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The Elusive Mr. Perfect

If you remember from my previous post, "Mr. Perfect Is Out There...," I mentioned that I might write a little ditty about the fabled "Mr. Perfect."

Well, the time has come, folks, for me to unmask Mr. Perfect (or Mrs. Perfect, depending on who you are).

Who is he? What does he do? Why the hell is he so hard to find?


drumroll, please...
Notice the little key coming out of his back.
Ah, the perfect man...
He doesn't exist.

I know, I know. Gasps all around, right?

I'm sure most of you are probably going to think, "Man, this chick is totally jaded." But I'm not, really and truly. I am simply a realist.

We are taught from day one by the media and so on that our perfect mate is out there somewhere in this land of beauty and opportunity, but the truth is that there is no such thing as a "perfect partner" or a "soul mate." In the words of Snow White, "Someday my prince will come..." except, he's not.

Don't get me wrong; I would love it if soul mates existed. It would totally appeal to my hopeless romanticism. But I'd also love it if Santa Claus was real. Or the Easter Bunny. And we all know how realistic those are.

Here's the bottom line: If you want a relationship to work with someone, then you make it work. It's that simple. Sure, there are people with whom a relationship might be easier than others, but at the end of the day it's all about making a commitment and sticking with it even if things get hard.

I can imagine some of you are thinking, "Well, then why break up with anyone at all? Why not just 'make it work' with the first person with whom you enter into a relationship?"

What if you decide you don't want to 'make it work' with that person? What if he (or she) decides he doesn't want to 'make it work' with you? That's what dating is for. As callous as this may sound, I have always viewed dating as a weeding process. You're finding out who best fits with your personality, who appeals most to your Love Languages, etc. If someone doesn't fit the bill, then au revoir. I can be picky, right? I mean, I am planning on spending the rest of my life with this person.

This is how I figure it: there are a bunch of people in the world, right? I mean, come on, there are, what, 6 billion people on the Earth, and you're trying to tell me that only one of those people are my soul mate? That brings my odds of finding said soul mate down to dismal levels, and it's honestly depressing and makes me want to throw in the towel completely. It just doesn't seem worth it.

What are your thoughts? Are you pro soul mate? Or are you, like me, disillusioned by the statistics and an overwhelming sense of realism?



ib said…
Being a perfect guy, I take offense to this "post", ok, Just Kidding, I thought it was funny. But, for the record, I just want to say that any dude that irons, will not allow a picture to be taken of him. This kind of evidence is irrefutable and cannot be disclaimed. And I need not tell you how bad at lying we are. I am just a big, dumb, animal.
Alex Ong said…
I concur! And some boys are looking for Mr. Right...

Breakfast Every Hour
I remember the long, long search of which you speak. I think a whole class of music called "The Blues" came about as a result of that search. I would meet girl after girl, and for one or another reason, things would not work out. None could keep my attention from other elibile girls until I met my wife. Not that she was scary or anything. She just made me feel that my long search was over. And I didn't make her become the center of my life. Only God has that position.
Cinderita said…
Fantastic post Stef! Thank you! I am one of those people who believes in Love like a religion. I don't know about the soul mate/perfect mate thing..but I do know that I believe in love like an all encompassing, soul connection. In fact, I believe that kind of love is possible. For everyone. Not just the chosen few. I believe there is a love that can inspire those who don't believe to believe. I don't necessarily buy into the stories of the Prince and the Knight, however...the person I fall in love with is simply that. He becomes that, because I say so. And does it always work out? No. Is it an experience I carry with me always? You bet. And each time, my heart expands to love that much more. Is it altogether pleasant when it doesn't work out? Not at all. Does it suck when I realize that I compromised what I really want? You betcha. Would I do it again? In a heart beat! You've no idea the timing of your post today. Especially after the timing of mine.

I write a lot about love...and you've just really inspired me. I came into work tired and lack luster but reading your post has given me new life. Thank you!
Robin said…
I believe in soul mates. I have been with mine for 31 years. He is the perfect man for me. Since none of us our perfect it would be hard to find the perfect man. I prayed for several years that God would send me a husband and he did. We met in January, started dating in April and were married in August. God is the best matchmaker out there. So don't give up, just look up and ask for your perfect man. Blessings--Robin
Emily said…
I'm all for soul mates- in that they are people who enter your life and rock your world, and will always have a special place in it. But I don't believe you have only one, or that you're meant to marry them and live happily ever after. Or that you are even romantically attracted to them in the first place.
(my closest girlfriends are nothing short of soul mates!)

