Sex and The City: Can’t find the ‘perfect’ girl

I have been heartbroken in the past and therefore I decided to go down the matchmaking route. The girls I liked and started talking to, already had boyfriends who their parents knew nothing about, and it is the parents who were interested in arranging the matches. The girls who were interested in me were just not my type. I tried dating apps but I only found older desperate women on them. I felt sick with the choices out there. My relatives have brought to my attention some eligible girls who they think I should date and see. But even those who are talented, good looking and traditionally a good match, I find something that ticks me off and I don’t go ahead. What is wrong with me? On one hand I crib about not having a companion, and on the other, I find something wrong with every girl, or then they are not interested. Am I destined for loneliness? Am I looking for a fantasy companion that doesn’t exist? Am I afraid of commitment? Am I wary of the responsibility of a relationship? Am I afraid of vulnerability again? I don’t know. I don’t know how to navigate this. Please advise.

Ans: The use of the word ‘heartbroken’ implies that the heart is something that can be broken and then fixed like a broken wooden frame that is chipping on the sides. These oversimplifications will water down the efforts you are going to have to take to manage your expectations. It’s a self-limiting move to expect the world to change and cater to your specific needs.

If you find something wrong with the girls you are meeting, could it not be possible that they as also in a position to find something amiss with you? Nobody’s really perfect. We must learn to accept people as people instead of trying to turning them into bespoke emotional renovation or social repair projects. A solid approach would be to not zoom in on your partner’s failings and limitations since that is guaranteed to disappoint you regardless of their efforts at keeping things together.

Instead, consider learning to work together as a team towards shared dreams. While the many ‘heartbreaks’ you mention may have made you bitter and resentful at some level, you must realise that there is no woman out there who will answer to a job brief based on the exact expectations that you'd like her to tailor her existence to.

Your relationship will always be tested. Your resolve will be tested. Your love will be tested. Your patience will be tested and even your faith in relationships will be tested. There are occasions where partners in a relationship are simply unable to understand each other’s needs because they value their own desires more than anyone else’s. In such cases, the relationship ends in a bitter or battered fashion.

How will you know if she’s the one for you? You won’t -- until you spend some time with her. If you manage to get past the mutual attraction phase, you can make your way to the ‘I’m guess she’s got my curiousity’ phase. Travel together, talk about a life together and gauge each other’s thresholds during moments of stress anduncertainty.

This will help you build something truly special with whomever you end up with. These older desperate women who you say make you sick are also girls looking for companionship. If you judge people harshly based on their age and what they desire, that’s an unempathetic viewpoint to assume.

If you are afraid of committing to a relationship, you must be honest with yourself about that. You will have to introspect on this question with the help of a qualified psychotherapist to explore the depth of your feelings better. The only way to navigate this is to be fully committed to reshaping your attitudes about a prospective partner. Before you commit to a serious relationship, I would strongly advise you to embark on a path of introspection - with some therapeutic help of course.

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