Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Perfect Partner

by Paul Mauchline

Some of us go to the extreme in deciding whether someone is right or wrong for us. Some of us are on a quest to find that "perfect" partner, our ultimate lover, our soulmate, our equal, who shares our every interest and belief. This is a completely unrealistic expectation. Someone with this expectation causes his or her own disappointments, and will never experience the satisfaction of a loving relationship.

We are all individuals, with different opinions, philosophies, political beliefs, hobbies, musical tastes, and habits -- some good and some bad, depending on one's point of view. These things are what make up who we are as unique individuals. In a relationship, there have to be some common interests, but you do not have to share every possible interest and belief. Some of the differences between you and your potential partner may actually be advantageous to building a stronger, loving relationship between you. Sometimes you balance one another, each offering different strengths. For example, if you lack patience, and your partner is the most patient human being you have ever met, your partner can help you in situations where you need to exercise more patience. Perhaps your partner is an avid skier, and you have always wanted to try skiing. Now is your opportunity to try something you have wanted to do. On the other hand, some differences may cause difficulties in a relationship. For example, your potential partner may be a serious hunter: he goes hunting every weekend, all season long. If you are unhappy about being alone for so many weekends because of his sport -- and, on top of it, your values oppose hunting -- his hobby will probably become a problem. It is all a matter of the degree of differences that you and your partner have with one another.

We need to look consciously at these differences to decide whether we are right for one another. Relationships are built not only from love and sexual attraction. They also are built from compatibility, which does not necessarily mean sameness. As a couple, some of your differences may be among your greatest assets towards a successful relationship. As a couple, you have to share some similar likes and dislikes, and you have to enjoy doing many things together, but you do not have to be identical twins. Each of us has to maintain our individuality. It is what attracted us to each other in the first place. Our individuality does not mean that we have a completely separate life away from our partner. When two people have totally separate, independent lives, there is no relationship there: they are only roommates. Many people choose this type of lifestyle, but it is certainly not my idea of what a relationship should be. A relationship is togetherness. You are one with your partner, as a couple that has chosen to spend their lives united. You travel life's journey together, through its peaks and valleys, so that you both might experience the type of loving, committed relationship that we all seek today.

Instead of seeking the "perfect" partner, you need to seek a partner who is right for you. Finding the right person for you is only the beginning of this process. Without putting in the work, even the most perfectly matched couple's relationship will eventually fade. Many of us learn this the hard way, regretting that we did not work harder at our relationships while we still had the chance. Some of us go from relationship to relationship, hoping to find "the perfect one," only to find ourselves, down the road in another relationship, missing an old partner whom we now recognize, in our heart of hearts, was the right one for us.

Copyright © 2000-2001. All rights reserved. Paul Mauchline

Labels: ,