Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finding Love Again: Are Your Expectations Realistic?

The perfect man. The perfect woman. Do they really exist?

While it’s good to have standards and consider the spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical aspects of your ideal person, it’s also wise not to expect perfection.

The “right one” will be the one best suited for you if you include God in your love life. And love will be more successful when you don’t expect a man—or anyone—to be faultless.

Of course, we know that men and women are different in many ways, so the more we learn about the opposite sex, the greater chance we’ll have for better communication, with less frustration and more mutual enjoyment of each other.

In Finding Mr. Right, Stephen Arterburn reveals that the heart of a man is the most important part of his anatomy. “Often women focus on the wrong traits and mistake character flaws for strengths. They desire the confident, self-assured man, and mistakenly end up with an uncaring and demanding jerk. Wanting strength, they may shun a man who has a sensitive side, who actually is interested in who they are and how to please them.”

He also said that the wise woman looks for “…the inner man who is secure enough to love, free enough to laugh, and humble enough to learn.”

Some people idealize the fantasy of what they think dating or marriage is supposed to be, and sometimes a reality check is needed.

I have a coworker friend who’s been married for over a decade. He and his wife have a large family and, from seeing them at a few work functions I surmised that they had a happy, strong marriage that was conflict-free and breezy. I once said to him, “You guys make it look so easy.” His easy grin turned serious when he replied, “It’s taken us years to get to this place.”


Like any relationship, marriage has its ups and downs. It takes dedication to live out the commitment.

As you think and pray about what you want in a date or a life partner, keep a realistic view—both the bright side and challenging side.

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