Love at First Sight, Jealousy and Perfection

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
Ok, first of all...I'm not saying I believe in love at first sight I'm just saying that there are people who do and just because they do DOESNT mean they're shallow. I mean you can see someone and have almost an instant connection with them...that doesn't mean you're shallow, it just means you found that one person for you, and there's nothing wrong with calling it love at first sight. I guess there might be to you but to me, it's totally different, so I guess we don't toally see eye-to-eye on that.

And second, I didn't say jealousy was OK, I said it was something that every normal relationship experiences and deals with. You might say that its a symbol of distrust, and in a way it is, but it's something every relationship deals with and goes through and in the end becomes stronger for. The way I interuppted it on the site was you were totally dismissing it as a terrible thing, and it is. But I'm just saying that the relationship will get stronger for it in the end.

Lastly, have you ever heard of the quote "love is seeing an imperfect person perfectly?" I guess not. But it's something I believe in. I don't put my boyfriend "on a pedestal" as you call it but I do see him as a great person and he's someone that I see perfectly. It's not that I don't see his faults, but they're what makes him HIM and I LOVE that. And I still think he's perfect.

You don't have to answer this, because I'm sure you have THOUSANDS of other letters to send to people who need your help, I just wanted to clarify what I said in the last letter because you obviously misinturrupted it. Thanks. Advice
You might not believe it but I've actually thought a lot about this message in the past week but just am completely swamped and wasn't able to write back. I think my backlog of questions on the site is over 1,000 right now and I do this all for free in my spare time. So let's look again at your initial "question" for me -

"your website is crap! its totally one-sided and i think you get more opinions on such thing as love at first sight? although i also dont believe in it, there are many who do...and i think if you're going to give love "advice" it should be from more than one side. another thing: stuff like jealousy doesnt show love? i personally believe that jealousy is a normal part of any healthy relationship so don't include that if u want to give "relationship adivce" and when you said that no one perfect? well im sorry but i believe that when you fall in love with someone you see them as perfect no matter what their faults are. think twice before giving advice thats completely one-sided."

You started out by blasting my entire website, which I built on my own time, giving free advice for people, because I thought I could help - just because you disagree with my opinions. That wasn't very nice, or any way to actually get into a reasonable discussion about any issues. Do you have your own website that I could look at to see what *your* stance on these things are? If not, it's quite unfair to blast me about mine if you haven't taken the time to make yours. It's very easy to throw tomatoes. It's much more challenging to be constructive.

So let's start with love at first sight. You say people have an "instant connection" - but that is LIKE or a CRUSH or LUST. That is not LOVE. Love is about truly understanding what a person is about - that they enjoy sunsets, that they hate country music, that they love parakeets, that they hate spinach. That they would stop to help a homelss person on the street even if they were late for a concert. You can't see any of that in their face. What their face tells you is *what their parents' genes were*. I've done a lot of studies on this and really, the primary reason you connect with a person that you first meet is that a) they happen to look like someone else from your past that you really like and you make a mental equation or b) they happen to look like a movie figure / book figure imagination and you make that same mental connection. It happens rarely if ever that you see someone completely bizarre and strange, dressed in a way you never have seen before, and say "Oh him! He's the one for me!" It is MUCH more likely that for example, you love laid back, hippy kinds of guys because you enjoy those TV shows and movies. And then you come across a laid back, hippy kind of guy and you equate "Oh he's just like those TV show guys, I will love him!" You are making a *mental* leap of logic based on your past knowledge of laid back hippy kinds of guys. But believe me, from experience there are MILLIONS of sub categories in any "dress" category you can see. I have known and dated many laid back hippy DRESSING kinds of guys who would all look at first glance to be perfect. But when you get to KNOW them and know their particular ins and outs, likes and dislikes, personalities and driving influences, you realize which ARE a good love match for you and which are not.

Love is NOT about first sight or even about a week of dating. Love is about months together, revealing your whole self to them, them revealing their whole self to you, and watching the roots intertwine of your lives.

Next. Jealousy. You probably couldn't manage to hit a topic I felt more strongly about. You were angry because I said "stuff like jealousy doesnt show love" (quote yours). I stand behind my stance. Jealousy does NOT show love. Love is about acceptance, trust, honesty. Jealousy is the OPPOSITE of love. It shows insecurity and distrust. Yes, many relationships begin with jealousy as you try to figure out if you can or cannot love this person. But if you do truly get to the point that you DO love your partner, the jealousy should have left when the trust was built. Love is about trust. Really, read through the jealousy category on the site. Jealousy does not usually make a relationship stronger, as you claim!! Jealousy usually damages and then destroys the relationship. I get SO many people writing in heartbroken because they were jealous and their partner finally said "this is enough, get lost". Jealousy doesn't just vanish. If someone gets to the point that they are in love and STILL they are jealous, then the jealousy is rooted in their insecurities and not in their getting-to-know the partner. At this point the person KNOWS their partner and is still jealous. So now they say "maybe if we move in together I won't be as jealous" - and they do - and now because there is MORE to lose if the partner cheats they are even more jealous. And next they say "maybe if we get married I won't be as jealous" so they marry and now the person is INSANELY jealous because now if their partner cheats, they are an abandoned wife.

It's not like someone writes me and says "Oh I just met this guy 3 seconds ago and he glances away from me occasionally - I'm jealous" and I said "go to therapy!!" The people who write me are saying "I have been married 10 years, I check up on my husband every day and read his email, and he is filing for divorce because he is sick of my behavior". Jealousy, in an otherwise solid relationship, MUST be gotten under control. Otherwise it will weaken and demolish the relationship. There is no place for jealousy if you truly love, trust, and believe in your partner. If you do NOT trust your partner ... that is something that has to be fixed.

Finally, perfection in love. If you'd looked at my site, you'd see that I actually have the correct version of the quote you made, which is:

You come to love not by finding the perfect person,
but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

Sam Keen

So again back to your inital message. Your stance was, "and when you said that no one perfect? well im sorry but i believe that when you fall in love with someone you see them as perfect no matter what their faults are."

You said you see him as perfect. That is NOT AT ALL what Sam Keen was saying!! Sam's quote is that you see an IMPERFECT person perfectly - not AS a perfect person. He meant that you see a person's FAULTS and IMPERFECTIONS and that you see those perfectly clearly. That you do not mask them, that you do not feel he IS PERFECT. That you realize that he is IMPERFECT and accept that. He meant that instead of drawing a fuzzy, impressionist painting of a flawed person to pretend they are perfect that you put on your glasses and take a crystal clear, perfect photograph that is a perfect representation of what that person IS. And that you look at that image and fully and completely accept it the way it IS. NOT as perfection but as an IMPERFECTION that you can accept and love.

If you think your boyfriend is perfect, then it might be time for you to look over the stages of love. I imagine you've been with him for less than a few years? Love isn't about perfection. True love, that lasts the ages, is about realizing the imperfection, realizing that there are things that you WOULD want to be different - but that you accept this person the way they are, because it IS the way they are.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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