An Elusive Ideal

What are your criteria in looking for a partner? Is it smart? Beautiful? Handsome? Rich? Or what? And if you already have one, what are you looking at him/her that make you fall in love with that person?

A romantic relationship involves two persons. Both of them do and experience what every one in the world does in any romantic relationships: loving and being loved. But, has it ever occured to your mind that actually more than two persons involve in your relationship? Don't get me wrong. If you think that I approve cheating then you're wrong.

I don't want to say or approve that it is okay to have another person in your life when you're already having someone special. I decry any form of affair. Whatever the reason is. But here, I just want to point out--based on my question in the first paragraph--that, as a matter of fact, we all have our dream of partner. Using Robert J. Sternberg's term is the elusive ideal.

Even though we already have a partner, we still have our ideal partner in our mind. Consciously or not. If your partner meets almost the criteria you have in mind, then this your ideal partner in mind will not intrude your relationship. But, what if your partner doesn't correspond your criteria? According to Sternberg (1988), your elusive ideal may enter into your relationship and start to interfere it. Your elusive ideal may not exist in physical form, but it may hunt your mind and disrupt the relationship that you've built with your partner.

For example, a man who adores Barbie so much may crave a girl who just looks like Barbie. Let say, his lover now doesn't meet his criteria but he still stays in the relationship. Next thing, in a subtle way (or unconsciously), he asks his partner to dress like a Barbie or to act like a Barbie. *please don't laugh. it's only an example, by the way.*

Point is, when we don't get our expectation or if there are too much gaps between our dream partner and our real partner, we tend to drive our real partner into our dream land that we have created. When this happens, problems start to emerge.

It is not a bad thing to have our elusive ideal. But rather, we need it to evaluate our relationship with our partner. According to Sternberg (1988):

In evaluating your relationship with another it is important to take into account that person's ideal as well as his or her feelings toward you. (Robert J. Sternberg, "Triangle of Love", p. 30)

And if I may add, according to me, we need elusive ideal as our standard to find the right one for us. :-)

These standard of a perfect match for us must not to be set too high or too low. If you set the standard too high, you probably will not meet someone in your entire life. Thus, you will not be happy. And otherwise, if you set the standard too low, you will be easily fall for someone that may not even match with you. Thus, you will end up miserable.

So, listen to what Sternberg had said!

Thus, the goal is to set a realistic ideal and then to seek it in your life.

And listen to what I will say!

Don't get blinded by love. If you love someone, before you get into more serious in your relationship, take a moment to evaluate every thing.

Happy creating an elusive ideal and happy searching, folks!


  1. Oh... I have so many many partners in my life. Wait... don't get me wrong! Life is not just in the vicinity of a stale phrase called "I love you". I need a professional partner, I need partner to discuss things both professional and occupational. And for those matters I don't need to stick to only one person.

    LOL. Am I getting out of focus??

  2. nggak ngerti saya bahasa beginian, hehe...
    salam kenal.

  3. @Pak Yari NK
    Yes, you are getting out of focus. :)

    Salam kenal juga. Terima kasih sudah mampir ke blog ini. :)

  4. Hi Kimi.

    My partner is adorable. I love being in relationship with him coz he makes me comfy for good and bad times.

    I don't deny that he's not an ideal man for me, but I try to make him approaching my criteria. So far, he can compromise with my standard and I try to compromise with his weakness, too.

  5. @Vicky Laurentina
    Well, if there is compromise between you two that means a good thing. Good luck in your relationship, okay? Hope you will always happy with your adorable partner. :-)


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