Not too long ago, I was talking to a very good longtime friend, who I’ll call Sally for the purposes of this blog. Now Sally was very concerned that I hadn’t been going out with a lot of guys, because how else was I supposed to find that perfect man? Although there was an intended hint of comedy in her concern, Sally’s eager push for me to “get out there” and find the perfect guy did make me wonder about how often I hear things like that, and come across sentiments that ascribe to this belief in the existence of such men.
It’s in the memes and the pop culture jokes – this concept of finding or waiting for the perfect man. Just google “waiting for the perfect man” and see the images that come up. As much as we make fun of the idea of waiting on someone who will be practically flawless in our eyes, some people are yet to abandon this concept – maybe only subconsciously.
You see, people MAKE LISTS! I’ve seen a lot more people than I’d like to admit do this: they imagine what they would want their future spouse to be – his likes and dislikes, his personality type, his beliefs, his socio-economic status, his temperament, his body build, blah, blah, blah. I mean it’s so serious a lot of dating sites are based on these lists of expectations, which supposedly helps make a perfect spouse. They may not always be physical written-down lists – not everyone gets that meticulous – but the effects are very similar because once it’s done, expectations start running high, and the likelihood of meeting someone that would feel right drops even lower. I’ve met people that have unwittingly revealed their plans of being married to some guy whose personality, opinions, income, and body type they have already designed and approved in their hearts.
Now, I’m not saying people should not have standards – by all means, please do! For instance, if you’re a true Christian, then you better make sure you don’t end up with someone who isn’t: if only to save yourself all the fundamental disagreements, the fights, and the years of unsuccessfully trying to convert someone…and so on.
In my understanding, the ideal is not to expect to find someone who meets all the superfluous criteria and is perfect as in completely flawless, instead it is to find and be willing to stick with someone who is right, as in perfectly flawed for you – highly compatible.
Or maybe we need to use a different definition of the word “perfect” which would be “complete or absolute.” So next time you think about the perfect person, don’t think of it as someone who is either flawless, or a person whose flaws you will never notice (because such a person DOES NOT EXIST), but think of it as a someone whose flaws you would absolutely be willing to live with because you care for that person more than you abhor their shortcomings. Believe me, everyone is flawed, and there is no perfect person out there – of that much I’m certain – and as much as a lot of people claim to know this, not as many people as you would expect actually truly believe it.
So next time your own Sally confronts you about finding the perfect spouse, consider introducing the idea of a perfectly flawed spouse instead.