Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Problem of Mr./Mrs. Right

Many people have an idea that is usually referred to as Mr. or Mrs. Right. While it is not necessarily a bad idea to have in your mind, many people use the idea in a way that is problematic for intimate relationships.

Some people have the idea of Mr. or Mrs. Right going in the back of their minds like a broken record that keeps repeating itself. Everytime they meet a person, they keep asking themselves: Is this Mr./Mrs. Right?! Oh, he likes this, he hates that... Wow he must be Mr./Mrs. Right... But oh wait, he does this, and he doesn't like that... Nah, he cannot be Mr./Mrs. Right!!

Almost all cultures have this idea of prince or princess charming that will come and be one's perfect match in every way possible. Some people might say that this is a fairy tale idea that does not happen in real life, but it is nonetheless something romantic. I disagree on both accounts. First, it can happen in real life. And second, it is not romantic... If anything it is anti-romantic. Allow me to explain.

First, the reason that prince or princess charming seems for many people to simply not exist, is because they build their images and ideas about Mr./Mrs. Right in the fantasy world. If you construct your idea of Mr./Mrs. Right in the fantasy world, then it is only logical that you will find them only in the fantasy world that they were constructed in. However, if you construct the idea of Mr./Mrs. Right in the real world, then such a person may exist. So it is simply a matter of making realistic expectations.

In the fantasy world, you will not find your prince or princess charming defecating in the bathroom. But if you're looking for someone who does not go to the bathroom, you're out of luck! My point is, humans are humans, and they have their flaws and charms, they have their ups and downs... And sometimes, what might seem like a flaw would indeed be something magnificent.

As a matter of fact, sometimes you might find people who are even better than Mr./Mrs. Right! And I am talking from first hand experience point of view. How?! Simple, any imaginary person is limited by your imagination. While imaginary people might not be limited in certain aspects, they are limited by your own perceptions. You are unlikely to have an interesting conversation with your imaginary friends, because they can only tell you what you already know. And they cannot teach you something about yourself, because they are part of what you know about yourself. And you are not going to experience anything new, because what you imagine is based on what you already experienced. Sometimes, real people are far more interesting and far more worthy of love than your imaginary friends.

Second point -which is actually the main point of this post- is that the idea of Mr./Mrs. Right devalues interpersonal relationships. That is why I consider it to be anti-romantic. Interpersonal relationships are valuable. But when people operate in the mindset of Mr./Mrs. Right, they would be constantly be making comparisons and judgements on the person they are in a relationship with. Relationships are valuable because they are a form of human interaction. They are an expression of our humanity.

This problem is usually evident when intimate relationships end. Many people would react in the following way: Oh darn, he did not turn out to be Mr./Mrs. Right, I wasted my time with this person and for what?! For nothing!!

If you ever find yourself reacting in that manner, then I think that you have a problem. You simply miss the whole point of a relationship. Relationships are valuable whether or not they are with Mr./Mrs. Right. It is human to form relationships with people. And relationships have value whether they last for five minutes or a lifetime. That's not to say they necessarily have equal value... But they have value nonetheless, and to deny that is a problem in and of itself.

Relationships need not and should not be an exercise in finding Mr./Mrs. Right. Talking about a subject of interest, sharing thoughts and feeling, sitting next to the person watching TV, having sexual intercourse, or any activity that you did, do, or will do is significant, and need to be appreciated regardless of when or how the relationship ended or started. And to deny any of that is -in my opinion- problematic and anti-romantic because it strips the relationship of its humanity.

And third point is how such an idea affects the relationship. For example, I personally hold honesty to be an important feature in relationships. But what would happen if the person you are involved with does not measure up to some of the characteristics of Mr./Mrs. Right?! This might not be a problem. However, if one is determined to find Mr./Mrs. Right no matter what, they might be determined to terminate that relationship. So, imagine now that you are with your partner, and he knows that your Mr./Mrs. Right has some characteristic that he does not have... For one, it might cause that person to feel inadequate and consequently jeopardize the relationship.

Moreover, think of how this affects the honesty of your partner. How would a person have the desire to be honest about themselves if they know that their honesty will cause them to lose you, or at least think less of them?! You would be putting your partner in a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" situation. Where they have to make a choice between honesty and the continuity of the relationship.

In short, how could someone be encouraged to be honest and express themselves freely if they are constantly expected to measure up to some imaginary person that their partner made up?!

So, the person who is trying to find Mr./Mrs. Right is faced with the choice: Do I want a partner who is himself/herself all the time? Or do I want a partner who just seeks to imitate my imaginary friend called Mr./Mrs. Right? I hope that you agree with me that the former choice is the more sensible choice.


Aseel said...


Devil's Mind said...


Rain said...

Sometimes, real people are far more interesting and far more worthy of love than your imaginary friends.

Great post

Doomish said...

Good god, i was literally seeing a friend of mine while reading your post.

well put.

as you said "sometimes!"
my 7 imaginary friends are hilarious, entertaining, witty, and contrary to the views in this post, they are limitless and just creative, cant get enough of them, except in the morning, they tend to be in a foul mood.

Devil's Mind said...

Rain, thanks. Glad that you could relate to that particular point. It's heart-warming when you meet such people.

And Doomish... I gotta meet your imaginary friends... They sound cool!! Guess your imagination is wilder than mine ;)

Rain said...

LOL Dot! You just don't listen to these voices too much now,OK sweetie?