My ideal girl/boy is out of my reach, should I settle for what I can get?

"And in the end, I realized that I took more than I gave, I was trusted more than I trusted, and I was loved more than I loved. And what I was looking for was not to be found but to be made."

Answer by Christopher Reiss:

Alright I'm going to pull age here.  I been places.   Seen things.   Decades of victory and defeat, romantic harmony, discord and desolation.

I brought a phonebook with me and I'm going to be condescending.   Deal with it.

First (*SMACK WITH PHONEBOOK ON HEAD) read the other answers here.  Especially Faye Wang, Oliver Emberton, Dan Holliday, Charles Faraone and especially Laura Breton.    But the rest too.   Really.

Second (*SMACK) what is this crap about the "ideal girl" ?   What the hell is that?You look at somebody and they're hot and have a few interests you share and you imagine this girl is "ideal" !?   She's just hot.   Knock it off.

Get out there and meet people without this false criterion of "ideal".    This is not "settling" (*SMACK).   It's called "trying."

Find someone you're attracted to, who's attracted to you.   That's actually the easy part.   Not Oh-My-God movie star gorgeous (*SMACK).     (How long do those movie-star marriages last?)   But attracted.

Now comes the work.    Days and weeks will go by.   Do you really make each other happy?   How do you both feel, once the novelty has worn off and you're just walking down a street together?   How do you feel in each other's absence?
Do fights blow over quickly, or do they smoulder in a cycle of mutual recrimination?   Is she quick to forgive?   Are you?

You're going to discover your own flaws.   Bad ones.   Maybe you're insecure, or overconfident, or can't compromise.   You'll screw it up.   It'll hurt.

You'll probably lose the first one.   And the second.   And the third.

You'll have to break up with people you care deeply about because you're both making each other unhappy.   You'll be amazed how hard that is.

Finally you'll find a good relationship.   A good relationship will grow.   You'll wake up every day and want to see them.     You feel their presence when you're away from them.   A movie's not quite the same when they aren't seeing it with you.

It gets stronger over time until each of you sheds any doubt about whether it's right.

So look.   Listen.   Don't duck, I'm putting the phonebook away.

*SMACK.   When I was in my late teens, there was a movie called She's Having a Baby.    And the last line of that movie took me decades to get.   Maybe you can save some time.

"And in the end, I realized that I took more than I gave, I was trusted more than I trusted, and I was loved more than I loved. And what I was looking for was not to be found but to be made."

That's it.   You can keep the phone book.   With any luck, you'll need it some day.

View Answer on Quora

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My ideal girl/boy is out of my reach, should I settle for what I can get?

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