An ideal shared by many people is to reach perfection in the couple’s relationship. It is also true that this is precisely the source of many frustrations on the emotional plane. It is obvious: an ideal is that, an ideal. That is, something that is only achieved in the world of ideas and not in real life.
Talking about perfection in the relationship of a couple or in any other area of life implies ignoring the human aspect of relationships and of ourselves. The human being is contradiction, difficulty, conflict. It could not be otherwise, because we are not programmed to act as machines. In fact, even these are not perfect.
Unfortunately, romantic love goes through a cultural phase in which it is idealized or stripped of all meaning. At one extreme are those who yearn for perfection in the relationship. In the other, those who think that love is a ridiculous invention and behave according to that cynical perspective.
“Perfection is boring and sad. It was too early.”
The ideal of perfection in the couple’s relationship
The desire for perfection is born of an unallowed anguish. It is the anguish that arises when you want to have things under control. Also the one that arises when we can not reduce others to our own terms or when we think that “the other” is a difficulty, a useless obstacle.
Ultimately, these perfections are born of intolerance to uncertainty and contradiction. The complicated thing is that human beings are precisely that: infinitely erratic and contradictory. We never adjust completely or finish acting in an absolutely coherent way.
The ideal of perfection in the couple’s relationship has given shape to a revealing fantasy: to create the ideal couple. It seems silly, but, in effect, that desire takes place in our culture. And there are already efforts to make it a reality. In the not too distant future, anyone will be able to “order” the couple of their dreams in a computer workshop.
We often find deeply egocentric people in those who seek perfection in love and, therefore, very fragile when managing conflict. In the end they are like big children who want reality to bend to their desires. That is why they call “perfect” what coincides with their expectations and “imperfect” what does not.
The child, because of his poor maturation, fails to fully understand that there is a whole world beyond himself. That there is otherness, that is, “the other”, “the different” and that this is as respectable as one’s own. Jean Piaget, in his studies on moral development, argued that intellectual and emotional maturation was completed precisely when this was understood.
This discovery that we are neither perfect nor the others have to be, implies the renunciation of the ideal of completeness or eternal happiness with which the fairy tales end. You never live happily ever after and this is really healthy. It is through the difficulties and contradictions that we evolve and grow.
Perfection and frustration
The perfection in the couple relationship would mean finding someone who has all the necessary attributes so that it does not generate contradictions or frustrations and basically does nothing but lavish happiness on us. In this regard, there is a story that describes this situation well.
It is said that a man went on a long journey in search of the perfect couple and after a few years he returned alone. His friends asked him what had happened. The man replied that in a distant country he had found an almost perfect woman: she was beautiful and spiritual, but she did not move very well in the earthly world, so she discarded it.
Elsewhere she found a spiritual woman who was at the same time very skilled in the mundane, but she was not beautiful, so she discarded it. Finally he found one that seemed to have all the attributes together, the perfect woman. “And why did not you get married?” They asked him. “She was also obsessed with finding the perfect man,” he said.
Engaging in the world of ideals only leads to frustration. The love of a couple, like any other form of love, becomes a wonderful reality, precisely when we love and love each otherr of imperfections. In it is magic.