How many of these do you see on a daily basis? And how many times do you click on one, secretly hoping your significant other will pass the test, and that you’ll have gloating rights over all the boyfriends in the world? And how many times does that guy turn out to be a mere human. Let me guess. 9/10 times? (Lol there’s a little hero in all of us). At least this is what I’ve found.
Phil and I have been married for almost two years, so I get it, I don’t have all the experience. But I have some, and I know somewhere out there, someone is bound to find this relatable. I know someone else, guy or gal, is tired of their relationship being undermined by unrealistic expectations and standards. And I DO have a lot of experience in that particular field. I struggled for a long time with basing my standards for my romantic life off of what I read, what I listened to, what I watched, or what I just assumed.
It worked when I was 17, you know? I mean not really, but it was at least at a point where I had room to grow up a little.
When you look at our picture, which is actually from our engagement shoot, I bet you don’t see two people with a past. All you can see is the love we feel for each other. Not the frustration of finding a pose that looks good on us, making sure I like the way my neck looks, trying to make my hair look like it’s manageable. You don’t see the pain from my childhood, our arguments over how to properly assemble our dresser, or the endless piles of dirty dishes that need to be washed.
I read an article this morning titled something along the lines of, “10 ways to know if your relationship is perfect.” There were things along the lines of, are they your best friend, do you love spending time with them, can you cry around them… you know, the usual. Do you respect each other, do you tear one another down when you fight… I think all those are very key, but basically I think what this article was asking, was “are you in love with this person?”.
Spoiler alert, I’m not always in love with my husband. And part of me doesn’t want to say it because, “Oh no! What will people think?!” … And honestly if you want to judge me, have at it. But the truth is, relationships are very difficult. And though I would love to say that I don’t have shortcomings, or that Phil is always perfect, it isn’t true.
We all know this too. There isn’t a person in this world that is a perfect significant other. And I hate “knowing” what my relationship is based on someone else’s life, standards, flaws, hopes, and worldview.
It’s overwhelming, confusing and inaccurate. and I feel that I should defend all us imperfect people.
I think everyone at some point has been hurt, has been lied to, has had a little piece of their heart broken. And everyone at some point will get frustrated, will get angry, will feel hurt or betrayed. Everyone is trying to find their way in life. And the second we start putting lines, conditions, and rules to what a personal and intimate relationship looks like, that’s when we become the judge in someone else’s life.
Now, I’m sure the intent of these articles is purely innocent, and designed to be cute. So I’m not trying to spew my soapbox all over you like a hate-wave. The only point I’m trying to get across, is to remember when you see pictures of smiling faces, articles that take you to nostalgic places, or quizzes that test your compatibility… remember, that everyone is flawed. No one is completely put together. We’re all dragging around a backpack of burdens, trying to find a place to leave it at.
Don’t forget to see that person you’re with through eyes of grace and love. To remember what’s important about love. To forgive them when they fail you. To not base the foundation of who you are on what other people claim to be the “right” way. And to be honest with yourself about who you are, and who your partner is.
Comparing yourself or your partner to other people, or other people’s standards will lead to disappointment. Always. It’s a bottomless pit of mystery. And it’s never satisfied.
Regardless of whether you’re spiritual or not, remember that the person you’re with was created as a beautiful, loved, and individual being. And they should be treated as such.