The Endless Search for Mr. or Ms. Perfect
Attend any singles workshop these days and it will be evident that many people are devoting a great deal of time seeking the “ideal” partner.
Many of these men and women are waiting for a perfect person to be their mates – a worthy person who fulfills their fantasies and matches their perceptions of themselves as equally worthy and desirable. Finding this perfect partner – this “endless love” – turns into the endless search.
This process reminds me of a song the Spinners made which goes something like this:
I don’t just want to lose you, when the search is through,
you may find that you’ve just been chasing you…
The message here is that those engaged in the endless search are really in a search for self-love. The searchers are looking for the ideal aspects of their own identities. That ego ideal fills two paradoxical needs: (1) to reinforce that one is “perfect” enough to be loved and (2) that someone who is also perfect will compensate for the imperfections in ourselves.
The endless search manifests itself in numerous ways. Two approached to the search are common, and are representative of the paradox inherent in not being able to find a perfect person to reinforce perceived self-perfection.
Andrew finds the endless search frustrating and hopeless. He says:
“It would be great to know someone who likes what you like, who has the same music and literature interest. This enhances your respect for them and they for you. There has to be certain attributes to make it worthwhile. That’s the biggest problem finding someone whom you can have a pleasant 48 hours with. I spend half my awakened hours fantasizing on who she will be.”