Do you believe in the idea that there’s one special person for each of us, or do you believe the special one is a fluid concept based on your needs at that time? Does our concept of Mr. Perfect/Ms. Right evolve overtime, or is it a more or less static? How much are we willing to negotiate where the concept is concerned?
Many of us started our “list” somewhere around the 5th grade, when the idea of finding someone attractive no longer repulsed us. The list initially would have been based on their appearance and then maybe on music preference, hobbies, or sporting affiliations. With age came the addition of occupation, religion, personality traits and political stance. We edited the list diligently based on dates, interactions and conversations. “The List” became the holy grail for deciding who would fall in the serious or going nowhere piles. Do we get surprised and defensive when the person who doesn’t resemble our idea of Mr. Right/Ms. Perfect wins us over? Do we let love pass us by because someone doesn’t fit our idea of what we’re looking for?
A study conducted by Siemens Festival Nights found that of the 2000 participants 1 in 7 didn’t think they were with their soulmate, and of the 2000 surveyed, 73% were just making do in their relationships, indicating that many more have settled for loveless relationships due to circumstances, age, economic stability, family pressures, desire to have children etc. But the overwhelming message here is that many more people are unhappy with their current partners than I would have ever imagined.
Love is a concept that I don’t think can ever be accurately described because it means something different to each of us. There are basic components that are similar but we experience it differently and want different things. It’s s sad day when a study indicates that so many are unhappy or unfulfilled in their relationships. We may have forgone the checklist because the person that made us tingle was nothing like what we imagined, and that’s OK. Sometimes what ends up being right for us and making us happy is the furthest thing from what we initially imagined. The troubling part is when we decide to settle for reasons other than love.
Of the 2000 participants, 17% felt they’d met their true love after making the decision to be with someone else, and 46% of the 2000 were willing to get a divorce to be with the one they believed to be their true love. I think we live in an age where there is still unbelievable pressure to be in a relationship, start a family, to find Mr. Perfect/Ms. Right by a specific time, to settle down and have the “ideal family/life.” We jump in, without seeing the ramifications of the rush. We wonder why the divorce rate is so high; well the figures above may give some insight to why so many relationships fail.
It makes sense to want to feel passionate love rather than to the numbness of making do with the decision, at times, to settle. At the dread of sounding like a cliché, I’ll say that life is not a race but a journey to be savored each step of the way. Why settle for mediocrity in our relationships when we can strive for passion, unbridled romance, strive for the spark that we all dream about? Because going through the motions knowing something is missing can be a life of agonizing misery. Our checklists were created so we’d have some idea as to what we were looking for, so that we would set standards, so that we’d have the things we could subtract from the list, the things that we could negotiate and the things that we knew meant the relationship would not work. But we shouldn’t let the list be so rigid that we miss out on something great.
Sometimes the greatest people who impact our life appear in forms we would not expect. Don’t let life pressure you into settling for something that will not make you happy. Settling to start a family, or because one is becoming “too old” to be single, will not fill the void that true love will; it will place you in a relationship where you may feel trapped because you are not getting what you need from it. The emptiness we feel by being alone doesn’t fill when you settle for the quick fix, or the logical/rational choice.
Patches cover holes, they don’t fill them. Being with someone you don’t truly love is equivalent to patching a hole; to those around us, the hole isn’t visible, but we can still feel the outline of the hole and with time it only gets more prominent. We all deserve happiness and love. Strive for that; love has no time limit on it, so search until you find your spark. Live a passionate life in all aspects. You should want to be with the person you come home to, you should dream of their touch, you should want to know every inch of their mind and body.
Your love life should be a place of solace and comfort, a place you feel safe, a place you can’t wait to get to and don’t like to leave. Search for the person who fills your void. It’s worth the wait; and it’s never too late.
Written by Souyenne Dathorne