Stop Breaking Up Because Your Relationship Isn’t Perfect


Relationship expectations are at an all time high, and everyone seems to be struggling to catch up to where we think they are. But the truth is… we never knew what they were to begin with.

We think love is supposed to look a certain way, feel a certain way, act a certain way, but do we ask the same about sadness or pain? I’ve been sad many times in my life, but not because of the same thing. I’ve felt joy and pain for countless of scenarios. I never think they have to appear a “certain way.”

Love, above all else, is something we’re desperate to have the correct way, but we hardly know what that means.

Relationships require building

We have a tiny piece of love and quickly realize it isn’t what we expected. It’s spontaneous and requires a bit of work. It’s unexplainable, unsearchable in any kind of emotional language except the one we have. There are more questions than answers, and part of the journey is trying to find them. But sadly most of us get intimidated and make a fast exit because it isn’t what we thought it would be.

Relationships require building. That’s the whole point. You attach to each other only after choosing to reveal yourself. It takes courage and a lot of vulnerability, which is too high a price to pay for some.

We’ve built a cookie cutter version of the man we deem as “the one” when in reality, “the one” was forced upon us by endless streams of fanciful notions and imagined scenarios. A man any less than “the one” is discarded not because he isn’t great, but because we’re too scared to imagine anything else.

We feel safer in the confines of our head, so we want reality to match. This of course makes it very easy to reject anyone because they aren’t up to par.

Like anything in life, we’re never going to receive something already perfect. All we have to go on is a feeling: how does he make us feel? From there we start imagining the possibilities, which is a new dream we eventually build. Together.

If we aren’t willing to share our dreams, we will never be able to expand it; much less find a man willing to share his.

There are some guys who bring out the worst in each other—I’ve been there, done that. It never lasts because it is the antithesis of love. But there are incredible lessons to learn. I did it the hard way.

My ex-boyfriend and I brought out the worst in each other, and it was because he had everything I wanted my “one” to have: great job, great looks, great house, great goals, family man, etc. I convinced myself to love him because it wasn’t happening naturally.

We grew to resent each other, and, eventually, wreck each other. I learned “the one” requires more than practicality and meeting criteria, but something invisible: a feeling, a sacrifice.

Not everyone we see is perfect.

Not everyone we see is perfect, and what is it based on? It’s built on a spectrum we created ourselves, where “the one” is placed on top. Anyone who lacks these non-negotiables don’t deserve our attention.

What we forget to put on our list is how he makes us feel. That’s the magic fueling our dreams in the first place.

Most people today think they deserve perfection. Perfection has become an excuse to stay secluded from reality — to not take risks and remain in fear. But relationships come and go, and there are lots of circumstances where it definitely needs to go. If we break up because he contradicts a made up fairy tale in our heads, we ought to question our own judgment.

The fairy tale isn’t real, but prince charming is. He might not appear on a white horse or offer a kingdom or castle, but he does offer his heart. And trust me, that’s the real dream.

David Artavia


David is an award-winning journalist and editor at The Advocate, Plus, and Chill magazines. His work also appears at and OutTraveler. He lives in Los Angeles where he lives vicariously through his friends.

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