Wow, I love this article (reposted at the bottom of my blog). I wish I had been told this when I hit the dating scene. It took many bad experiences looking for the wrong thing, and not seeing the right thing, to realize the truth of what this person has written so eloquently. Some of the quotes I especially loved from this article:
“Real love is not about holding out for the perfect person or finding someone who meets all the criteria on your list. Real love is about finding an imperfect person and building a messy, beautiful love.”
Do you love them? That’s enough. So often we want someone we love, but then we meet someone we love and they don’t look like what we had imagined. They aren’t our list or maybe they are, but the relationship is challenging, you have lots of conflict even though you love them. Honey, let me tell you something that will save you a lot of pain; I wish someone had said it to me: What you have created with your list and your imagination doesn’t exist. It’s an imagination – when we imagine things like the perfect house, or the perfect date, or the perfect trip – we don’t factor in the messy bits, the problems, or challenges. Why would we? Who sits there and imagines the perfect house and then imagines the floors are rotting and the ceiling has holes in it. STOP. What just happened? That’s right, no one imagines reality. It’s imagination for a reason.
“Real love is finding someone who simply fits, and fighting to fit even when the pieces become jagged and worn over time.”
I love this, “fighting to fit” even when you face challenges! Being unwilling to give up on that special person. In Reality, our constant push to find or have the perfect partner, the perfect marriage and the perfect house causes us to feel dissatisfied with what we have. It makes us feel like what we have isn’t ‘good enough’. It leads to ‘getting bored’ with each other and leaving to look for that next best thing. It’s a fast paced life out there. A good friend once said to me, “It’s not like it used to be, back in the day, when something you owned broke down you would get it fixed, but now if something breaks we just replace it – including relationships. It’s sad.”
“Real love is knowing you’re not with the perfect person, because he/she does not exist, but loving them in spite of this. And loving your relationship not because it is everything you imagined, but because it is wild and wonderful and difficult and exciting and everything more.”
Instead of focusing on the difficulties – cherish the person you’re with, while they are still yours. I was that person. I had a list – it’s since been burned. And I can tell you from experience that, although, I deeply loved someone, at the time, I had know idea how to truly show him I loved him. If he didn’t fit my list, it was somehow his fault, something was wrong with him – or so I thought. I tried to change him instead of cherishing the differences and his uniqueness. What I didn’t realize was that I was the one that needed to change – I needed to change my expectations and my perspective and realize that although this person was totally not ‘my list’, he was an amazing person. I knew that and I did truly love him – but I really had a warped sense of what love was and I really didn’t know how to express love and appreciation.
My attitudes – and I’m sure some of his too – led to lots of challenges. Although, there was lots of love, there also coexisted with that love lots of conflict. Most people want to run from relationships when they face challenges. For some it’s a sign. I have learned that it is a sign – a sign that you as an individual have some area in your life that needs to grow. For me it was learning how to truly love someone for who they are and love myself for who I am. If you run away, you won’t see those areas that are, divinely, being pointed out to you for your own growth and benefit. Please don’t ignore them!
Let your partner be themselves. Encourage them to be them and to never fear being fully and 100% who they are in front of you! Love them for who they are, not for who you want them to be.
“So stop with the lists. Stop with the expectations. Stop demanding. Stop wishing for the perfect person, and believing that you must stay single until you stumble across him or her.
There is no perfect person. But there is a heart that will beat in rhythm with yours. There is someone who will understand your past pain and do his or her best to never bring you that hurt again. There is a soul who is longing to love you in the best way that he or she can.
And I hope you hold out for that person—the messy, the inconsistent, the sometimes unreliable, the flawed person who sees, and loves, all the imperfection in you.”
Don’t fear imperfection – Love it! Love the Mess! Love deeply. Love Wildly. Keep on loving even when it doesn’t make sense!
Thanks for reading. I would love for you to share your thoughts with me in the comments section below.