The grass is greener is such a cliche, but it really does sort of sum up dating in a world of Tinder. Why settle when we can keep swiping? We are bound to find “The One,” right? Or maybe we are just on the hunt to find a place holder—someone to just be there, so we don’t feel so alone as we become adults. Never wanting more than just a warm body until we can find our forever person.
There is always a better or option out there, or so we are told, but what if there’s no such thing as “The One”?
We treat dating the same way we treat picking a show on Netflix or Hulu. What happens when we are on the hunt for a new show to binge-watch? We endlessly scroll through their catalog for longer than any of us would like to admit trying to find anything that seems worth watching. Why is that?
Is it because we have ridiculously high, bordering on almost unrealistic standards when it comes to TV? Yeah, maybe a little. There are really good TV shows nowadays, but not everything will be Game of Thrones (minus the ending) or Breaking Bad level great.
Maybe we can’t decide to pick a show to watch because we are completely overwhelmed with all the different, and what seems to be, endless choices. And after a while, they all seem to be the same.
Anyway, in true Millennial and Gen Z fashion, instead of going straight into the topic I want to talk about, I am using some weird analogies to compare because what even are healthy coping mechanisms and communication skills?
Perfection or Compatibility
So let me get to the point. Am I trying to equate dating and finding a match on a dating app to picking a TV show? Maybe just a little bit, but I think you get it. There is always a better option out there than what you have. That’s true about most things in life, and maybe also in dating – or so we think.
Ever hear how people talk about potential matches they find on whatever dating app they use? “He’s cute, but…” “She likes the same thing I do, but…” If you look hard enough, there is always a ‘but’ to find. No one is perfect. (Oh, look, another cliche saying.) But if you expect to find the perfect person, then you will be sorely disappointed.
You need to make a distinction between finding a perfect match and finding someone you are compatible with. Finding a perfect match is finding someone who ticks off every single box in every possible way for you, whereas compatibility is being alike in the important ways. Maybe that person doesn’t tick off every single box. It’s all about what you’re willing to settle on and what you aren’t willing to give up.
To be clear, I am not saying you should settle. You just need to figure out what you truly want in a partner and then stick to it. If going to the gym and being healthy is important to you and you want that quality in your person, then, by all means, find them. Or maybe you are a person of faith, and your faith is a defining trait of what you need in a partner. Go find them.
Settling is staying with someone you are not compatible with in fear of being alone. No, I’m not asking you to settle, but I am asking you to figure out what you honestly think is important in a future partner.
Make a list of everything you would want your partner to be. Include everything. Do you have a type? Add that. What qualities do they need? Interests? You get the point. Once you have that list, however long it is, divide it into three separate lists. The first one is things that are must, whether that is being a person of faith or being vegan. The next one is for things that are important to you but aren’t a deal-breaker, like a difference in some political ideals. And the last one is things that you would like them to have but aren’t extremely important or necessary. For example, I love anime, but that doesn’t mean my partner needs to love it. Would that be awesome? Absolutely, but not necessary for a healthy and loving relationship. So don’t settle but just don’t be unrealistic in your expectations of a perfect partner. Perfection is a fantasy.
To Sum It Up
At the end of the day, you can always find something you don’t like in another person if you go looking hard enough. The easy thing to do at the beginning of any relationship when you start to feel those differences is to bail in hopes of finding someone. And maybe that is the right thing to do. Maybe you got caught up in the feelings of it all, but take a second and think about your lists. Are you compatible with this person? Do you like them? Just remember, the grass is always greener, but the greenest grass takes work to grow.
P.S. Stop wasting your time scrolling for something to watch. Check out CNET’s 55 best TV shows to stream on Netflix. You’re welcome.