When I heard this line in the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” I decided I need to adopt this as my life mantra. A reminder to only accept what I know I deserve.
Only thing is its not as easy to recognise what I truly deserve as I thought. There is no perfect pre-packaged partner with the perfect mix of looks, character, and fun just waiting for me to show up and say “Hi”. When I came across this article I thought it came close to explaining why I used to say I want someone to “bicker with” and why I tend not to like the guys that are “too nice”.
“As adults, we may reject certain healthy candidates whom we encounter, not because they are wrong, but precisely because they are too well-balanced (too mature, too understanding, too reliable), and this rightness feels unfamiliar and alien, almost oppressive. We head instead to candidates whom our unconscious is drawn to, not because they will please us, but because they will frustrate us in familiar ways.”
Now, I’ve learned that this “bickering” is not the correct term for what I’m tying to describe, its “challenging“.
The “nice guy” that finishes last is probably a “yes man”. A person who would laugh their butts off at everything you say, or follow your lead blindly.
I want to be faced with the little friction of him holding true to his own preferences, because an ideal partner exposes you to new things and teaches you all about life. Some of the strongest relationships you can think of are between people who offset each other and challenge each other daily to reach new levels of understanding and to experience new things. I like to call this the ying-to-my-yang. Someone who balances you and rounds you out. Someone that you will for sure butt heads with and maybe fight with but knows how and when to apologise.
The love I think I deserve is patient and understanding (’cause I know I could probably be a handful at times), it’s respectful, attentive, intense, and passionate. I deserve someone who is interested in my life and supportive and encouraging of my dreams.
But the love I think I deserve may not be wrapped in a tall, long-employed car-owner who always dresses well and cooks. But, he might have aspirations to become that man, and once he’s actionable about those goals, that is perfect-package-potential.
So I’ve stopped turning away the not-quite-perfect guys and really tried to see potential and things I can live with. Sometimes I get a vibe but try to see it out anyway in case the vibe was shallow. And I’m not saying I let any and everyone get a chance either, my standards have not fallen. I’ve let go of the mild excuses for why someone isn’t good enough to be in my life and started trying to work with what people bring to the table as they are, without the expectation that they will change eventually. I know a friend that said once “No girl, we don’t date ‘potential'” and I used to feel the same way, but now I know perfect does not exist. If I want a deeper, long lasting relationship, I’m going to have to make certain compromises (as he probably would for me) and spot the temporary situations from the permanent characteristics.