In the Eagles song “Take it to the Limit”, there is a line which goes “If it all fell to pieces tomorrow would you still be mine?”
I think it sums up what a lot of people look for in a romantic relationship. Regardless of their list of criteria such as looks, age bracket, location, etc, ultimately what they really want is someone who would be there for them if everything fell to pieces in their life. Without a doubt, having someone who ticks their boxes increases the chances of compatibility, but if they looked into the psychology behind why they want someone in their life, I would wager, in a lot of instances at any rate, it comes down to having someone to fall back on when the chips are down.
It’s great knowing that someone has your back. If the whole world turned against you, you know in your heart that he or she would be there for you with emotional support, or whatever you need to pick up the pieces.
I have matched many people over the last twelve years who have given me a list of the qualities they are looking for in a partner only to change their minds on a lot of the box ticking once they meet someone. An example is a lady who we will call Susanne. She felt she was more attracted to really tall guys. Her father, uncles and brother and ex husband were all over 6 feet tall and she couldn’t imagine being with someone shorter than 5’10 even though she’s 5’5” herself.
When Susanne joined Twoheartsmeet, she was divorced for about 3 years. She had been in a very unhappy marriage and her ex husband suffered from mood swings and depression. On top of her list of criteria, after very tall guy, was even tempered, considerate and empathetic, all qualities missing from her ex.
When I emailed her a profile of a man who I believed had the personality traits she was looking for, she noticed that he was only 5’8”. I explained that I wouldn’t be able to tick all her boxes and on this occasion the height was the one I couldn’t tick. However, all the other criteria was there in bucketfuls! She had to make the decision whether she would compromise on height in order to get a man who was the polar opposite in personality to her ex husband.
Fast forward five years and Susanne called me recently to let me know that she was suffering from long Covid, her working hours had been drastically reduced and she was sleeping 12 hours every night. She called me to say thank you for matching her with the short guy because not only have they the most wonderful relationship she could imagine, but he’s been there for her in every way possible since she contracted her illness. She said that he can’t do enough for her and she doesn’t know how she would have managed if he wasn’t in her life, that she probably would have had to move back to live with her parents who are now in their 70’s.
She mused about how seriously she took at the time, the perceived importance of being matched with a very tall guy. She was laughing on the phone that there was no guarantee that just because a guy is 6’ tall that he would be there for her when the chips were down.
Having spoken with her, it got me thinking about that line in the Eagles song, and how sometimes people think the criteria they’re looking for in a partner is very legitimate and not asking for too much. But I believe that criteria like height, build, occupation, where they live, etc are very minor considerations compared with traits like kindness, being a good listener, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, etc. Think carefully when you’re putting your list together!