But I'm right with you on making it work! I truly believe that there are no matches made in heaven- just two people who make it work as it were!
Megan said…
I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately, too (go figure, I think most college girls think about this a lot--the perfect guy, sex, dating, etc). And I agree with you: 6 billion people? And we all will magically match one of those 6 billion? I do not like those odds, nosiree. No thank you. I'm going to go with the idea that there are hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of "soul mates" for me out there. Good luck to them all--whoever finds me first will be a lucky man indeed. :)
Anonymous said…
I enjoyed your post today, as well as the pictures. Also a realist, I don't believe in soul mates.
Anna said…
Hi, Stef.
I was never good in introduce myself, so let's be quick: I'm Anna and I'm brazilian. (See? You have followers all around the world. That must be exciting.)
And I know my English is not perfect (I haven't finished my course yet), so don't be surprised if you find a lot of grammatical errors in my comment.
I entered my blogger account a few days ago adn I saw your blog in the Blogs of Note.
As i always do, I went checking what it was about. And I completely loved it. I love write, I love the magic each language has and the power and flowing of the words. And I found a writer's blog dedicated to writers and writing. Perfect!
I'll keep visiting it, be sure!
And finally, my opinion about today's post: I believe there's no soul mate. It's impossible, since a) the world has 6 bilion people, so you'd take years to find your Mr. Perfect, IF you found him and b)there are so many people who you identify with, for who you feel atracted for the most different reasons that it'd be extremely hard to say that just one could be the right one for you.
Hmm, that's it.
See you.
Anonymous said…
I'm with you! Hence why I went ahead and had a baby on my own. This way, at least if the perfect guy never comes around I will have lived a full and happy life! I think that "soul mate" is a beautiful concept, but in actuality I feel like I'm a complete person all on my own!
You don't really want a perfect guy, it would be way too boring, and it wouldn't be a "project" making him better :-)
suesal said…
Hi Stef - great post! I used to believe in the total glassy eyed soulmate once in a lifetime thing. I still believe in soulmates but I see it differently now. I think that you can have someone in your life with whom you CHOOSE to open your soul. And when you let them in that deep and they you into their soul, the connection and COMMITMENT grow and flourish. And there will still be disagreements....and tears....and deep abiding comfort in being understood, and forgiven and genuinely loved. And yes, I believe this can happen with platonic connections as well. I am an incurable romantic who also happens to be more of a realist at times. But perfect man? Surely you jest! :)
Alessandra said…
I have to ditto this post. There is no soul mate, there is that person that you know you can spend the rest of your life with, the kind of life you'll have however is up to you both.
I met and married my husband in eight short weeks, that was 25 years ago, another of those God/Match maker thing (they seem to be the best ones, if they're real)

Love is not this silly emotion Hollywood wants us to believe (sorry Cinderita..), sometimes it's a lot of work, with little or no reward. Other times, it's very little work and lots of rewards, but it always comes down to commitmment.

Btw, does anybody know how one gets chosen to be on the blogs of note?
Guy Duperreault said…
Stef, at first thought I found the contrast between you studying to be an opera singer in order to emote lives lived and lost to dreams of perfect love with your blunt dismissal of romantic dreams of perfection to be très amusant!

But my second thought brought the realization that the 'perfect' opera singer cannot be taken-in by the romantic dreams of her characters if she wants to make them live on the stage!

Now for my thoughts on the perfect, 'soul' mate? Hmmm. My thinking has been contaminated by Chuang-Tzu, C.G. Jung, and the Dog Whisperer: I have come to the conclusion that the universe provides us with what we need much more willingly than it provides us with what we think we want. Unfortunately in our age of over abundant everything we are normally incapable of distinguishing between these two states of being. In this nearly perpetual state of confusion we are oblivious to not really needing romantic notions of seamless oneness and bliss. This does not mean that we do not need, sometimes, to be hugged and made to feel safe in arms we trust; but nor does it overlook the need our creative selves have sometimes to be challenged with overcoming our fears on our own two feet, even when that means breaking-up with someone.

