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Can relationships actually be perfect?: Debunking the myth

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Mohan Rajagopal

As someone who rewatches The Office at least once every 6 months just to witness Jim and Pam fall in love, my views against the idea of a perfect ‘match made in heaven’ relationship seem pretty contradictory. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching shows where a relationship is smooth sailing till the end. Person A wants a specific kind of someone to spend their life with and boom! Person B enters — the person of their dreams who magically knows everything about them, knows when things are wrong without communication and requires minimal effort to sustain the relationship. Perfect. However, this altered my own perception of love and relationships and I’m sure at some point in time, altered yours too. I’m in no way a relationship expert, but I have overcome my botched perception of what two people together is like. No relationship can be as perfect as we see or expect it to be, and I’m here to tell you why:

Human beings tend to be on the lookout for things, always — that’s just how we are. So it’s no surprise that intentionally or unintentionally, we may actively look for a romantic relationship. That’s the first step, right? But in my opinion, that’s the step which does the most harm. When you look for something, you expect it to exist in a certain way. When it’s not the way you thought it would be, you end up second-guessing and questioning things. A superficial foundation would lead to a superficial relationship because it means you’re not in love with the person, you’re in love with the idea of them. So the first perception — ‘you won’t find the love of your life unless you look for them’ — doesn’t always lead to favourable outcomes. Stop looking. Let it come to you naturally, you’ll know when it does. 

The next belief which I’ve heard so many times and have personally been a victim of is ‘your s/o will just know everything’ — they’ll know when something is bothering you, they’ll know your favourite ice cream flavour without you ever telling them, they’ll know what’s on your mind, and the one which makes absolutely no sense at all — they’ll know when you’re mad at them. Take a second to think about how that would actually work out. Marshall and Lily do it, why can’t you? Because without communication, we’re nothing. For the longest time, I expected my s/o to know exactly who I was — the good, the bad, the sad, the happy, without actually showing them those sides of me. It’s very recently that I realised that’s not how things work, especially when it comes to arguments and miscommunications—  you can’t just sulk around and expect them to figure out what’s bothering you themselves. I know that sounds very enticing but 1) we’re not 12 anymore and 2) you don’t come with a manual. Once you get rid of that idea, you’ll learn and grow with them, through your flaws and insecurities. You’ll look for solutions and communicate instead of running when things get tough and you’ll slowly let down those walls and show all the sides of yourself to someone you can trust. It wasn’t easy unlearning what I believed for so many years, but it was worth it, and that’s what matters in the long run. 

No matter how good it gets, there will never be a time you won’t have to put effort into it. So lastly, the third misconception that a ‘right relationship is easy’  has never sat well with me. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you’re arguing every day, but it also doesn’t mean that a relationship comes with a guarantee that you’ll always be on the same page. As long as both of you are on the same side, it’s not as scary as you think. There’s a fine distinction between taking each other for granted and knowing the other will be there irrespective, and that distinction is effort. Like every growing thing, relationships need nourishment too.16-year-old Arohi shied away from confrontation and hard conversations because, in her mind, that meant things were bad and you could never recover from that. Jake and Amy argued only, like, thrice, so anything more than that meant stormy waters for a weak ship. So she preferred to stay in denial instead of doing anything, and I’m sure you know how that turned out. 

A truly perfect relationship, therefore, is actually an imperfect one. We as people are not perfect, so how can we expect the connections we have with each other to be? The gradual opening up, the genuine conversations, the small arguments, the change and growth, the learning new things about each other, and the trust and vulnerability are what make it so much more worthwhile. We’ve engraved certain ideas in our head — about love, about connections, about soulmates — and they mean different things for different people, but what we need to investigate is where our perceptions of those ideas arise from. Scratch whatever you’ve seen and been taught and learn to love again from the beginning because when you find your Jim or your Pam or your David-Patrick /Derek-Meredith /Randall-Beth, they’ll be nothing like the character in the show. You may have a relationship nothing like they had, but that’s okay! They’re going to be there for you through it all, and together, you’ll create magic in the imperfections.

Arohi Sachar

Ashoka '24

A walking talking day dreamer who runs on caffeine and likes to narrate stories like they are her own, Arohi is UG24 prospective Psychology major who loves dogs and cute stationery
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