This was the title to a recent article on Psychology Today and might be the question a lot of people encounter throughout their lives, either when they’re single, or (maybe even more often) when they are in a relationship and it comes up as a doubt: ‘did I make the right decision?’
The article seems to point to a prototype of a partner, a generalized image of a person having traits that suit us all. Those traits would be positive ones: not being arrogant and manipulative, being ‘sincere, humble, fair-minded’.
And that would be our (the readers’) only option if we want a partner for marrying and live a long happy life together.
Together with the description of the ‘right partner’ with these positive personality traits there was an additional thought – the article seems to point to the idea that if we stop chasing arrogant people we realize that other people (who are maybe not so attractive) are sexy as well.
Well, that’s interesting, because slightly arrogant people might be sexy to some of us; a lot of readers might really enjoy the type of people who are in control of their own behavior, environment, mind and body. And might not give a serious second look to someone who is humble and fair-minded. Or might want them for friends but no for partners. Those are things to consider. In the same way that some of us might find extremely sexy a person who is a kind listener, or a loud talker, or just really quiet, or impulsive, or …
But most importantly, could somebody who shows arrogant traits be, at the same time, a loving person? Could an ill-tempered person be simultaneously the best friend you’ve ever had? Are we all just good or bad?
This other article on The Philosopher’s Mail gives it a slightly different taste by focusing on ‘me’, meaning figuring ourselves out before we try to judge others, put them in boxes, or try to change them. If there’s something we can know is that the only person we can change and work on for improvement it’s ourselves, and then we can make better decisions.
So what do we want? What’s the best choice? How do we know it?
Can all of these questions be answered by an article? Or several articles?
Doesn’t it make sense that I will only want a fair-minded person if I enjoy fair-mindedness or I’m one myself? Maybe what’s right for me is not what’s right for other people.
Could it be that only really balanced people can make it in long-term relationships?
Because what you need to make a relationship work is of Homeric strength. What you need to make your life function, in a harmonious manner, on a daily basis with somebody else, and still keep feelings of love, affection, attraction flowing together with a healthy management of sadness, anger and grief going, is truly arduous.
Surely it will be much easier if the person next to you is close to sweet perfection, all balanced out, never having a bad thought or intention, or egotistic behavior. Oh that would be paradise! Or so we suppose… Because there are not a lot of them out there. Most people are more the type that has flaws. Who are difficult to handle when they’re upset; who will treat you in a not so considerate way when they’re really struggling. But they might love you and be there for you, every time they can.
The struggle I found when faced with giving out rules for relationships and partner seeking, is that relationships are demanding and people are complex. No point on being on a high horse with a checklist looking for the perfect person; and even if you would manage to find that, then you would really have to face how not-perfect you are. Only you can say what is important for you, what you absolutely value and what you can compromise and work on. And keep forever growing.
© Lea Pereira, 2014
Illustration by E. Nerman (1925)
N.B. – In this section you can find short articles on several topics that might range from Education, Love, Anxiety Disorders, Children, Psychotherapy, Sex, or Anything else connected to Mental Health that, at certain moment, seems relevant and deserves a few lines written about it. What you find here is mainly the author’s opinions and thoughts, eventually linked to other articles/authors, i.e. the article itself is not the result of a specific scientific research or study. Feel free to browse through or even leave your opinion. Hope you enjoy!