- Gender and Relationships
The Perfect Relationship and Why it Doesn't Exist
I know so many men and women today who are searching - some tirelessly - for the woman or man of their dreams, their perfect, wonderful, exact other half. Each person knows what they're searching for, but is it realistic? Is that perfect half out there somewhere?
I know I'd like to think it is. Hundreds of authors, filmmakers, and matchmakers across the globe seem to think so, too. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you'll be able to decide for yourself.
I took a women's studies course in college. It doesn't make me an expert, but it got me in touch with my world, and opened my eyes to a whole different side of things that I had never even considered before. One of the ideas that my class seemed to touch on every week at least once was hegemony and the idea of hegemonic beauty and impossible standards.
Since hegemony has to do with the "typical" or "predominant" idea about anything, we can easily apply this to relationships. After all, when you think of love, what comes to mind? Did you think of someone you know? A book you've read? A movie you watched recently? How about this: Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to that image?
What does a typical American, for instance, think of as a normal relationship?
A few years ago, that was probably a man and a woman, happy, with maybe a little bit of conflict, maybe a lot of conflict, but were generally in love.
Go back even further, to the 60's or earlier, and we could throw in that the couple is white. Or rather, of one race.
But the 60's are over. It's a new day. But what does that mean for a hegemonic relationship?
Are you in a hegemonic relationship?
The Typical Romance
There's a difference between a "romance" and a "relationship, I suppose, but I'm using the terms fairly interchangeably here. My reasoning being, most want a perfect one, but neither is going to happen.
What do I think of when I picture a perfect relationship?
- A man and a woman (heteronormativity)
- The man is dominant
- The man makes all the moves
- The woman willfully submits
- They are well-behaved in public
- They fight sometimes, but always seem to solve their problems.
- The woman has thought about settling down, but the man isn't looking so far ahead
- The man brings her flowers and buys her things (a romantic)
- They both love each other for who they are inside, but it helps that they're both beautiful.
But that is probably not everyone's idea.of a typical romance, right? Well, there are hundreds of sites that seem to say otherwise. One, a tumblr known as "things boys do we love", simply lists hundreds of things that women (and men) the world over love men to do in a relationship. While some of them are a little... out there... and many have been taken and edited (to be seen later on Facebook or humor sites like 9gag), a lot of the pictures and captions are what we seek in relationships and, ultimately, partners.
At our very core, humans are animals. We search for a mate that will provide the best potential offspring. That's where "beauty" comes from. But what we as a culture find attractive, or what we deem perfection can change throughout time.
Right now, it seems to be that curves are coming back into style. Just recently, Sofia Vergara was named the "Hottest Body in Hollywood", following the most extensive survey of its kind in many years.
Yet, we aren't all looking for our own personal Sofia Vergara. We're looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. But does that person exist? Do we all have one out there that's just right?
This year, I thought of the perfect way to describe our love lives. Okay, maybe not perfect, but clever, if nothing else.
Each of us is a piece to a puzzle.
Some of us are edge pieces - we stick out, and get paired together easily, and are happy to be like that, and though we connect to others throughout life, we stick with that first person.
Some are corner pieces - more exclusive than the edge, sticking to that one person for dear life.
And some of us are pieces to the middle - we have potential to find plenty of "soul mates" in life, and if we're with "the One", and it doesn't work out? There are others.
Then there are some that just don't fit in the same puzzle as the people around them. Their other pieces are out there somewhere, but they just don't fit in with the people around them.
What kind of puzzle piece are you? Do you have that one person? Have you found the One?
I hope you have. And I hope that everyone can find that special someone. But don't expect it to be like the movies, because most likely, it won't be. You have to know what's right for you.