We’re often encouraged to look for a perfect partner, and this common assertion might lead you to wonder just how good is good enough. As it turns out, there are pros and cons associated with waiting for the ideal person, and there’s a moderate strategy that might be more useful.

Being too flexible about the idea of ‘good enough’

Β If you have a pessimistic idea about how much you can expect from a relationship, there are certain obvious pros. For one thing, you’ll be more likely to try out a wide range of dating prospects and may meet someone great entirely by accident. However, there are also some serious downsides to having an overly flexible notion of what would make a partner good enough. Most importantly, you stand a good chance of wasting your time on relationships where you feel misunderstood, bored, unsatisfied and unhappy. As a result, it makes sense to have at least some standards to which you hold prospective lovers.

Setting Your Standards To High

If you set your standards high, you won’t end up with partners who can barely string a sentence together or who don’t share any of your interests. Unfortunately, it’s also possible that you won’t end up with anyone at all, as having a massive laundry list of desirable personality traits can lead to finding no one good enough.

The 80/20 rule Β Β 

It’s not plausible to expect 100% of your needs to be met by any one person, but if you get just 80% of what you want then you’ve most likely struck gold. It’s easy to make lengthy lists about our ideal match and to get caught up in overcomplicating the dating process, but the 80/20 rule can help to streamline the process of choosing a partner. You might start by figuring out deal-breakers and writing down some of the things you’re willing to compromise. For example, a desire to start a family in the future might be non-negotiable, but a common passion for movies might not be necessary. Here are some further benefits of applying the 80/20 rule:

  • You will have more compatibilities than incompatibilities. For example, you’ll probably find your partner physically attractive, share a sense of humor, and subscribe to a compatible value system. However, you will know going into the relationship that there will be some tolerable incompatibilities.
  • The incompatibilities in your relationship can challenge you and lead to personal growth. For example, while you might not have asked for a partner who was substantially more outgoing, this difference in social approaches can help to bring you out of your shell.

It’s well documented that becoming too comfortable or lazy in a relationship can be a passion killer, and this problem is more common in maximally symbiotic couples. A little difference makes things interesting and can help to keep the romantic spark alive. After all, it’s not very exciting to date someone who is utterly predictable!