The perfect match might not be you

By Michael Leung

In the endless search for the perfect partner, sometimes serendipity just trips you up.

For the last year-and-whatever amount of time, I’ve mulled over what the ideal person is or would be. I wanted someone who was, oddly enough, just like me in terms of interests, long-term desires or ice-cream preference. A good friend was kind enough to tell to me that if I was looking for someone who embodied things I valued about myself, I was in fact engaging in some perverse mental masturbation (in not so many words). After the initial embarrassment and disgust, considering the idea later made me unable to deny she was right.

I knew I’d gotten to that point because of several discussions with several friends about prolonged single status. The typical question went: what would the perfect partner be? Without really thinking about the consequences, the resulting list of characteristics somehow resembled my own sorry self. That same friend was also quick to indicate that if two people are the same, what ground would they have to cover? I enjoy my own company once in awhile, but really, I get sick of myself pretty quickly as well.

While I don’t honestly think that everybody has the same self-absorbed mental problems I have in abundance, I will admit this topic has become of recent interest because of my own current relationship of six months which was preceded by somewhere around a year of being single. Going down the relationship path again has piped me in new directions both expected and unexpected. As a side effect, I’ve become more sensitive to the relationship status of the people around me. A common sentiment I sense from the parties involved is a reinterpretation of the characteristics in question, but more importantly how these characteristics apply to their partners and/or future partners.

I can’t speak for everybody who has already found their soulmate/honeybun/playmate, but for many single people I know, the characteristics they long for speak volumes about what they feel about themselves. I suppose they, like I at that time, hadn’t yet been forced to consider what their limits are. Instead of thinking in terms of what we want, is it less exclusive to consider what our boundaries might be? One might be cutting themselves off from a lot of possibilities left undiscovered and, therefore, passed over.

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