Is There a Mr. or Mrs. Right for Everyone?
Hollywood loves to paint pictures of beautiful princes and brave knights in shining armor. They do such an effective job of portraying the perfect partner that many young people grow up thinking that there is a Mr. or Mrs. Right out there for them. When this person fails to make an appearance, all sorts of negative emotions can creep in.
Here is the question: do Mr. and Mrs. Right even exist? Despite continuing societal insistence that you can control with whom you fall in love, there is a growing consensus that Mr. and Mrs. Right are just fairytales. They do not exist; they never have.
1. Making a List, Checking It Twice
This idea that there is a perfect person out there for each of us has a nasty habit of harming relationships. What we do in anticipation of finding a partner and settling down can affectionately be called the ‘Santa Claus syndrome’. A young person makes a list of all the right qualities and checks it twice.
How about you? Do you have a list of qualities you are looking for in a partner? And if so, step back and ask yourself how many items on that list your current partner checks off. If you are like most people, you still have some items left unchecked. That does not mean your partner is the wrong person. It only means that he or she is human.
No one is perfect. No one checks every box on the list. To expect to find such a person is to deny the realities of nature. Holding onto the dream of Mr. or Mrs. Right is not only unproductive, but it can also actually harm those interim relationships you have while you wait for the right person to show up.
2. Unrealistic Expectations Are Unhealthy
Couples who wind up in marriage counseling can often trace their troubles back to unrealistic expectations. Likewise, those unrealistic expectations often find their roots in the myth of Mr. and Mrs. Right. Husbands and wives can be disillusioned in their marriages because their partners aren’t the perfect people they were dreaming of in their youth. And because they cannot see past the unchecked boxes, they are never quite satisfied.
The biggest challenge with unrealistic expectations is letting them get in the way of the good stuff. No relationship is perfect. If couples constantly dwell on the negative, they cannot find it in their minds or hearts to see the positive. According to the counselors at Relationships & More in Rye, New York, this is a recipe for marital distress.
3. Choices vs. Emotions
An extension of the Mr. and Mrs. Right myth is the idea that one cannot help falling in love. As the thinking goes, falling in love with the right person means living happily ever after. But that’s no truer than the original myth. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Westchester County, New York or Orange County, California. If you see love as an emotion, continuing to love the same person year after year will prove difficult.
Love isn’t an emotion. It is a choice that is backed up by action. As uncomfortable as it sounds, human beings truly can learn to love anyone. You don’t have to be ‘in love’ to practice love. Practicing love requires nothing more than a choice followed by actions that backup the choice.
No, those Hollywood versions of princesses and knights are not real. Searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right is a fool’s errand. We all end up marrying Mr. or Mrs. Adequate, anyway. That’s not a bad thing. It’s how this works.