Why can’t I find ‘mr or mrs right’? The eternal search for the perfect relationship
I hear that question almost everyday. And not even from my clients. But from friends, relatives or strangers. The words come with frustration, despair and a sense of losing hope.
The idea of finding that person who is absolutely perfect still persists. The hope of meeting someone who ‘ticks all the boxes’, with common interests, no big flaws, and with added physical and intellectual attraction, puts most single people in an eternal hunt for ‘love perfection’.
Am I doing something wrong?
It’s not about right or wrong, but there might be some things you are doing that aren’t letting you open up for a real and deep connection in your life. Some of them might be:
1 - Idealisation
The most common mistake is to idealise that so wanted person. You might create a strong and powerful image of perfection, which will be very difficult to match with reality. The ‘story you dream of’ becomes so ingrained in you, that you will be constantly comparing the real person with the one in your mind and, unfortunately, they won’t look the same and you will be constantly disappointed.
2 - Comparison with previous relationships
Many people also bring ex-boyfriends or girlfriends as ‘reference’. The comparisons can be endless and, most of the time, unrealistic. It’s easy to remember the good aspects of an ex, all the good memories. By doing so, you miss the opportunity to get to know the new person in front of you. If ‘she’s not as funny as my ex’, or ‘he doesn’t text me as often as my ex’, or ‘my ex was so much more good looking’ etc. By keeping your mind – and heart – in the past, you won’t really see the new person and the qualities they do have.
3 - The farce of social media
It takes only a few seconds in any social media channel for any of us to feel inadequate about some aspect of our lives. The photos and posts depict ‘perfect relationships’: long lasting marriages, happy families, busy social life and endless fun. And the questions immediately arise: ‘why am I the only one without a partner?’, ‘why am I not having as much fun as them?’, ‘what’s wrong with me?’. Believe me, it doesn’t matter how old or confident you are, the farce of social media affects everyone, at some point or other in our lives.
The truth is: nobody really knows what’s behind those photos. Nobody knows if those couples are truly happy together, or if those people are having fun. Remember: it only takes a few seconds to take a selfie or to write a post. Nobody knows what really happens in the remaining time of their day.
4 - Don’t compare yourself with anyone else
I know. Easier said than done. But if you want to find someone who is truly ‘right for you’, you will need to start acknowledging your own qualities and trust that you are enough. There’s no point comparing yourself with that friend who is ‘happily married’, or with the other who goes constantly on dates, or with the super confident one. There is a fine line between admiring other people’s qualities and wishing you had a bit more of those, or thinking everybody is better than you and putting yourself down. If you don’t start admiring your own qualities and valuing all you have in you, who else will?
5 - It’s ok to be an eternal romantic
There’s nothing wrong about dreaming and hoping for a great loving relationship. I do believe that romance adds colour, fun and excitement to any life. The important point here is to distinguish what is a ‘movie kind of romance’ and ‘real life romance’. Yes, you can fall in love and give yourself fully. But, at the same time, keep it real and honest.
That wonderful person you fell for will have flaws, many flaws. We all do. They won’t give everything you ever wished for. Neither will you give it to them. That’s not human. Real romance includes all aspects of a person, the pleasant and not so pleasant ones, the good and bad days. The key thing is to embrace the other person, and the romance, as they truly are.
6 - What is ‘mr/mrs right’ anyway?
This is the biggest mental change to be addressed. The way you see and hope for that partner can influence the way you meet new people and the way the new relationship develops. If you keep a rigid list of requirements, that you ever wished to find, it’s very likely that you will soon be disappointed. Most of the time, the ‘right person’ has attributes that you hadn’t even considered before. It might catch you by surprise and turn your emotions upside down.
In short: throw away your ‘ideal list’
If some of the above apply to you, throw away old concepts of how your partner ‘should or should not have’, throw away that list of pre-requisites. This is not a job interview, this is not business. This is about real people. Most of all, this is about companionship, connection and intimacy with another human being.
You will only meet someone meaningful to you, who truly connects with you, when you are able to open yourself to what’s new in others, and when you are able to value all that you have in yourself and all who you are.
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About Adriana Gordon
Adriana is an experienced psychosynthesis counsellor offering individual sessions to adults, in Covent Garden and London Bridge (Central London).
Adriana is also a group facilitator in systemic/family constellations, offering workshops in English and Portuguese.
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