Why the perfect partner in your head might not be the perfect partner in your heart

When your head and heart are aligned, things are perfect. 

But let’s be honest – most of us don’t always have that luxury.

Usually, your heart is tugging you in one direction while your head is pulling you in quite another. It can be tricky and uncomfortable.

So what do you do? Which part of you should you follow?

In matters of love, at least, you have to follow the advice of 90s Swedish rocker Roxette and listen to your heart.

So even if your head is telling you that the person doesn’t make any sense to you, your heart might be telling you a whole different story.

Here’s why the perfect partner in your head might not be the perfect partner in your heart.

Is there such a thing as the perfect partner?

This is one of those age-old questions that has no clear answer. People have only been wondering about this for thousands of years, after all!

The great Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote that “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies” about 2300 years ago.

He was echoing similar ideas from Plato, like, “Every heart sings a song, incomplete until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

Even earlier writing from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu 2500 years ago similarly extolled the wonderful aspects of love, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Reading all of these quotes, you can see a similar idea. They all speak of the importance and the magic of love and how it’s an essential part of life. 

But do they speak to the idea of the perfect partner?

Do soulmates exist?

Is there such a thing as a soulmate, someone born for us as we are for them?

People have been wondering about this question for ages as well.

On the one hand, it’s a highly romantic idea that there’s one and only one person out there who is your perfect match. On the other hand, with eight billion people now on Earth, finding your one and only match sounds like an incredibly difficult task.

This idea has been taken as far as the twin flame concept. Some people believe that your twin flame is actually the other half of your soul, which has been separated from you to gain life experience.

They feel that these twin souls are destined to return to each other, but only when they are ready and free of baggage and earthly concerns. 

This concept sounds intensely beautiful and fulfilling. But is it real?

Soulmates in modern psychology

Most modern psychologists find the idea of soulmates and perfect partners challenging and even damaging.

They argue that believing in this fairytale-like ideal makes people put a lot of pressure and unfair expectations on their potential partners.

It also convinces people that until they find someone perfect in every way, they should reject anyone who’s not perfect and keep on looking.

This kind of thinking can cause lots of people to lead lives filled with disappointment and loneliness.

At the same time, some psychologists do believe in a less well-accepted version of the soulmate idea.

Rather than there being a single perfect person out there who you have to find, they suggest that a perfect partnership can be created.

Through understanding, compassion, trust, and years of love, some couples grow bonds that run deeper and deeper. They become so important to each other that they’ve grown into each other’s soulmates.

However you look at it, the idea of finding or creating the perfect partner is a fascinating one and something that interests everybody.

So, how do you go about finding that special someone who’s going to be your perfect life partner?

What your head tells you

The perfect partner in your head is the kind of person who ticks all of your boxes.

We all have a “type,” a sort of person we’re looking for who will make us exuberantly happy and deeply in love.

We look for characteristics in all sorts of different categories. We may search for someone based on, for example, their: 

  • Physical – smile, facial features, hair color, body type, etc.
  • Sexual – same level of sex drive, sexual skills, shared sexual style, etc.
  • Emotional – empathy, openness, caring nature, etc.
  • Lifestyle – shared activities/interests, similar motivations, complementary styles, etc.
  • Economic – wealth, job, quality of life, financial goals, etc.
  • Personality – sense of humor, maturity, friendliness, confidence, etc.
  • Core – values, principles, beliefs, etc.

Your list may go on and on.

The perfect partner in your head is a person who ticks all of these boxes and seems to you like the ideal.

So what’s wrong with that?

Shouldn’t we all be looking for someone with perfect compatibility and rejecting anyone who doesn’t possess the characteristics we’re after?

I think we’re forgetting some very important things here.

Is this perfection?

The concept of your perfect partner that you build up in your head is just that – a concept. 

Does this person exist in reality?

Think about the examples I listed above. There were only 24 boxes, even though most of us would create at least double that, or around 50.

Can you find a person who has all of these features?

And what about negatives?

We all likely have a same-sized list of negative qualities that we certainly don’t want our partner to possess. So now our perfect match has to not have another 50 or so qualities.

That’s about 100 different characteristics that they need to have or definitely not have

How realistic is your chance of finding such a person?

What your heart tells you

While your head goes into the partner search armed with these lists, your heart tends to be completely different.

It feels its way through the process rather than analyzing, calculating, and tallying up a score.

As it moves through the stages of getting to know a potential partner, it tends to ask only, “Does this person make me feel good or not?”

If the answer is yes, you continue on. If it’s a no, that’s when you might put on the brakes.

It doesn’t matter how many boxes that person has already ticked. If they make you feel strange, awkward, or even downright bad, your heart will say no.

It seems a whole lot simpler, doesn’t it?

Simpler, that is, but not easier.

The way your heart moves through relationships is almost like feeling your way along in the dark. Once you find out something about the person, that part might light up and become visible, but anything you don’t know, you stay blind to.

So, while the head is like a health and safety inspector armed with a checklist, the heart is almost like a probe sent deep into space.

What does your heart consider perfect?

What’s perfect according to your heart?

When you meet someone, no matter how they look or act, you are drawn to them.

You get those butterflies in your tummy and stirrings in your cockles. 

Then you learn more about them, and you feel good, and this keeps repeating.

This person makes you feel happy, seen, and appreciated. But you also feel the kind of attraction to them that makes you care about their welfare and happiness.

Eventually, you encounter one of their flaws (we all have them!), something that would disqualify them from your head’s list, but something strange happens.

You find that you’re able to accept it and look past it. You recognize that this is a whole person, and their flaws are a part of the package.

This is why the perfect partner in your head might not be the perfect partner in your heart.

They might have some of those negative qualities, hopefully not too many, that your head told you to avoid. They might be missing some or many of the positive characteristics that your head deems essential.

And yet, they warm your heart.

They feel like someone you could spend more and more time with, maybe even a lifetime.

This might be a person who would become your soulmate, and yet your head would have dismissed them almost immediately.

Your head and heart can work together

Ideally, your perfect partner is someone who makes both your head and heart satisfied.

They should tick a lot of your important boxes but also feel compatible with what your heart truly needs.

These two aspects may not be in perfect harmony, but they also shouldn’t be at total odds when you’re choosing a partner.

Maybe there’s no one out there who was born to be your perfect match. But there might be someone who you can love and who makes you feel loved, someone who can grow into your perfect life partner as you grow into theirs.

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