I'm somewhat of a pop culture head. I'm pretty sure that's why, whenever I hear the phrase, "perfect match", the first thing that comes to my mind—well, it might surprise you. Ready? It's the song from School Daze. Some of y'all might remember when Jane (Tisha Campbell) licked the scalp of Julian (Giancarlo Esposito) while the song, "Perfect Match" played in the background (couldn't find the actual movie footage but you can listen to the song itself here). Yeah, it's kinda one of those things that you can't un-see once you've seen it. Along these same lines, the next thing that usually comes to mind is the movieThe Perfect Match starring Terrence J and Cassie. If you didn't catch it when it came out in 2016, basically the premise of it has something in common with the characters in School Daze—both couples idealized one another, so much, that they initially thought they were "perfect" for each other. Yet, once more layers started to get pulled back and reality started to really set in, they ended up having to accept that, when it came to being the so-called perfect couple, nothing could be further from the truth.
Yes, I intro'd this point by referring to two fictionalized accounts. But y'all, in real life, I sit in counseling sessions all of the time that consist of two people who are either extremely disappointed or flat-out pissed off that their partner, the one who they initially thought was perfect for them, has turned out to be any and everything but. And because they are so hurt by that, almost to the point of believing they've been betrayed, they figure that the appropriate response is to the end of the relationship so that they can make room to find true perfection.
Hmph. I'm hoping that I don't need to tell you that anyone who's looking for the perfect person is going to be on that quest, for the rest of their life. But what about the ever-so-romantic—and I'm rolling my eyes, even as I'm typing this, by the way—phrase, "They might not be perfect, but they are perfect for me"? Is that worth looking for? Eh. It depends on how you look at the word "perfect".
And that's actually what we're going to dive into today—figuring out if there is such a thing as a perfect match when it comes to romantic relationships. Let's look deeper by addressing five main points.
Perfection Is Hella Overrated
If you're out here looking for your perfect match, take a moment to ponder a particular definition of the word. To be perfect is to be "excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement". Aside from this being an impossibility for any human being (short of Christ himself), this definition alone is why I encourage people to desire a relationship that is healthy (functioning well), not perfect. Why? Because one of the most beautiful things about a healthy relationship is it consists of two people who are invested in helping the other to grow, evolve and mature into a better version of themselves. If the relationship was already "perfect", where would there be a need for any of this, since there is nothing that needs to be improved upon?
If that sounds absolutely crazy to you, let me try and approach it from another pop culture reference standpoint. Any of you who are old school Sex & the City fans will probably remember the episode when Carrie kept trying to create drama with Aiden when they first started dating (there's a clip of it here). Why was she being a relational drama queen? Because—get this—things were going too well for her (Carrie really was a pretty neurotic mess in hindsight, y'all). While that might sound dysfunctional AF (and it is), there are a lot of people who are a lot like this, just on a lower and more self-aware scale.
"This" in the sense that they don't want to be bored in their relationship. They want a few challenges. They look forward to a-ha moments and emotional roller coaster rides. Smooth sailing freaks them out. Perfection seems suffocating.
So yeah, let's start with one reason why a perfect match is a ridiculous notion is because most of us don't want something that doesn't require any improvement on some level. We merely want something that isn't toxic or counterproductive. And when it comes to that resolve, being in something that is healthy will suit us just fine. Next point.
Know What Else Perfection Is? SELFISH.
Something that is needed, for any relationship to flourish, is maturity. And a part of what comes with being mature is having the kind of emotional intelligence that portrays a healthy level of empathy. When a person is empathetic, not only does it mean that they can identify with the thoughts and feelings of another person, but they are intentional about doing it. When someone expects perfection, whether it be from their partner or their relationship, it means that, whenever their partner makes a mistake (or sometimes even just a poor choice because that is not always or necessarily one and the same), the person leaves no room for forgiveness or even hearing their partner out because wanting perfection is wanting no room for improvement, remember?
Not only that, but desiring perfection means you are only caught up in what you expect rather than what the reality of something is. Well, that is until you are the individual who is needing the forgiveness, a listening ear or a shoulder of support.
Example. It's been more than a dozen times when I've helped a couple work through infidelity. The person who initially gets cheated on is always like "this is the unpardonable sin" (yeah, if you're a Christian, you don't want to get into how the Word says that husbands should love their wives like Christ loved the Church and the Church are people who are unfaithful to the godhead on a regular basis—Ephesians 5). But sometimes, I'm able to encourage the one on the receiving end of the cheating to stay, only for them to do the exact same thing later up the pike. Suddenly, when they are the offender, now there are explanations, justifications and the longing for compassion.
