Let me say it again. No matter who you choose, your partner will never be perfect. Everyone on this planet has shortcomings, failings, inabilities, and other assorted nuances separating each one of us from perfection.
Why then do so many LDS singles look for perfection when dating? It’s understandable no one wants to be miserable for eternity. But many also don’t want to do the work to become more attractive to that “perfect” someone. They believe they should be loved just as they are.
Many also believe they shouldn’t have to settle. As the belief goes, only perfection can offer eternal bliss. “Settling” by accepting anything less simply means condemning oneself to eternal misery. And again, no one wants to be miserable forever.
But these assumptions lead to the results many LDS singles have of living year after year without the companion they desire. If you want different results, you need different action, and that comes when you think differently. But thinking differently means questioning (among other things) assumptions. So LDS singles who want to turn their lives around should start by questioning their assumptions.
Let’s start by questioning the assumption your companion should love you as you are. That sounds reasonable on its surface. After all, God loves you just as you are, so anyone who doesn’t isn’t trying to be like God and so isn’t marriage material.
But that assumption neglects this truth: God doesn’t want you to stay as you are. He sees what you can become. Because where you’re going is much more important than where you are, aligning your focus with that eternal truth changes your thinking from insisting on being loved as you are to owning your life and doing what you can to move your life in a favorable direction. Different thinking leads to different action which leads to different results.
Likewise for the idea that “settling” for anything but the best leads to eternal misery. It presents a false dichotomy. Either you’re happy forever, or you’re miserable forever. There’s no other option. And it seems reasonable, especially if you judge by your emotions.
But this assumption rests on another assumption that we know what the best is. The truth is we often don’t. Feelings aren’t knowledge, so however something feels, reality can be (and often is) quite different. When you accept that assumption, it’s easier to believe someone you think might not be good for you actually could be. That belief opens the door to accepting opportunities you might otherwise reject. And those actions lead to different results.
Really it all comes down to what we’ve discussed here before. The perfect companion for you is not a perfect person nor a perfect match with your ideal candidate. Rather the perfect companion for you is the imperfect person with whom you align in values and life direction and who will give freely as you help each other become perfect together.
That’s the essential meaning behind helpmeet — someone who helps you meet your potential. Again, everyone is imperfect. But when you align yourself with true principles such as prioritizing an alignment of values and life direction and valuing making and keeping sacred covenants above all else, you can better find the imperfect person who can be the perfect helpmeet for you.
Although never the best, your imperfect companion, when you choose wisely, can help you become the happiest you can possibly be. So question your assumptions so you can align them with eternal truth. Then your assumptions will drive more effective thinking, which will lead to more effective actions, which in turn will produce more effective results. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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