can be a very dirty word. On more than one occasion, friends or would-be girlfriends have accused me of wanting perfection. They contend that this desire is at the root of my chronic singlehood. I've always disagreed because I don't believe that perfection is attainable. Instead, I've found that the women I care for are not perfect, but the feeling they've given me truly is.
Years ago, the last time this country picked a President, I was dating an amazing woman named Karen. She and I got along so well and she was, to this day, one of the kindest, smartest, and most good-hearted people I've known. During my time with Karen I was happier than I had ever been. I loved Karen and told her so. She did not feel the same. Eventually, she came to realize that she did not feel any attraction toward me any longer and she ended the relationship. On that day, Karen told me that I did everything "perfectly" and set a high bar for the next man she dates.
Since this summer, I have been absolutely smitten by a woman named Wendy. She lives across the country but we have seen each other a few times. Also, for nearly the last five months, Wendy and I have spoken on the phone or Skype every day. Often, these conversations last for three or four hours or more. Wendy is wonderful, but I know she isn't perfect. She also has a requirement for a partner that I simply do not fit. I've pleaded with her to try to see what we have and to recognize that she really does love me. I've even told her that I would work for nearly a decade to fulfill that requirement so we could have a life together. I don't know if she is looking for perfection, but it seems like the fact that I do not have this requirement is going to mean that we will not be together.
I believe that the thought of, or desire for, perfection is not a bad thing. However, we cannot let it take over. Yes, we should always strive for more; strive to be perfect. The feeling I have when I speak, or spend time, with Wendy is perfect. That's why I always strive to give her everything and give her the perfect experience with me. But when the feeling is right then do we need to let perfection slip into the background? Karen said that I was perfect, but didn't love me. Wendy probably does love me but won't accept less than perfection. This idea that perfection actually exists can be so harmful. I never believe that anyone should settle for his or her partner. However, at some point we need to understand that things change, but love is forever. Love is never perfect, so how can being in love ever be perfect either?