…
Relationships aren’t perfect. They just aren’t, and if you enter into one thinking that everyone of your boundaries will be respected, that every one of your emotional and physical needs will be met just as you’re having them, that every single thing on your internal checklist will be checked off…. you are most likely under the spell of ” The One ” mentality that media and movies have crafted so carefully. It’s dangerous, because it creates an idea that relationships and your partner should already be perfect. We literally grow up hearing that there’s some magical person out there, already fully formed and meant just for us. And if it isn’t perfect, it’s toxic or they’re toxic and we end up dismissing or ending relationships with good partners because they don’t tick all of the boxes. With this comes an unrealistic amount of ideas that I suppose are meant to help us decipher an unfit match from our ultimate one. But instead, lead us in search of a level of perfection within our relationships that truly doesn’t exist. So let’s start with some common place one’s that really grind my gears.
You should never fight
We’ve all come across those couples who boast, “Oh, we neverrrr fight “. Which in my opinion is a bold faced lie, both to us and to themselves. The truth is that we’ll never find someone we 100% agree with. Clashes of personality, preferences, ways of operating will always be a factor when joining two lives together. Let me give you an example… When Joe and I were first together, we had a lot of tiffs steeped in just that. He had never been in a serious, long term relationship like ours. Had never felt this type of love before. And while neither had I in terms of love/connection, I had been through a few longer relationships over my 20’s. So I came into it knowing that there was always some work required. That there would be arguments, fights, “growing pains”… But he came in with this thought process that they’re meant to be full of only happy times and moments, that any argument was nothing more than trivial drama, that I was some over reacting hysterical female when I would show any kind of emotion that wasn’t positive in his view. It was only over time, and many breaks from each other that we both landed on the same page… fighting/ arguing isn’t a sign of incomparability. Neither of us are perfect. We are going to make mistakes. As long as those arguments are constructive and come from a place of love, they’re nothing more than doing the dirty work that is required for us to build the foundation on which our life will be lived.
You’ll be 100% compatible
Let me ask, have you met anyone on this earth that is perfectly compatible with you ?? If you think about it, are even 100% compatible with yourself ? Truthfully, it’d be a bit fucking boring if you were both on the same page about everything all of the time. One of the more beautiful things about a relationship is how it brings two different people together, and allows us to share our own weird quirks, views and worlds with each other. I’ve been introduced to new loves and new sides of myself through Joe and his interests, and I’d hope he’d say the same. That old adage ” opposites attract ” rings so true because our differences are what make us interesting.
You’ll complete each other
We can’t help but get butterflies at the thought that there’s a person out there so uniquely suited for us, being with them would feel like finding our missing puzzle piece. Sigh, if only it were that simple…I can’t stress this enough my friends, it’s imperative for a relationship to be made up of two whole ass people for it to be healthy and mature. Waiting for someone to “complete ” you is like waiting for table at Soho Malibu on a Saturday night without a membership or reservation. Quite literally impossible. We can’t complete each other. We can only appreciate and enhance the other’s light.
However we aren’t here to exclusively chat about relationships that are already formed. No, I think we need to explore the “rules” and unrealistic expectations when dating that are often lead to our downfall.
People are not meant to fit into checked boxes
So please, let go of the list’s – Typically unrealistic and quite materialistic ( at least here in LaLa Land ) we decide on a couple of key factors that are immovable in our minds, and end up passing over some pretty incredible people. More often than not, lists reflect what we think we want. Not what we actually hold near and dear to our hearts. You will never be able to explain why you click with someone because it’s based on emotions and feelings. Not pre conceived notions of what your perfect partner should be. If you told me before meeting Joe that I would fall for a sports obsessed CEO of a dating app who’s a gym junkie that likes waking up at 8am even on the weekend, I would’ve laughed in your face. Sometimes you meet someone who is not what you asked for “on paper”, but they make you feel something that nothing on that list of yours could’ve prepared you for.
Now I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t aim high, nor should you ever settle for something or someone that truly doesn’t make us happy – more on that below. Having a personal checklist for things like honesty, integrity, similar morals/values and EQ/IQ is healthy and very encouraged. But having a checklist for physical, professional or financial characteristics is stepping a little too far into the superficial. I’ve verbatim heard people say ” I liked him sooooo much, but I’m taller than him when I put heels on so it would never work ” or ” We get along so well but their job/car/bank account won’t be enough for me “. Pfft, please babes. Not only is every one of those characteristics subject to swift change, but by focusing on these elements the things that ultimately make up a successful relationship are pushed by the wayside. Thus creating a very lonely and unfulfilling cycle.
Comparison will be the thief of Joy
Comparison is a normal part of human nature. But frivolous and constant comparison breeds discontentment, something we can all relate to with the minute hits we get of it through social media every day. And when dating, it will ultimately leave you in a place of unhappiness. The moment you start comparing a potential partner to another, whether it be an ex, a friend or some followed couples relationship is the moment you kind of choose to be unhappy.
Creating unattainable expectations through our gilded view of others is damaging to active daters and relationships alike. Joe quotes and compares us to either our favourite couple, Jay and Radhi Shetty or his parents a lot. And while I adore the quotes, the comparison can sometimes lead to expectations that ultimately end in argument. Because while we do idolise both relationships, and use them as a round-about marker for where we’d like to be, we are years behind them in terms of growth and understanding. I always say to him “ they’ve had at least 10 + years of discussions that define boundaries, likes and wants. We are relatively just getting started and it makes me feel shitty when you just expect us to be on that level without the work required. ”
Options for days
We hunt for the perfect partner as if people are products, some of us almost treating dating like it’s a prolonged shopping spree. Too many options leaves us less satisfied with the choices we want to make or have already made. It creates an air of ” the grass could be greener ” or “ there are plenty more fish in the sea “. And in today’s dating world, it’s very difficult not to be paralysed by the insane amount of options laid before us through the never ending list of dating apps.
Let me ask you an honest question ? Yes, okay good. If you met someone, really got along with them and felt the sparks of a serious, special something new… would you stop using every dating app and just focus on them ? Or would you continue to keep your options open and talk to others, just in case ? When we fall under the spell of someone better being right around the corner, we allow ourselves to get distracted from the amazing person right in front. That’s why, in all honestly, I believe in the premise we put forward at FROME. While it doesn’t eliminate every issue listed above, it does force us to slow down and focus on one person at a time. Something we may not recognise as important on a conscious level, but something that is needed for us to actually connect with people. And real connection is one of the pillars of being a human.
Now in saying all of this, I’m not telling you to stay in a relationship that you know ultimately isn’t for you. Nor do I ever, EVER think you should settle. But take a second and honestly ask yourself… Am I thinking of “settling” in the unrealistic, superficial ways mentioned above ? Am I still out there searching for ” The One “, instead doing the work that’s required to find my person ? Developing a healthy partnership dosen’t just happen to us. They require a hell of a lot patience, learning, unlearning, compromise, adjusting, apologising, communicating and navigating conflict. Something that can’t be done with just anyone. So I urge you to figure out your core goals, morals, values and non- negotiable boundaries then go forth searching for someone who reflects that. Not what your friends, society, those curated couples of instagram have made you think you should have. But what you ultimately want in a partner, and how you want to feel in that relationship.
Love isn’t perfect. And the pursuit of it even less so. But it’s in those imperfections where the most beauty is found. Until next time x
HJG for First Rounds On Me