There is no such thing as the perfect partner… or is there?
At the start of every dating seminar I speak at, I ask the attendees what their ultimate goal is with regards to dating and relationships.
By far the most common answer is to end up with “the one”… that one special person that matches all of their core values and surpasses everything else they look for in a romantic partner.
Whilst this is a lovely ideal in theory, how do you know when you have definitely found the right person? If you journey through relationships sequentially like the majority of people do, how do you know that there isn’t someone better suited to you out there each time?
This article will discuss whether there is indeed one special person for everyone, as well as provide some food for thought on how to know exactly what you are looking for in the world of love…
Does the perfect partner exist?
A surprising number of people believe in fate when it comes to relationships… that the right person will magically appear in their life without much searching. It can happen but more often than not, such a mindset leads to people eventually settling for subpar relationships, rather than being proactive and enforcing high standards.
The notion of there being one perfect partner or soul mate is misguided… Instead, there are lots of potentially perfect partners out there.
In a sense, if you strip away superficial factors such as physical appearance, every single person that you meet is potentially the perfect partner, until proven otherwise!
Once you have a base level of attraction with someone, building on that is more a case of not doing anything wrong, rather than having to do everything right. As long as you don’t do anything to oppose someone’s personal standards or desires (and remember that attractive traits are universally desirable), you will continue to be a potential romantic interest and have the opportunity to progress towards a relationship.
Your knowledge of exactly what you are looking for in a relationship will change over time. The more people that you meet or date, and the more relationship experience that you accumulate, the more decisive your standards will become.
Does monogamy affect the perfect partner ideal?
Dating someone is very different to actually being in a relationship together. As mentioned above, when you are dating someone, although it is unnecessary to consciously categorise, that person can only potentially be the perfect partner for you. It is only once you have been in a relationship for some time that you can gradually confirm whether they do actually fulfil that role.
To make matters even more complicated, most people are constantly learning and changing.
The literal meaning of monogamy is one (mono) marriage (gamos) and in its modern usage, pertains to having one partner and one partner only.
At a conceptual level, monogamy does not exist because you and your partner should be constantly changing, adapting and improving… You are essentially always in a relationship with someone new!
It is the couples that go through the process of personal development at different rates that will start noticing imperfections in their once perfect partner.
The perfect partner:
Whilst nobody is perfect by definition, you can definitely be with someone who is perfect for YOU at each moment in time. If that continues to be the same person and you are mutually committed to enriching the relationship then that is great; you are likely to have a long and fulfilling relationship together.
If, on the other hand, your partner is no longer fulfilling your evolving desires, perhaps your image of the perfect partner has changed.
The best relationships are those that are unbounded. I don’t regret any of my past relationships because every single one taught me something new and raised my standards even further. They not only taught me what I was really looking for in my perfect partner, but they also shaped me into becoming the perfect partner myself… the ultimate boyfriend that I always envisaged being. After all, you can only expect to be with the perfect partner if you believe you are the reciprocal perfect partner yourself.
Every relationship should teach you something new about what you really want in your love life. If you aren’t learning anything new then you are either not resolute enough when it comes to high standards… or you’ve found the one… 🙂
Hi Sam. Great to see a new article of yours. This one really got me thinking.
I love the parts where you talk about standards and desires changing and also about being the perfect partner yourself. I can see how mine changed during my first few relationships. What you explained which I never really thought about before is how it is only when looking back at relationships that we realize they aren’t perfect even if we are really wrapped up in them at the time. I know I have always found ending relationships hard even if I know they aren’t perfect.
I have always thought relationships are a lot about timing. You have to meet, be in the same stage in life and if you are to be together you have to get over all the hurdles that a relationship has aswell. I wonder how many potential perfect partners we miss because some of those didn’t work out. Emma
I think most people’s outlook changes during their early relationship experiences, as long as they allow it to. It is only through comparison and improvement that one can really know what they are looking for, so it makes sense.
A breakup will always have an emotional effect but truly believing that there are other potentially perfect partners out there definitely softens the blow. It is far easier to look back at a past relationship and recognise its flaws whilst in a place of contentment once more. Finding the perfect partner is a combination of awareness, belief and effort and breakups have a habit of disturbing those three things.
I completely agree with your point about timing being important when it comes to relationships. Whilst some of the variables you mention are out of your control, you can swing the odds in your favour by having a proactive dating life and building confidence towards attraction and advancing relationships. Not only will you become far better at knowing what you are looking for, but you will also be completely prepared when the right person comes along! 🙂
Thanks a lot for commenting,
I completely agree with Emmas potrayal about timing and being in the same stage in life. Howeer I’ve never actually “dated” someone per say but I’ve been around relationships and people enough to know what I look of in a life partener. I like that you went into detail about how if you were to peek back the layers of attractiveness everyone is a potentially perfect partener as well as speaking about how we throughout life evolve and change. Something I didn’t really agree with though is that although that “once perfect one” ends up being imperfect, although no one is perfect we all are to someone other than our parents 😉 haha but that translates into people Falling in and out of love. I believe that people greatly confuse lust and love, because although there lust is being satisfied by “the one” they don’t even realize that although they may seem to “fit” they never take the time to,as you said “peel back the layers of attractiveness”. All in all though good article and definately has alot of room for discussion!
Emma- most have “that one that got away” but a good amount of the time things wind up working out and even every now and again they may wind up running into each other later on in life and maybe that difference that forced them to originally separate no longer exists or they are able to see past it.
You make a lot of good points. When I talked about seeing imperfections in a once perfect partner, I should have emphasised how it is all relative to one’s own journey through personal development. It actually takes a good deal of commitment and awareness to maintain impeccable communication levels in a relationship and make sure you are always perfect in each other’s eyes.