That's the thing about perfection. It can have you out here being so focused on how much it can benefit you that you don't realize the painful boomerang that it creates when you fail to meet perfection's expectations. And that's why I say that it's a selfish way of thinking. You're not always going to do things perfectly, so don't expect your partner to.
Perfection Is Also Fleeting, Temporary and Non-Committal
Everyone's love journey is different. I'll be the first one to say that. But whenever a person tells me that they're considering marrying someone who they've only known for a short period of time (by that I mean, they met them in six months or less), I am always—and I do mean, always—encouraging them to pump their brakes. Now I will say that although some scientific research says that six months is all that it takes in order for a person to know if someone else is marriage material, and I've even written an article on here that says many think that 13 months is how long you should (seriously) date before getting married (check out "Experts Say You Should Date This Long Before Getting Married"), I really believe that all of this needs to have the disclaimer of it only applying if you previously knew the person before you actually got into a relationship with them.
While there are some of us who reveal a lot of who we are (perhaps too much; that's what my peeps tell me about myself—LOL), straight outta the gate, more folks lean towards only revealing their good side, for at least 3-4 months or so. Some call that side a person's representative. And so, if that's all that you know, it can be very easy to think someone is perfect for you, when all that they're showing is, well, perfection. Then, you jump fully in—only to find out about a year later that they've got all kinds of bullshishery going on. Not necessarily vile, dangerous or even "bad" stuff; just things that don't complement you well or things that you don't want to deal with long-term. I actually have someone close to me who is going through the regret of marrying their partner in under two years, realizing that they didn't really know them very well at all.
That's why I say that, when it comes to romantic relationships, more times than not, if two people claim they are with someone who is perfect, they are also signing themselves up for a situation that is gonna have a shorter expiration date than what they actually bargained for or emotionally prepared for. Because until "the representative" goes away, oftentimes all you're seeing is a grand illusion. And once that bubble pops and reality sets in, it can cause you to see that you wanted someone…totally different.
Besides, Two Imperfect People Cannot Create a Perfect Match
I'm just gonna go ahead and put it out there. A lot of people are relational hypocrites. What I mean by that is, they want the kind of partner that they themselves are not. As I said earlier, this reveals itself, most often, in those who seem to think they should be forgiven for all of the things they do wrong while they tend to take on the "one and done" approach when their partner messes up. I really do say it all of the time in my sessions—if you're not good at forgiving others, you're someone who doesn't need to be in a relationship because, the reality—no matter how ugly, uncomfortable or not preferred it might be—is no one is perfect and everyone ends up disappointing us, at one point or another. That said, you're not perfect, by any stretch, so it would be ridiculous for your partner to expect you to be that way. By the same token, why would you put that kind of "perfection pressure" on him?
A healthy and thriving relationship isn't about looking for someone who is perfect. Emotional intelligence and maturity teach us that it's more about looking for the kind of person whose strengths serve to be a good complement for us and whose weaknesses are ones that we can truly handle.
I will die on the hill that, a perfect match leans on the side of being totally ridiculous because, how does that even happen when the two folks in the relationship aren't perfect themselves? Since they need to consistently improve, how could the connection not require the same mercy and grace? Anyone who declares they are a "perfect match" should revisit the word "perfect" often. Because again, if you are professing that your relationship cannot stand to improve, you are just fooling yourself. Everything and everyone needs improvement. That's not a bad thing. That's just the truth.
A Wonderful Complement Is a Far More Realistic Goal
Now that perfection has been broken down, all the way to the floor, does that mean that absolutely beautiful examples of love don't exist? I am absolutely NOT saying that. I know some people who, while I don't refer to them as being a "perfect match", it is extremely evident that they complement each other exceptionally well. I'll even go so far as to call them "soulmates" because I don't romanticize that term.
The Hebrew word for soulmate is "beshert" which translates into meaning things like "destined", "inevitable" or "meant to be". And yes, some people, I believe, when they allow God to lead them in their lives, they are brought to the mate who best suits them. That doesn't mean their soulmate is their perfect match, though. Actually, from the way I see it, it means God has brought them to someone who will best improve them as they do the same for their partner. A soulmate or bashert is about an amazing complement (check out "If He's Right For You, He Will COMPLEMENT Your Life") NOT a perfect match.
So, while this might've burst some Disney and chick flick bubbles, I actually think that is a good thing. Perfection may be a goal, but, at the end of the day, it's an impossible one. Don't waste your very precious time looking for a man who is perfect when you aren't. Open yourself up to the possibility of connecting with someone who is good, who is holistically healthy, who strives for improvement and will complement you best. That guy? He's better than perfection because that guy…is real.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Shutterstock
- The Need To Be Perfect In Relationships Dating - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images