This phrase is communicated to people directly and indirectly as they grow up. Whether family members and friends say it, or SM makes us feel like we need the perfect happy picture, we feel the need to be perfect and be the one no one else is good enough for. This message can ruin relationships, because good relationships involve two imperfect people. 

I was chatting to a parent the other day who was explaining how he talks to his teenage daughter about relationships. They chat openly about what a good relationship looks like and about problems she has faced. 

Most people will think this is a strange or awkward thing to do, but I think it’s great.  

Sadly, I can think of countless parents who say to me that they don’t talk about this stuff and find it awkward. Or say they ‘no one is good enough for my child, they’re perfect’. 

Now, while loving your child and thinking they’re amazing is a very good thing, something that sadly doesn’t happen in every family, (Read I Was Asked: What Would I Change In The World?), fostering the idea that they’re ‘perfect’ is actually very unhelpful. 

Consequences 

I constantly see the pressure people are under to be perfect if they want a relationship. The media give us an impossible bar to measure up to physically. We feel like we should just know how to make a relationship work, even though this is a learned skill (Read Why I Chose To Think Differently About My Relationship)

The answer and freedom to this doesn’t come in trying to live up to these impossible standards

There is pressure to be perfect, even though we know deep down we aren’t. We know our flaws and the bits we don’t like. 

Freedom 

The answer and freedom to this doesn’t come in trying to live up to these impossible standards; it comes when we accept we can’t be perfect. It comes when we admit there are areas and habits we are trying to change, and things which will always be a weakness.  

Helping people build better relationships comes when we emphasise, from a young age if possible, that a successful couple involves two imperfect people committed to making it work. 

If we believe the lie that we’re perfect and my future partner just needs to fit around me and my needs, then it won’t work. 

But They’re Perfect, Right? 

Another trap comes when we think we need to find someone who is perfect to sort out our imperfections. Someone to just come along and be super patient, super funny, super this and super that, so that the relationship is easy. Like making a cuppa.

This can happen if our role models aren’t being honest about the hard times and the sacrifices that make relationship work. Or if the image from the media is taken at face value that teaches that relationships are always meant to be fun and easy because we find a perfect person to fulfil our needs. 

I was watching a TV show the other day, and the husband said to his wife, ‘I know you aren’t perfect, but you’re perfect for me’. 

The point he was making is that he knows she doesn’t do everything right, and neither does he, but they find a way through compromise and hard work to make it work. 

Expectation levels for relationships need to include every aspect. Holding on to the idea of perfection will only weaken them (Read How ‘Decisions’ Along With ‘Love’ Can Create Healthy Relationships)

Unhelpful Phrase

Whether it’s through parents, guardians, role models, social media, TV, etc, having an idea about perfection will hold us back. 

Believing the phrase ‘No one is good enough for you’ will only ruin our relationships. 

We are allowed to not be perfect

Firstly, we aren’t perfect. Secondly, we will not find someone who is perfect. Being authentic, vulnerable, and real are the traits that will make our relationships fulfilling and enjoyable. 

We need to create spaces and cultures, whether that’s in our homes or communities, that allow us to talk this stuff through. To wrestle with relationship issues, and know that we are allowed to be imperfect, but will still be valued and treated well. 

Imagine If…

Imagine if we remind ourselves that relationships are about two imperfect people committing to making it work, putting each other first, doing the hard work, and learning how to relate well, so that we can create a mutually loving and enjoyable relationship. (Read Why The Phrase ‘Love Yourself Before You Date’ Is Being Misunderstood)

What other common throwaway lines do you think are unhelpful? Comments welcomed below

Originally posted 0/0/0000