This is absolutely something that drives me crazy.
Many people have this image in their heads about the ‘perfect person.’ The problem is, there is no such thing as perfection.
It doesn’t matter if your ideal of the ‘perfect person’ has an image of body size, weight, shape, hair color, eye color, etc. or not. That so-called ‘perfect person’ doesn’t exist. They’ve never existed.
I’ve known many people who have given up most of their chances of happiness because of that ideal in their heads. They walk away from someone because they are not the right body shape, not the right looks or even just that a single aspect of their personality (even if it is minor) doesn’t fit in with that ideal.
So, they get into relationships with someone who seems to fit that ideal, but then realize that the human being they’ve found is somehow flawed. And that means, they weren’t the right person in the first place. And so, even though there might not be any major issues in the relationship, they walk away because it’s just somehow not right. Sometimes they don’t even know WHY the person’s not right.
Let me give you a few examples:
- Person 1 wants unconditional love, but insists that the person offering it be ‘height/weight proportional’ (a nice way to say not fat, and not scrawny). It doesn’t matter if they are offered the unconditional love, if the person doing the offering doesn’t fit the body shape of their ideal. So, the more important aspect of a person (the ability to love unconditionally) is ignored in favor of the shallow looks and shape.
- Person 2 wants someone with exactly the same ethics, the same worldview, the same religion. They don’t care about the looks, just those qualities. The problem here is that absolutely no-one in the world ever has exactly the same worldview as someone else. Similar ones, yes – but never exactly the same. But similar isn’t enough for this person, they want exactly the same.
- Person 3 wants someone to be a true partner, someone who will give as much as they receive. But every time they get near to someone who might be capable of being a real partner, they spend more time on those who want to be dependent upon this person. They don’t give the person(s) who might be real partner(s) enough of their time and energy, which pushes those people away. Regrettably, this ends up in being a self-fulfilling prophecy, where those who might fit the ideal somehow always leave me.
What all of these people have in common is that they’ve grown armor over their hearts. They’ve created these perfect ideals, but on some level they KNOW that the ideal doesn’t exist. It gives them an excuse to turn their backs on someone, because they’re afraid of being hurt yet again.
But they’re only hurting themselves.
Now that I’ve taken most of my armor off (yes, I still have parts of me that aren’t yet ready to be vulnerable), I see a much wider field of opportunity. And it allows me to look at people in a more objective way. It means I’m not ticking off a checklist of how well someone fits my ideal. I can instead look at them as a whole being, and evaluate if they are a good fit with my own whole being. It allows me to look for someone that I don’t feel I have to change in order to make them fit my ideal. It allows me to see a person as truly different from myself, and not just somehow a reflection of myself.
People, I don’t care what kind of relationship you have, whether it is monogamous or not. Your love(s) is/are NOT extensions of yourself. They are entirely separate beings. And yes, that means sometimes they are going to piss you off, sometimes make you sad, sometimes make you not like them very much for a time. It’s OK, as long as neither you nor them fall into the temptation of coercion, manipulation or abuse.
It’s not about merging yourself together with another person. It’s about being able to be vulnerable and emotionally intimate with someone else, and someone else being able to do the same with you.