This question has plagued humanity since people began choosing their life partners a few hundred years ago. So many of us have gotten lost in the happily ever after fantasy. Movies and love songs perpetuate the idea that once we find the perfect person, we will live in bliss and ease from then on.
But real love, like real life, can be messy sometimes. In order to be healthy, functioning adults, at some point we must learn to accept that life contains the full spectrum of experiences. But love is the last bastion of immaturity, our last great hope for a perfect fairy tale ending. But is perfectionism healthy in any arena, even love? What is a perfect relationship, and is creating one possible?
The Fantasy Trap
From Disney movies to Top 40 pop songs, finding true love is the medias favorite subject. Its no wonder; nothing pulls at our heartstrings like the idea of everlasting happiness, the idea that one person can fulfill our every need and make us totally happy. But as intoxicating as these fantasies are to our affection-starved world, they can also be quite toxic.
Indulging in fantasies occasionally is normal. Letting our attention wander to what we might like to experience can help us get clear about what we want to create in our lives. After exploring a fantasy for a while we can set intentions and then work towards creating them in the world.
Fantasies become dangerous when we mistake them for reality. If we believe that everything in life should be exactly as we picture it in our minds, we set ourselves up for major disappointment.
The Power of Acceptance
No one in our lives can live up to a fantastic ideal. As we love people, we learn more about them. Whatever our expectations and projections might have been at the beginning of the relationship, eventually the entire range of their humanness will reveal itself.
There will be times when your partner seems incredibly wonderful to you. And there will be times when they will annoy, aggravate, or disappoint you. This is life. Especially in long-term relationships, there will be things you dislike about the people you love.
The test of your willingness to experience true love is your ability to accept your partner unconditionally. Can you see all the parts of this person with curiosity, kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance? Can you choose to not take things personally, and stay out of blaming, shaming, martyrdom, and projection?
Learning to accept your partner unconditionally will create a safe space within your relationship. When you know that you can be authentic with each other and you are both doing your best to allow the others full humanity to be expressed, you will feel greater ease and comfort in your life.
Trusting the Process
All relationships have ups and downs. Part of creating a healthy, lasting relationship is to ride those waves as fearlessly as possible. Sometimes you may need to take space apart from each other to find your equilibrium. Sometimes you may get so triggered that it takes all your will power to not turn into a screaming 12 year old. And sometimes your gratitude for this person at your side might bring you to tears.
To create a healthy relationship, trust the process of understanding each other and growing together. Learn how to communicate with each other, both the wonderful feelings and the challenging ones. Trust your ability to adapt to your truth and your partners truth as you both evolve. And trust that love is smarter than any of us.
Perfection implies that there is some end goal you will reach. But a healthy relationship is an ever-evolving, ever-shifting experience of two people figuring it out together.
The key is not to focus on making everything perfect, and not to get lost in fantasies of what you think you want, but rather to strive for health and authenticity. If you feel fulfilled and safe, like you can be yourself with your partner and that you give him or her that same freedom, then you are creating a healthy relationship.
There may always be dishes in the sink. There may always be ways that you cannot give each other what you think you want. But if you are doing your best to support, uplift, acknowledge, and love each other, you are winning. If you are each others champions no matter what, and some part of you is excited to keep learning and growing with that person, then you are in the perfect relationship for you.
So the short answer to this inquiry is yes, provided your definition of a perfect relationship is actually a healthy partnership based on mutual trust, acceptance, clear communication, and unconditional love.
There is no such thing as the perfect relationship. You can however, create a relationship that is perfect. Perfection comes from your commitment to being a teacher and a student. Being as curious and playful as children. Having the maturity of an adult, and being a friend, partner, and lover. Perfection often comes from imperfection. So, embrace the challenges and learn to grow together, not apart. ~ James A. Murphy