Thursday, 28 May 2015

Perfectionism vs Settling

I often wonder why so many attractive, charismatic and intelligent women are single. I used to spend more hours than I care to admit, wondering why I was single, after all, I didn't have a third eye or a mass of facial hair. I know many girls and women who have lots to offer, some who have children, some who don't, some who are happily single and some who aren't. In the midst of different jobs, different backgrounds, races and religions - the one common denominator is that they are all single. I can't wrap my brain around it, what is wrong with the men of the world? Why aren't they beating down their doors? ...Or are they actually doing that and we aren't answering?

I can't vouch for any of these women, I can only draw on my own first hand experiences, and the second hand experiences of many of my friends. But I think there is an element in me that meant I didn't want to settle for anything less than the best. I think this is common, and quite normal. Quite frankly who wants to settle for anything less than the best in a mate? We all want the scorching hot, good job, well mannered, parent-impressing mate, who'll be the answer to all of our problems. And why shouldn't we? We are intelligent, independent, feisty and gorgeous. Hell, we deserve the Prince Charming!

But what happens when we meet him and realise he's not perfect? Or he meets her and realises she isn't perfect? Does that count as 'settling'? Are we so in-built with the over-enthusiastic view of what the happy ending looks like, that we loose touch with reality? And the reality is that relationships are hard at times. They take work, blood, sweat and tears.

I don't believe you should 'settle' but I think there's a big difference between 'settling' and expecting someone to be perfect.

When you're browsing the isles of the singles market, you should have a heightened sense of perfectionism in mind. Don't start out thinking you should make allowances and date the guy who's work ethic conflicts with yours, or who doesn't want children (in the long run) when you do. If perfectionism is allowed at any point, it's the browsing stage. You should absolutely indulge your inner princess, and make sure your potential mate ticks all of your non-negotiable checkboxes.

When you first meet someone, it should be electric. When I met my ex, I had butterflies in my tummy every time he looked at me and every time he touched me, even if brushing past me, I would feel physical chemistry strike between us. Every text made me excited, I loved it and smiled at every single one. Before I met him, I'd dated other guys but not many had that affect, and so after the odd date, they were no-more. My ex changed all of that, and subconsciously he reminded me of what I had been waiting for in a guy. How he made me feel is the feeling we should be aiming for when we meet someone and thanks to him showing me this, I ended up meeting my current boyfriend who surpassed all of my expectations - but my ex taught me to wait for this. That's when you know it's worth it - whether it's for a 6 week fling, or a 60 year marriage.

We should all aim for perfect in the beginning, but without kidding ourselves that it will always be that way. Potential partners need to be perfect at causing electricity with you, but they won't be perfect overall, so don't have unrealistic hopes. If you do, ultimately it's only us who get hurt.

Things change when the relationship is solidified. When you're a few months in and nicely settled, and you've picked up on some of their bad habits. That's when you need to let your rose-tinted-perfection-seeking glasses slide a little - and when you need  to make allowances. I know that I can be quite demanding, and dare I say it, a little jealous at times. My boyfriend has his faults too. We're both human and this is normal. I make allowances for his faults, and I would like to think that he does the same. We have a good relationship, an amazing one, but not a perfect one. And I don't know anyone who does. If someone appears to - they're lying. I learnt long ago that perfect relationships don't exist, no matter what Nicholas sparks tells us. Has that been an easy lesson? No way! But I've learnt it and I'm very happy with it now. It's made me more easy-going and less high maintenance too. Poor bloke would have hated the old Lady Writes - she was far too demanding!

Now that I don't expect perfection, I don't try and give it either. I am who I am. In looking for perfect chemistry in the beginning, I found the guy who was worth not settling with anyone else for. And also the guy who was worth allowances when I began to fall past chemistry.

My thoughts are this - seek perfection in the beginning, but don't expect it in the long run. If you find the perfect chemistry with someone, hold on to it - for that is the person worth making allowances for throughout a relationship.

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