He's everything you've ever wanted. He's handsome, smart, witty, charming, and your friends and family adore him. He arrives on time and calls when he says he's going to call. He's successful and ambitious but knows how to relax and prioritize the things that matter most. He never gets angry. He always compliments you and tells you how beautiful you are. He's emotionally articulate and isn't afraid to show you his true feelings. As soon as you met him, you had that undeniable sense that he's The One. He completely gets you and sometimes even completes your sentences. Your chemistry is off-the-charts, you're always excited to see him, and he still makes your heart flutter, even after a year of dating. The moment he proposed, you said "yes" and never had a moment of doubt about your decision to marry him. You have that feeling of knowing, the one that everyone said would be a sign that you've met your Prince Charming. When you're with him, he makes you feel alive and beautiful. When you're away from him, it's like you're missing your other half. He's everything you've ever wanted, and more.
Okay, stop the press. The above paragraph is a fantasy. It was fun to write, but that guy -- the perfect package, the one who's ambitious and emotionally articulate and gorgeous -- doesn't actually exist. And if he happens to embody all three of those qualities, I guarantee you that he has other "imperfections". Because, let's face it, we're all human. We're all imperfect. We all come through the birth canal with foibles and unattractive qualities. When we're searching for "The One", we first have to let go of the idea that one person exists who will fulfill all of our requirements for a marriage partner. We have to relinquish the dysfunctional, societally-induced message that when you meet the right person you'll "just know" and you won't experience a moment of doubt. And we certainly have to redefine real love from a feeling that makes you complete (thank you, Hollywood, Disney, and Jerry Maguire, for perpetuating this damaging belief), to a choice, an intention, and an act of will (thank you, M. Scott Peck, for this healthy definition of love).
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