I suspect that the perfect mate is that person able to provide the hugs when needed, but who gives with exuberance the space to walk alone when needed. And such perfection is not likely to be a journey of eternal bliss and peace. Does this mean that the perfect mate does or does not exist? Well, s/he may exist, but only by broadening our understanding of perfection to include life's apparent annoyances and grotesqueries.

And so it would appear that I have cheated your query, Stef, by suggesting that the perfect mate does exist, but only if we deform the meaning of perfection to include the breadth of life's complexity, a complexity that seems to include a molecular imperative from whatever comprises the universe for capital 'L' Life to grow physically, psychologically, and spiritually.

Argh! That has come out sounding so corny despite my straining to make it not so! Why is it so easy for words to impede our ability to convey an idea? At least the sun will continue to shine, regardless, and the earth to spin, too, and life to carry on blissfully oblivious to our ideas and beliefs good, bad or indifferent! I do confess that it is a great relief to know that the truly important things in life do not rely on our words for their existence!

I was amused when, as I was editing this last paragraph, Vonda Shephard's song "Maryland' came into my ears randomly from iTunes DJ: Here are the opening lyrics:

I've been thinking
I've been thinking I've been thinking too much
I just want to live now for a little while
And cast my dreams to the wind.


Yup, that told me in no uncertain times to stop ... thinking!

Thanks, Stef, for the great blog.

Yvonne said…
I believe in soul mates. The notion that somewhere there is someone just for me and me for him. I know, I know, I'm showing my romanticism again! I can't help it. I have a soul mate but unfortunately, I was not his. Which sucks. lol However, I've not given up hope that somewhere out there, is another guy preparing to sway me! ---And I also don't think you are jaded at all. I agree with what you said about being a realist. It's just that, ever so often, I allow myself to dream...
Unknown said…
First, great picture and second, great post! Sorry, I could not resist that one. I think there is a Mister or Mrs Perfect for each and every one of us. With that said, each of us has our own unique idea of what "perfect" IS. And yes, each of in return needs to equally work at it individually and together. I think after someone has been burned or broken enough it makes Mr. or Mrs. Perfect seem farther and farther out of rich and at times (like yours) non-existent...
It will happen when you least expect and it will most likely be an introduction through a mutual friend -- so, don't turn down any party invites or "let's meet for drinks" invites...
I wish luck and good thoughts to the disillusioned.
Samantha said…
I agree with you to an extent. The perfect guy doesn't exist, because the perfect girl doesn't exist. None of us are perfect. I think what you say about commitment is correct, but I think that there is a point when you meet the person in which you're willing to go the distance. You meet that person, and you know you're willing to do anything to stay with them--you love them that much. Yes, they will hurt you. Yes, they will annoy you. In the end, however, you will stick it out and suck it up and make the decision to continuously stay committed to them. Love is more than a feeling. It's a decision.
M. A. S. said…
Why isn't he just ironing the clothes on his stomach?
I agree with you completely.

The possibility of finding the so-called one true love of your life in a planet this people heavy is a bit too far fetched. The trouble with making it work is the end result. It should feel worthwhile. IF it is not, then there is no point in even trying. If you're busy making a relationship work, only to realise that you're not enjoying it, then the whole exercise is futile.
The goal for most decisions is personal happiness, not the greater good. WE consider the greater good only when family is directly involved, sometimes not even then...
Not sure about what I'm trying to say... I should have stopped at I agree with you...!!!
Ghadeer said…
Seconded :)
The concept of soul mates isn't logical. It's not like there is only one single match that can work out for one person. How comes some people might feel like they click with several people?
I believe Disney played a huge role in planting us with thoughts of Prince Charming since childhood. That's why so many marriages don't work out- because the expectations are just too high. I say don't start any relationship with any expectations- it just turns it into a trade or something- marriage is much more deeper than that.
Anonymous said…
I actually never want to find someone to spend the rest of my life with. I used to believe in love, but it's just a bunch of mush.

