Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What Bonnie Said or The Most Profound Relationship Advice I've Ever Heard

This actually took place right around Halloween, and I'm not entirely certain why it came to me last night that I ought to post it here, but it did and I am.

3 of us (Bonnie, Lorri, and I) were doing what late-20s LDS singles are wont to do: talk about why they are single and try to figure out what they or members of the opposite gender are doing wrong. Anyway, at some point, Bonnie said this:

"Its not about finding the perfect person, its about finding the perfect relationship."

I'll let that sink in for a minute.

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Ready to discuss? Ok.

First of all, for me it hearkens back to a scene in Good Will Hunting (one of my all-time favs, although you'll want to get it editted or have built up an immunity to the F-word before watching it) where Will (Matt Damon) is telling Sean (Robin Williams) about this girl that he met and went out with. Sean asks if he's going to ask her out again and Will says "I don't know. Right now she's perfect. What if I get to know her better and it turns out that she's not perfect. I don't want to mess up what I've got right now."

Sean says, "I'm going to ruin the surprise for you. She's not perfect. And you're not perfect either. But whats important is: Are you perfect for each other?"

Anyway, Bonnie's comment really made me think a lot. I really think that she is right. Because obviously nobody is perfect. And its easy to stand on the dating sidelines, figurative-speaking, and just pick out things about everyone that aren't perfect, and then justify to yourself that reason you aren't dating is because no one is "good enough" for you, that you'd be "settling" to stoop so low, etc. When really what we should be looking for is the perfect relationship, rather than the perfect person. And you really can't even get a glimpse of what your relationship with anyone would be from the sidelines. In order to even get a hint of what a relationship with someone would be like you have to put yourself in a situation where you can see that. Most commonly, known as a date.

Or at least I feel like by going on a date with someone, I am at least opening myself up to the idea that I could potentially have a relationship with that person, and also on a date (especially a good old fashioned one-on-one date) you get a chance to see how you interact with someone. And you practically have to go on multiple dates with someone to really get a good idea of what a relationship with that person would be like, whether it something that would be perfect for you, or not.

But by not dating someone who we don't immediately have the hots for, we limit ourselves in finding out what kind of relationship we might have with another person. Since then I've tried to date more, maybe not tons more due to numerous factors (busy load of coursework, situation-specific shyness that kicks in at high gear when it comes to asking someone on a date, etc.), but I've definitely opened myself up to the idea that maybe if I take someone out a couple times I might see something there that wasn't there before (little Beauty and the Beast homage).

Now this isn't to say that I've thrown all criteria for choosing who I date out the door. I still want to feel at least that I could be attracted to the person, and I still have an aversion to girls who really don't have much to say that isn't punctuated with giggles, but hopefully I can be a little less picky about smaller issues because in the end, its not the perfect person I'm looking for, but the perfect relationship.

9 comments:

CJ said...

Excellent post, Jake. I needed to read this.

Kirsten J said...

Gee...this is why people plagiarize! I just want to copy and paste this into my own blog! Great thoughts.

j said...

I have to give most of the credit to Bonnie. I'm just trying to share it with the world.

Kirsten J said...

Well does Bonnie have a blog? :) She should! And props to you for being the distributor/bullhorn.

j said...

She does not, but she should. When she said that it was quite an epiphany moment.

Of course, I think that everyone should have a blog that they update daily with top-notch writing perfectly enhanced with multimedia content. So maybe my expectations are a bit high.

Adam said...

That was impressive. It makes me want to do something grand, and at the same time it makes me want to just wrap myself in a blanket on the couch, watch a warm fireplace, and think my life through.

j said...

Tell me about it. My Ph.D. advisor just told me today that he was leaving to take a job in New York. So I'm kind of needing to think my life through as well.

redlaw said...

That is good advice and it's even better that you are acting on it. Imagine what the dating scene would look like if we all acted on this advice.

Rachel said...

It's a noble idea, but I have yet to see anybody act on it. I hope you're able to make it happen!