Seeking Perfection in Relationships

Many people look for perfection in their relationships. However, this is an unrealistic stance. In addition, it suggests they lack the emotional resources to deal with any differences, challenges, and conflicts that might occur in the relationship.
Seeking Perfection in Relationships

Last update: 13 January, 2021

Seeking perfection in relationships is something that many people could be accused of. However, looking for perfection causes a great deal of frustration at an emotional level. It’s obvious why. An ideal is just that, an ideal. It isn’t realistic. It’s something that’s only achieved in the world of dreams, not in real life.

Trying to achieve perfection in a relationship or in any other area of your life means turning a blind eye to humanity. Because being human is a contradiction. It’s difficult. It’s a struggle. Furthermore, you aren’t programmed to act like a machine. In fact, not even machines are perfect.

Unfortunately, there’s a phase in romantic love when you idealize your partner. At one extreme, there are those who crave perfection in their relationship. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who think that love is a ridiculous invention and behave accordingly.

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

-Leo Tolstoy-

A couple with their arms around each other.

Seeking perfection in relationships

Desiring perfection stems from an anxiousness that you won’t admit. It’s the anxiousness that comes from wanting to control things. It also arises when you can’t make others fit in with your own agenda or when you think your partner’s difficult or useless.

You have these feelings of perfectionism because you don’t tolerate any unpredictability or contradictory behavior. However, the complicated thing is that, as humans, we’re all unpredictable and contradictory. In fact, we’re never really perfectly balanced and we don’t always behave consistently.

It may seem that the idea of perfection in a relationship has given rise to a particular fantasy, that of the ideal partner. It actually sounds foolish that this kind of idea even exists, but it does. Furthermore, in the not- too distant future, you may even be able to “order” your dream partner online.

Eternal children

If you’re seeking perfection in relationships, you’re probably extremely egocentric and very fragile when it comes to managing any kind of conflict. In fact, you’re like a big child who just wants everything to go your way. That’s why you call anything that matches what you want “perfect” and you label anything that doesn’t “imperfect”.

Due to their immaturity, children fail to fully understand that there’s a whole world out there beyond themselves. Indeed, a child doesn’t realize that otherness even exists in the form of “another person” or “someone different” who’s just as worthy as they are. In fact, Jean Piaget, who conducted studies on moral development, suggested that a child only understands this concept when they’re intellectually and emotionally mature.

Realizing that you aren’t perfect and that others don’t have to be either means giving up on that perfect idea of a fairy tale ending. However, nobody ever lives happily ever after. This is very healthy. You only evolve and grow when you experience hardship.

An unhappy couple, maybe seeking perfection in a relationship.

Seeking perfection in relationships causes frustration

Finding perfection in a relationship means finding someone who never argued. In fact, basically, they’d just bring you happiness. There’s a sad story that describes this kind of situation very well. A man went on a long journey in search of the perfect partner. After a few years, he returned alone. His friends asked him what had happened. The man replied that he had found an almost perfect woman in a distant country. She was beautiful and spiritual, but she was a bit naive, so he dumped her.

In another place, he found a spiritual woman. She was also very down to earth, but she wasn’t beautiful, so he dumped her. Finally, he came across a woman who had everything he wanted and seemed to be absolutely perfect. “So why didn’t you marry her?” his friends asked. “She was obsessed with finding the perfect partner as well,” he replied.

Believing in ideals only leads to frustration. The love between two partners, like any other form of love, can be wonderful. However, this is only the case when you love each other despite all your imperfections.

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  • Carter, S., & Sokol, J. (2000). Del amor al compromiso. Urano.