They say love is blind. Maybe that’s because we aren’t really looking at the other person very carefully, so we end up seeing what we want to see, rather than what is there. The romantic ideal of love is to find a person who fulfills all of our needs, but when we do this, we end up seeing a temporary solution to our problems, rather than a complex human being who may at some point end up adding problems to our lives, rather than solving them.
Depending on what a woman needs, for example, she may see a provider, a handyman, a daddy (for her), or a baby daddy. She may see a reason to quit her job or insurance against loneliness. Depending on what a man needs, he may see a maid, cook, social secretary, trophy wife, mom (for him) or baby mama. He may see a person who can help put him through med school or proof for all the world to see of his manhood. If you think this is crass, consider how many divorces there are in this country, and recall how many times you’ve heard a divorced friend or relative say that they just don’t know who their ex-spouse is anymore. Divorce courts are crowded with people who fell in love with an image and were then shocked to find that they had married someone who fit their ideal only some of the time.
Think about the people you love. Think about your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your parents, your siblings, your kids, your cousins, or your friends. It doesn’t matter if the love is platonic or romantic, related by blood or not. Just think of the people. Now… are any of them perfect? Probably not. But you love them anyway. You can probably name several things about each one that bug you, at least a little bit. But you love the person anyway.
When we try to change people into someone who meets our criteria of “good,” we aren’t really loving them as they are. We are only loving the part of them that reflects our ideals. What we don’t always realize, is that when we see a quality in someone we dislike, that is a true reflection of something inside of us. It’s not generally very complimentary, but it’s a truer reflection than the one we had when we thought the person was perfect.