Case in point: No one is tall, wears impossibly soft scarves, doesn’t bite their fingernails loves to read in bed while classical music softly filters from upmarket speakers—and even if they are all of those things and more, there will inevitably be some other things you’ll find lacking as dating progresses.
Instead, accepting real life for what it is—and others for who they are, namely people who, like everyone else, have flaws—results in an all-around better life.
This doesn’t mean settling for someone who isn’t right for you, obviously.
“I believe the 80/20 rule is a very consistent part of reality, and that bringing our expectations into alignment with reality is healthy,” says Green.
Even if you do believe in the idea of a soulmate, not even your physical, mental, and spiritual ideal can possibly stand up to the stringent list of demands we all tally in our heads while dating.
If you’re not sure, talk about it with someone, like “a therapist, or someone who you trust and has the kind of relationship you want,” suggests Green, which “can help you be clear on this point and to move forward with confidence.” One thing to keep in mind: “Switching partners will not result in zero percent problems, but in a new 20 percent—and a new opportunity to practice acceptance and gratitude,” notes Green.