Liv Talley | NYC's Premier Dating Coach and LOVE QUEEN

Boundaries

Successfully Single: Search for Perfection

Hi.

It’s been a while, but I wrote a few months ago about cultural stigmas I wanted to address–particularly in how they are harming us as singles. (Read the launch post HERE.) But I figured it was time to continue the conversation.

Mostly because I’ve been teaching Institute, and we’ve had several conversations debating the complexities of the word we love to use: perfect.

More specifically, the search for perfection in dating. IE; the perfect match.

That’s ultimately what you’re after, isn’t it?

Someone who checks all your boxes and doesn’t seem to have any flaws.

It’s the dream!

Whether you’re searching for that, or you feel like you’ve just found someone that fits that criteria, I want you to reconsider…

Taking you back to those lists you made in your early years of dating–what did it look like?

How many qualifications were on there?

And most importantly: do you still use it as a standard?

The definition of “perfection,” particularly within Church culture, is human at best. And defeating at worst.

What could be more antithetical to a gospel of love and healing and an Atonement, than the idea that we are to become “without flaws”?

Ultimately, that won’t happen in our human experience.

We are inherently going to be making mistakes for the rest of our lives. And that’s the way we were DESIGNED to be. That’s how we were created to experience life!

If you could stop doing anything wrong, you wouldn’t need Christ to redeem you. How incredibly beautiful is it that we get to keep trying. Over, and over, and over again. To learn lessons, gain empathy, to teach those who come after us, and to build a stronger connection with our loving Father in Heaven.

To become “perfect” in this life is about committing to work on yourself, and remembering to rely on Christ and communicate with God along the way.

So why would we expect to find someone that fits a concept of perfection, when we aren’t even understanding the meaning of that word?

You aren’t going to find a partner who doesn’t have flaws.

And chances are, you aren’t even going to find someone who meets every qualification on your list. I’m even going to go so far as to tell you that your list may actually be working AGAINST you.

Let that settle.

The thing is, it’s not wrong to want certain things from a partner. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary to a healthy, long term relationship to find someone that can take care of your needs.

Which is why you may be confusing “needs,” for “wants.”

Ok, you WANT someone that makes good money.

Or do you need someone that you feel like you can rely on?

You WANT someone who served a mission.

Or are you looking for someone who loves the church and honors their covenants?

…I’ll stop there because I’m not going to completely disassemble your list (unless you want me to teach you how to turn your checklist into non-negotiable boundaries!) But I hope you’ll consider the difference in a paper list of qualities that you may or may not ever find in a person, and HOW you connect with them–WHY they are a good match for you.

We can’t be perfect.

You can’t.

Your partner can’t.

And it’s not anymore fair to expect that from them, than for God to demand it from you.

He doesn’t, and you shouldn’t.

Even if you are currently dating someone that you THINK is perfect. They “check all your boxes.” You are certain they are flawless…I hope you’ll be careful.

I promise, at one point or another, that illusion will shatter. You will see them mess up. They’re going to do something you won’t like.

Then what?

Barring abusive behaviors, you have the beautiful opportunity to accept that these flaws are as much your partner as their good qualities! We are far too dimensional to be a paper-checklist.

Allow for that. Because you’re going to hope for the same understanding. When your annoying quirks show, your bad habits, your morning breath, your inability to close cupboard doors…you’re going to want to know you can be imperfect!

When you cook breakfast and burn the bacon, you’ll take comfort in knowing that won’t break you up.

And that’s the VALUE in dating! You get to spend time with people to learn these things. (That’s why I suggest seeing the people you date in all kinds of scenarios before getting too serious. But to each their own.)

What’s more, is that it is tragically beautiful to have scars. To reveal and share your mending wounds. Authentic connection where you finally just be yourself and let your partner be theirs–in every broken, weird, and curious facet–is where you create the things that last.

Filter people. Say no to bad options. Learn how to identify them!

And then, when you find a good one, spend time learning WHY they are imperfect. Doing this leaves space to grow, grace to heal, and love to flourish so you can both become your best selves!

What’s more perfect than that?

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