Our new favorite thing to tell each other on the Internet is that we must only love and be loved by perfect people.
We write out lists of questions they must be able to answer. We compile deal breakers instead of desires. We encourage each other to wait for our absolutely perfect forever-person: the one who always says and does the exact right thing and the precisely right time and never steps out of line for a moment.
We are no longer interested in taking our chances on love – not wanting to put in any work or stick our necks out until we’re 100% sure that the other person is already all in.
We want to date people who have it all figured out – the way we like to think that we do.
But here’s the dangerous part of waiting for full self-actualization before allowing ourselves to fall in love – it leaves us no room to grow with each other.
What happens when you meet someone who has all their ducks in a row and yet it’s not the exact way that you would line up the ducks? What happens when you start falling for someone who is entirely confident in his or her life plan, but who isn’t willing to compromise that plan to make room for someone else?
What happens when you realize that you are the person who’s unwilling to compromise?
The truth about relationships is that no matter how put together, self-assured and ‘ready’ both parties are for them, they’re always going to be a bit messy.
We’re always going to have to bend and twist and compromise a little bit in order to make it work with someone else. We’re always going to have to shift our perspective a bit. We’re always going to have to re-think things.
And so maybe, just maybe, instead of looking for someone who has it all figured out, we should be looking for someone who’s still questioning.
Someone who’s still flexible about who they are and what they’re looking for and where they plan to be ten years from now.
Someone who’s open – to the idea that there may be something out there that’s better than what they currently have in their plans.
Someone who isn’t entirely set on love looking or feeling a highly particular way, but who is open – to the exploration of whatever it looks like with you.
Instead of looking for people who have it all together, what if we started looking for the people who are just willing to be happy inside of the mess with us?
Because a good life will always be messy.
It will always be a bit too much of this and a little bit not-enough of that. It will always be filled with big dreams and big disappointments and big losses and gains. And the people who are going to be best suited to take all of that on are the people who never quite have it all ‘figured out.’
The people who are still asking questions. The ones who are okay without the answers. The ones who haven’t grown complacent inside of their lives, and who are still actively searching for something more.
Those are the people who are still open to life. And as a consequence, they’re still open to love.
Because at the end of the day, the last thing you want is to be fit into someone else’s picture of what they think love ought to look like. The last thing you want is to grow stagnant and old alongside someone who’s too afraid to take a risk on anything new. The last thing you want is someone who ‘has all the answers’ – because all that means is that they’ve been asking uninteresting questions.
Questions someone like you doesn’t have time for.
Because you’re out there searching for bigger, better answers.
And you need someone who’s ready to search alongside you.