Most people, whether they know it or not expect their partner-in-love to be:
- The perfect parent of the opposite gender from themselves who they’ve conjured up in their imagination. (Pick the one that fits.)
(Dad who makes them feel safe and cared for, ALWAYS listens attentively, gives them everything they want — most likely not what your real dad is/was like.)
(Mom who takes care of them, and doesn’t ask anything of them —— most likely not what your real mom is/was like.)
- A Hollywood-type love and sex-partner. (Pick the one that fits.)
(A man with a great face and body who ALWAYS is gentle and unbelievably loving in bed giving her exactly what she wants and needs to enjoy sex EVERY TIME.)
(A woman with a beautiful face and body who ALWAYS is ready for sex when he is and gives him exactly what he wants and needs to enjoy sex EVERY TIME.)
- For women: he doesn’t expect anything she doesn’t want to give.
- For men: she doesn’t blame or ask for him to do anything different.
From my work as a therapist working with couples I find that, though people don’t know it the above criteria are what disappoints in so may relationships and brings them to therapy. They’re not willing to conform to the above but, whether they’re aware or not, have the desire that their partner will.
And, for both partners, there’s an attitude that the other should ALWAYS make them feel they’re the only attractive, wonderful person who walks the earth — never threaten the other’s feeling that they’ll ALWAYS, at all times, be just what the other wants. That is, be careful to never have anyone else (put in your own words here — talk to them, look interested in them, joke around with them, find them attractive and/or sexy
— or in any way draw attention away from the partner).
This last part is problematic in ever-so-many relationships these days when both partners are usually exposed to attractive opposite-sex people in their workplace or during other activities.
It is my belief that care needs to be taken to not let opposite sex acquaintances become provocative and threatening to the major relationship of your life. This becomes especially threatening when one talks about problems in their major relationship to that opposite-sex acquaintance who then becomes an Aaw-gee-ain’t she (he) terrible and unfair” and creates a sympathetic ear who, it may seem at the time, would be a different, PERFECT, person. All of a sudden the caring nature of that person at that time (or those times) seems like the totality of his/her personality, and therefore, an imagined savior from the trouble with your mate.
I have one more caution here that’s REALLY A BIG ONE! That is, that alcohol can be one of the most threatening components that interferes with a couple having a good relationship. Alcohol alters perceptions so that gal or guy at the bar or party looks strangely like the PERFECT opposite-sex person in your life for that period of time (WAY more perfect than your mate at that time) because of not getting EVERYTHING you want from your relationship ALL THE TIME. Beware of becoming attracted to someone while you’re under the influence of alcohol. I ASSURE YOU (even though I’m not there with you) that HE/SHE IS NOT WHO HE/SHE SEEMS TO BE! And, that person is probably not better than your partner in any way, shape, or form — that is, probably won’t be the PERFECT person with whom you’d want to replace your partner for any period of time. That person is a fantasy rearing it’s head!!! Really not worth threatening your established relationship (and threaten it, it very well might).
So be careful of thinking a partner can be PERFECT as it doesn’t happen on this earth — so start having more realistic ideas of what is good for you.
The discussion of a perfect romantic partner and realistic expectations applies equally to heterosexual and gay couples.