The interesting thing is that if two people are completely honest about that progress throughout their relationship, by definition the relationship will always be of mutual feelings. If two people “fall out of love”, it will be due to a mutual recognition of certain changes. This would only make them imperfect for what the other person now desires and does not mean they are fundamentally flawed themselves. I agree that without exception, everyone is perfect in someone’s eyes, or at least can be if they express themselves correctly.
It is a lot easier to notice traits that we do not want in a partner, rather than knowing exactly what we do want. For example, a couple that are constantly arguing will rationalise that as a negative trait, whereas the antithesis, not arguing, is a passive characteristic and does not directly cause positive emotions.
That is why dating and relationship experience advances one’s personal standards far more than thought exercises alone. Experiencing undesirable aspects of a relationship and comprehending why things didn’t work out help that person become a lot more aware and proactive if any of those same patterns appear in future relationships.
I like your response to Emma’s comment too. I have seen first-hand several couples reconnect after time apart and having made several changes in their respective lives. As I alluded to in the main article, if you spend time becoming the best person you can possibly be, you will be amazed at how easily you can attract the people you really want into your life. 🙂
Thanks a lot for commenting and adding to the discussion,
This is a quite a post with an impact. I agree with so much of what you say here. Probably another term to potentially perfect partner would be ideal partner. However, that may be splitting hairs though.
It was so cool how you broke down monogamy. I always had the mono part down but never knew that gamos translated to marriage. It’s great that you were able to learn positive lessons from you’re previous relationships. I also agree about higher standards for yourself. Yet I have one question. Why is it, when I tell people that I just haven’t met that right person, they tell me that I’m being too picky? I don’t think I am, because if I was less picky then I would be faking my feelings just to be with someone that I didn’t have strong feelings for in the first place.
This was very valuable information, and I think things happen for a reason, even if the reasons don’t make the most sense at the time they happen. Hope you are enjoying the weekend.
I agree that the terms “potentially perfect” and “ideal” are somewhat interchangeable. Your variation does sound more elegant but the reason I prefer the term “potentially perfect partner” in this instance is that it symbolises a pathway towards an ultimate goal. “Ideal partner”, in my mind, has connotations of settling for a relationship or having an attitude of “this will do”, rather than really striving for the best. Of course, it is merely semantics, so as long as everyone knows what we mean I don’t think it matters too much which term is used.
I think you have a great attitude towards really wanting the right person and not settling for anything less. Most people either have a limited vision of what the perfect partner for them is, or that limit is forcibly restricted by not meeting enough people or having enough self-belief.
It is an unavoidable consequence that the more “picky” someone is and the higher standards they impose, the harder and longer that person will probably have to search to find the perfect partner. It will be far more rewarding in the long run though. 🙂
There is still value in meeting and dating people along the way that don’t instantly match those high standards; as long as everyone is honest about what they want or expect, sometimes you can be surprised by how changeable those standards can be. 🙂
Thanks a lot for commenting,
Hope you’re well – I received your lastest newsletter and found that article which is current to my situation and therefore I have a question :
I have been in world seduction / PUA game for a while (and away from active outings for 2 years at leats) and it taught me to be more confident, outgoing, meeting women and develop standards…I had to weed out the bad stuff that came with all this and I am now open to meeting a great woman and have a great relationship.
I rarely meet women that I find really interesting on all level and would want a relationship with and have two problems :
-I don’t meet many of them despite being proactive. Often they are taken and it makes no sense for me to pursue them.
-When they’re not, I have the impression that my old PUA ways creep up at times and make me do counter productive stuff like teasing too much or inappropriately especially with those women AND I end up screwing up…
I met a single woman like that four days ago and managed to screw it up – she won’t even text back…
I don’t think I did anything majorly wrong but I believe that high quality women will see through even remote smell of seduction stuff and RUN.
It really got to me and I feel like all the stuff I have practiced and helped me back then are now completely hindering my chances of being with a great woman or The One…
Do you think it is possible ? or am I just kidding myself ?
I can definitely relate to your journey so far and also to some of your thoughts. Whilst there is a lot of value to be found in the PUA community, it covers a very specific aspect of the relationship process.
Looking back at my own experience, there were two distinct stages. The first was learning the social skills and confidence required to meet and attract women in any situation. The second was meeting women with a preconceived view of what I was looking for in a long-term relationship, although not limiting those views. The former took roughly three years of dedicated effort and the latter took one year. Without getting that first stage to a level of unconscious competence, it is almost impossible to do the second with authenticity.
Without knowing the context of specific examples it is difficult to fully analyse but it sounds like there is incongruence between how you want to act and how you think you should act. If there is ever an inner conflict between what you’ve learnt and how you really want to be around women then you can become self-defeating.
The first thing I would reassess is how you go about meeting women. Bars and clubs for example are great places to practice social skills but their superficial nature can cloud what you are really looking for. Meeting more women in the daytime and through the course of everyday life is one thing that changes a lot of men’s outlook and starts to make it all more natural.
Another point is to not force or pre-empt finding the perfect partner too much. If that is what you are ultimately looking for then you have to be willing to date more potentially perfect partners, whilst always being decisive and honest about what you truly want when the time comes. A somewhat crude way to define it is that you will meet the perfect partner when preparation meets opportunity. All the PUA techniques are simply a way to get through the first few hurdles with certain types of women. If those techniques aren’t fitting well with you then try other stuff that does. The most important thing is to continue being proactive like you say.
This whole process is the basis for what I have been primarily working on for the last six months, so I will be writing more on the topic in the not too distant future.
I hope you’re well and thanks for writing,