"My Black and White World"
life in an old mickey mouse cartoon...
Tortured Genius said…
Well, I am not into the 'soulmate' concept but I have to admit I have found someone very close to that. My boyfriend is Awesome. He is what I want in a guy - he is chivalrous, he's a gentleman, he is selfless, he is kind, he is mature (tho he is younger than me by a few mnths), he is understanding, he's extremely intelligent, he's funny; very funny, he's caring, he loves me more than I love him (or so he says) and no, he's not gay(no offense). I can't imagine being with anyone but him. He kinda is my Mr.Perfect.[excuse all the excessive praise :)tho he deserves all of it]. So I guess I beat the odds and I consider myself extremely lucky.
Letty said…
i am a hopeless romantic, so i don't believe that there is one person out who you are destined to spend forever with. i like to think we end up with ppl cause we like them and we want to be with them. if there really truly was just one person out there, then the odds of you ever meeting them would be pretty slim.

plus, if you really think about it a prefect person be endlessly annoying.
Vic said…
Stef, I agree that there aren't perfect men and perfect women but I do not agree that there is no such thing as a soul mate. I might have agreed two years ago but a little more than 18 months ago, I met my soul mate, Janie. I absolutely adore her and even though I know she isn't perfect, I know she is my soul mate and I love her imperfections.

I think I was just very lucky to meet Janie but I can also say that I met her after some serious soul searching and getting to know myself. I learned over time what made me happy, and how to articulate that and recognize it when I saw it.

And of course I iron and cook and do my share of our domestic chores. I'm pretty certain that Janie wouldn't be convinced that I am her soul mate if I sat in front of the TV watching sports while she did all the work.

It seems to me, that if a relationship is built on anything less than equality and mutual respect then it will fail as a relationship regardless of whether the relationship is held together by determining to make it work. If you have mutual respect and equality and then add, shared views and interests along with sincere feelings of affection then I think the relationship chances of success increase quite a lot.

The thing that seems to get in the way sometimes is ego. One or the other in a relationship just has to have the upper hand and then equality and partnership go out the window, followed by mutual respect and finally, the relationship itself.

At least that's my opinion...

Unknown said…
You do have it figured out! I wrote a poem you might enjoy. I'll put it on my blog. Come over for coffee.
Igrew up reading fairy stories and truly believed that I would meet my prince charming and live happily ever after. So much so that I spent 20 years with a man that did not love or more importantly, respect me. I believed, like beauty and the beast, that if I loved him enough, it would all come good. Well, I raised his son he made whilst cheating on me, discovered and lived with numerous affairs and believed that I was the fat and unattractive person he convinced me I was. It took a nervous breakdown loosing my job and homelessnes to realise that I was better without him. I have been single over 2 years now, have a lovely home and am back at college retraining to be a teacher for adults. None of these with any help from him.
I dont believe in soul mates, I believe in equality in a relationship, I believe that both people have to give 100% and be repectful and honest. I believe that the test of love is your ability to solve problems together and then be able to laugh at it together afterwards.
I am far from ready to try and attempt another relationship yet, but I have learnt (finally) that no man can have me that does not deserve me. I will only accept someone who gives of himself as much as I do.
This is not an 'o poor you' story, this is a happy story. I would never ever have believed how happy and fullfilled my life could be. Do I still believe in Beauty and the Beast? Yes I do, but they are both me.
RTPOT said…
I just want to say that I think the term Mr. Perfect is taken in the wrong context. As we all know no one person is perfect and no one really knows what perfect would be because how could we all agree on what perfect is. The term I think means perfect for you. I don't know about soul mates but I truly think some people have them and not that others don't but there are some couples you just couldn't imagine them with other another person because they are just perfect for each other. I don't think its just about finding someone to make it work that is important but finding someone that you want to make it work with.
Unknown said…
Great Post!! I totally agree with your post. The perfect guy is allusive and is comparable to the existence of Bigfoot! Sometimes we need to re-evaluate our standards. But hey, I have my perfect guy. He is not perfect, but he is perfect for me.
Smart Person said…
Totally agree with all of this blog post.
I really needed this today. Someone commented that you find the right person and "make them your soulmate". And anyone that is perfect would be boring. They just have to be perfect for you.

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