Have you tried living the Perfectly Imperfect?

img_1029I was thinking the other day how that fact that I have been raised by my parents in the ultimate Disney culture left a strong mark on my personality. Watching fairytales and being inspired by happy endings really shaped my perspective on life. Funny, right? But ultimately true and those who know me can confirm :). So there you go: I believe in people, in breaking the odds, I am more than often too optimistic and of course I believe in happy endings and true love or the idea that two people can find each other and be truly happy together for the rest of their lives. And yes, until some time ago, I also believed in the one true love and the perfect relationship. The last two beliefs were shuttered with age, I must say.

There is one thing that maybe is not as accurate in real life as in fairytales: the fact that there is only one person in the world for us, and unless we find that person, we are doomed to a lonely life of romantic misery. In fact, what I learned through experience is just the opposite. There are actually a lot of people with whom we could experience a passionate love and a deeply fulfilling relationship. When we limit our search to that “perfect” someone, we foster a mentality of perpetual “window shopping” (if you know what I mean 🙂 ). Moreover, we’re very likely to give up too easily on what could be the “perfect” imperfect relationship. It took me a while to understand, but once I did, I was highly relieved and things changed for me: my relationship and the way I felt in general. Seeking perfection is tiring & pressurizing, and it is not at all fulfilling on a longer term. Those of you who are perfectionist know what I mean. It is a sacrifice to seek perfection.

Most of us were fed by fairytales, media, our friends or family that love should come and be easy, otherwise it is not love. II used to believe this, but not anymore. No beautiful or good thing comes easy. Think about it!

Whether, it’s during the first week of dating or the seventh year of relationship or marriage, all relationships will inevitably hit rough patches. These patches often send people running away, rather than staying around to try to work it out. I did this mistake, and most of us, women, do. We like building ideals in our head of the perfect man, perfect relationship, perfect house and so on. But it’s nonsense. I read an article by a psychologist who said “If I could make one change in how Western culture views relationships, I would change the perception that infatuation equals love. Love points out that the initial stages of a relationship often leave the brain flooded with “happy” molecules, a chemical reaction that heightens both emotional and physical attraction. Once these molecules subside, problems surface, leading to conflict and, sometimes, even break-ups.” This does not mean to settle for something that does not work, of course. People may end up realizing they are incompatible after the “love sparkles” go away. And going separate ways is the right and mature thing to do. What I am saying is just that one should deeply look into why he/she is are running away from when issues arise. Some things may be beautifully imperfect even though they are not how we have pictured them initially. You know it’s right to be next to someone, if you have many moments of calmness of mind and soul together. This should give you confidence that you are at least compatible. The rest can be fine-tuned. 

Because all relationships are likely to challenge us, the best relationship advice I can give is to find someone you really like and invest in that relationship. Stop looking for the perfect partner and start focusing on what you need to address within yourself in order to achieve a more ideal romance. A relationship is one of the best ways for developing yourself. There are many unexpected choices that could make you happy, but to make a relationship work means being willing to take the ride with someone and then looking inward. Imperfection may surprise you!

Real relationships are rarely easy, but they also shouldn’t be too hard or hurtful. Instead, they should be looked at as an adventure, so we shouldn’t expect a perfectly smooth ride. Every couple is made up of two independent people with two sovereign minds. This means, at times, the two  may see things differently. Struggles will arise, and when they do, what matters most will be our ability to get through the hard times. We can anticipate and face challenges with a combination of strength and vulnerability. Yet, to start this adventure, we must open our hearts and minds to the another person. It took me while to do so, but once I did things completely changed, for the good. Naturally, some connections are stronger and some choices more ideal than others, but any love can grow when we are willing to explore our own limitations and grow our own capacity for closeness.