General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Where did this idea that you could have a perfect match come from?

Asked by wundayatta (58571points) December 30th, 2008

So many people seem to be holding out for the perfect love. They never seem to find it. They remain unpartnered throughout their lives. Why? Are they happy? Happier?

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26 Answers

asmonet's avatar

You reminded me of The Origin of Love.

mrdh's avatar

Because romance films give the average (usually female) movie-goer unrealistic expectations for relationships and love in general.

seekingwolf's avatar

I think the idea of “one true match (or soulmate) for everyone!” is a lot more romantic and nicer than the true FACT of “there are millions of possible marriage partners in the world for each person zomg!”

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It came from the deepest part of almost every human being. So many people want a love like that to be real, that they think it is real and will wait for it. Everyone wants their other half. Everyone wants it to feel like their partner understands them so well that they may as well be the same person. It comes from, in my opinion, the truth that I think every human being knows deep down: Even with a good matched love partner, a best friend, a mother, father, sister, brother… We are all still alone, ultimately.

wundayatta's avatar

Personally, I think love is made, not found.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yeah. I mean, if love was found there would be such a thing as love at first sight, which I absolutely don’t believe in.

augustlan's avatar

The ‘one true love’ idea is sold to little girls in the form of classic fairy tales (think Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty). ’Against all odds, the dashing prince will find his princess…and rescue her!’ What a load of crap! I will say that I have had two men I’ve loved that were perfect for me at the time, but the first obviously didn’t last forever. We’ll have to wait and see how this second one turns out ;)

krose1223's avatar

i think when you find “the right one” it is a person that you are ust simply able to work with. I don’t think there is only one person out htere for everyone I think there are just people who simply work…

drunk

augustlan's avatar

I love your disclaimer, krose…

krose1223's avatar

== im so rry make me stop… i cant

cookieman's avatar

I agree that the concept is sold through fairy tales. As anyone with a daughter will tell you, it’s a powerfull message.

At the end of Cinderella, my daughter (6) says to me, “And they lived happily ever after, right Bah?”

I said, “Well sure, but only if they work really hard at it. I mean they only just met…”

My wife rolls her eyes at me because she still likes to believe the fantasy herself.

IMHO, “Love” is 80% work, 20% luck. With the same kind of commitment, you can make it work with any number if people who share similar interests/values with you.

cookieman's avatar

Thank you Krose1223.

now slowly put down the drink and no one will get hurt

krose1223's avatar

c\its’ all gone bue bye. so sad. night

aidje's avatar

I’m getting really sick of watching my female friends get caught up in the Disney / chick flick / Jane Austen idea of the “perfect man.” I don’t like seeing how it hurts their ability to function in a real relationship (or ever even start one, in many cases).

cookieman's avatar

@aidje: So true about not even starting a relationship.

My wife and I have this female friend that clings to this fantasy so tightly that every guy she goes on a date with fails to meet these expectations.

At 37, she’s still alone and waiting for prince charming.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i’ve always wondered where that ~soulmate~ crap came from.

Jack79's avatar

I think most of the answers here are spot on. Love is made and you have to keep working at it. This idea has made a lot of people (and especially women) unhappy. And I agree with seekingwolf in that you are compatible with most people, and just have to try to make it work. Of course it helps if you start of with someone who to your eyes is sexy and friendly and whom you share the same interests with.

Funnily enough this idea of the perfect match is imported from India, where it is believed that for every man there is a woman, and vice versa. But it is left to a holy man (something like our priests) to decide who that perfect match is. And then you must marry them. Oh and then you get to meet them too.

Even though the idea seems crazy to us, an Indian friend I spoke to said that, since you have no choice, you have no dilemma, and no worries about finding the perfect match, something with most westerners spend half their lives seeking (and the other half in a divorce battle). So it atually works for them.

laureth's avatar

Here's the About.com article on this matter.

That said, I remember reading that it might have come from the Greeks. IIRC, the soul is torn asunder and incarnated into two bodies, both of whom spend their lives seeking their other half out.

I also found this article that has references to Buddhism, Taoist, and Hindu ideas. Here you go.

Personally, with six-plus billion people in the world, my “soul mate” may as well have been born in Upper Mongolia and we’ll never meet. I think that idea is bunk. I believe that there are several very good matches for any given person, and that those may even change over time. If we find one of these people, great! But it’s not like “one soul torn asunder,” it’s more like the kind of closer-percent-match that some websites use when you do a search query. Either way, it’s still work to get along with another person.

What I do know is that it’s a relatively recent idea. For a long time, marriages were arranged, usually based on economic considerations. (“She has huge… tracts of LAND!”) At some point, the idea of marrying for love instead of money came into fashion, and now people somehow believe in that Perfect Someone Out There that probably doesn’t exist.

cookieman's avatar

@laureth: Lurve for “huge…tracts of LAND”. Awesome.

Can you imagine if things had gone differently:
Check out the dowry on that hottie.

90s_kid's avatar

Well I know that I don’t.

asmonet's avatar

@laureth: I also lurved you for the tracts of land.

cookieman's avatar

So…asmonet…how’s your dowry?

laureth's avatar

Lots of people lurve my tracts of land! :D

Not all of them are on Fluther, though.

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