Follow Sacha on Twitter: @sachacrouch
Did you ever stop to consider that your imaginary ideal partner might just not…gulp… exist? High expectations are important when it comes to choosing your one-to-be. However, high expectations are different to perfectionism. There’s no need to settle for second best, of course, but sometimes perfectionism can get in the way of a real and fulfilling relationship.
Below are five important questions to ask yourself if you’re beginning to wonder if your unrealistic standards are keeping love at bay.1. Does ‘love-at-first-sight’ really exist?
Sure love at first sight is promoted a lot in films and on television, but in real life it isn’t a very common occurrence. Of course, it can sometimes happen, but in reality it’s almost impossible to know that you love someone on first seeing them. Yes, it’s a romantic idea, but real love is something that develops once you have gotten to know someone’s personality. Stop waiting for love to slap you in the face like some heavenly rainbow, because it probably never will. Get out there and get talking to people instead and you may just realise that that guy or girl you completely overlooked is actually quite intriguing.2. Does your ideal vision really exist?
Likewise, a Hollywood vision of Brad Pitt riding in on a white horse to take you away from your horrible job and happily support you until your final days may be keeping a real man from loving you deeply. If you’re ideal man is some sort of brain surgeon/ arctic explorer then I’d suggest you may have put a little too much imagination into your vision. Similarly, if your ideal woman is beautiful, hilarious, a genius, and also doesn’t mind when you crack chauvinist jokes, then you’re probably living in fantasy land. There is nothing wrong with looking for someone who is attractive, smart and funny, but try not to have too narrow-minded a view of who your ideal partner should be.3. Do you even really want a partner?
Some people tend to find flaws with potential dates because, really, they quite like being single and don’t want it to change. If you have decided that nothing but the absolute best will do for you, maybe it’s because you aren’t really that keen on the idea of being in a relationship anyway. Society does tend to make us feel that we have to be part of a partnership to feel whole, but there is nothing wrong with being single at all. If you have a fulfilling life as is, admit that to yourself and end the torture of believing it’s a problem with “all the men out there”.4. Is that perfect partner really perfect after all?
Some people hold ideals of the perfect partner who actually is not a good match for them anyway. For example, one of my coaching clients repeatedly looked for love with high-powered businessmen in suits. After a few months of fun with these men she would hit the same brick wall of mismatched values. Once she stopped focusing on this vision of the ‘perfect’ man she soon began to open her eyes to the other possibilities out there and fell in love with a writer who fit snuggly with her values and ideals. Sometimes it’s important to be open to all possibilities, and that means expanding your idea of just who your ideal partner could be.5. Are you looking for an ex in another form?
Does your heart still yearn for an ex-lover that left you heartbroken and miserable? It is a difficult question to ask oneself, but many of us end up accidentally looking for an ex-lover in a new form. When it is not our choice for a relationship to end we often focus on all the things we loved about the person rather than the flaws and challenges. As a result we can unfairly idealise an ex with standards no-one else can ever come close to meeting. If you’re looking to recreate a previous experience with an ex all other people will continue to disappoint you. Take several months (if not more) to work through your past relationship and genuinely heal your broken heart. Get the balance back in your vision by thinking about why the relationship didn’t work, how you didn’t fit, and what qualities you did not like in your ex.6. Are you too critical of others?
Quick to make judgements of others (and oneself), we push people away before they have the chance to show their best selves. Don’t give up on someone after they crack one bad joke or leave the bathroom with toilet paper on their shoe; try to give people the benefit of the doubt and you might begin to see the real person behind the dark shades. If you’re someone that tends to find fault with everyone including yourself, it may be time to start practicing some compassion. Life will be very lonely for you if you always see people’s flaws – it’s an unhappy place to be.
Last week: 7 ways to get along with your in-laws
Author of De-stress Your Success: Get More of What You Want with Less Time, Stress and Effort, Sacha Crouch is a business, executive and life coach who helps people create the work and lives they love. For other free lifestyle resources visit www.activ8change.com.au.