We all strive to have a perfect relationship
. But what exactly do we mean by “perfect?” Perfect is a subjective experience, one defined differently by each person you talk with. Let’s have a look at the following people’s description of what constitutes a perfect relationship for them, and see if there are any commonalities in what they describe as a perfect relationship in different ways.
1. A smart, handsome partner with a sense of humor
Molly, 25, is six months into her love relationship. “My boyfriend is SO perfect,” she says. “He is smart, handsome, and has a great sense of humor. In fact, it was this that drew me to him. The first time I saw him, he was doing stand-up at the local comedy club. He singled me out of the audience as part of one of his routines. Even though I was a little bit embarrassed, I went up to him after the show to introduce myself. He asked me out, and well, everything is perfect (so far)! I really like that he is at ease performing in public and that he is so passionate about his comedy.”
2. Changed outlook towards preferred qualities in a partner
Steve, 49, has a different view of perfection. There is no thumb rule to a perfect relationship and sometimes, feelings undergo a radical change. And that’s what happened with Steve.
“Hey, I’m divorced so I know that what may seem perfect when you are 22 can change by the time you are 40. When I fell in love with my wife, I thought she was perfect. Beautiful, very into keeping up her physical appearance, and a real homebody. I’d come home from work and everything was nice: the house was tidy, dinner on the stove, and she always looked fantastic. But that got kinda boring year after year. She never liked to travel much—as I said, she was a homebody—and she had limited interests outside of shopping and getting her hair done.
I fell in love with another woman who I met through my running club. I ended up divorcing my first wife, and now I can truly say that I have the perfect relationship. Samantha (my second wife is more like me—adventuresome, a risk-taker, and loves to challenge herself. She may not have been perfect for me when I was 20, it’s true, but she is now that I’m older and what I need from my relationship has changed.”
3. Having similar interests but not too similar
Camille, 30, says that she thinks the perfect relationship is one where the two people have similar interests but not too similar. “You have to be able to bring something new into the relationship, over and over again,” she says. “You don’t want to be polar opposites—that would be tough because you’d have nothing in common, but you don’t want to be in each other’s pockets all the time. That would be boring.
I like a nice balance where my partner and I have the major things aligned—politics, religion, education, how we see family—but have the freedom to go out on our own to explore other things like what we each do with our leisure time. For instance, I like to play tennis on the weekends, and he likes to take off a couple of hours to shoot pictures with his photography club. When we both get home from our different activities, we have loads to share with each other.”
4. Finding love in second marriage
“My relationship is perfect for me, but I would have never thought it would’ve worked before I met Mike,” says Cindy, 50. “I was married before, to a really conservative man. We were the couple that everyone envied and wanted to be like. Nice house, good jobs, kids doing well in school. We were church-goers and gave back to the community.
After my husband got sick and passed away, I never thought I’d remarry. Certainly not someone like Mike. Mike is biracial, politically he leans to the left, is spiritual but not religious. But I was drawn to his energy, and we fell in love. What a surprise! I’m so lucky as I had the chance to have two perfect relationships. Each very different. I guess what I’m saying is that “perfect” comes in many flavors. Thankfully!”
5. Comfort and happiness in same-sex relationship
“My perfect relationship is probably not what society calls perfect,” says Amy, 39. “My partner is a woman. Some might not call this a perfect relationship, but she is perfect for me. I would’ve fallen in love with her even if she had been a man! She’s kind, funny, and shows me that she loves me in a million ways each day. We are true equals in the relationship: we both share the household chores, we have the same tastes in music, movies, and what we like to watch on tv. We argue, sure, but always take time to listen to each other’s side. And we never go to bed angry. If that doesn’t sound like a perfect relationship, I don’t know what is.”
6. Breaking the pattern of dating the wrong type
Kathy, 58, took a long time to find a perfect relationship. “I dated a lot of less-than-ideal men when I was younger,” she says. “And then I stopped. I figured I’d rather be alone than having a boyfriend who drank, or gambled, or didn’t respect me enough to treat me right.
It was when I stopped accepting bad treatment from men and took a break from dating that I met Gary. Gary was perfect for me, right off the bat. He is just one of those men who is thoughtful, considerate, always keeps his word, shows his emotion. We have friends in common, shared passions, and both like to cuddle and kiss! I’m so glad I raised my standards of who I would date. If I hadn’t, I would’ve had a life of partners who disappointed me, and would have never met Gary.”
7. The one who brings out the best in you
“You know what makes a perfect relationship?”, asks Maria, 55. “Your partner brings out the best in you. I knew James was the one when I realized he made me always reach for the stars. He makes me want to challenge myself, so I always have his admiration. Oh, I know he would love me whatever I do, but he makes me feel invincible! He believes in me, supports me and gives me the space I need to keep growing. I do the same for him. That to me is a perfect relationship!”
What do we learn about The Perfect Relationship from these people? It sounds like the perfect relationship is different for everyone. This is a good thing. If the perfect relationship only came in one size, there would be a lot of frustrated people out there! It is important to define what your “perfect” is, so you can recognize it when it comes your way.