Everyone these days is looking for a way to be the perfect couple, or at least witness a man and a woman who emulate perfection as a couple. Why else would you try to fall in love and get married, right? So what does that couple look like? What does that couple have that the rest of us seemingly are dying to have?
Well, let’s break it down, shall we?
First of all, what does “perfect” mean? Does perfect mean they have it all together? They have it all? They’re in love? Well, if you go by these standards, you’ll be in line with what many people think.
If you go by the standard of having it all together, I extend a word of caution. Blessed Margaret Costello’s parents had it all together. They were physically beautiful people from Italian families of wealth and nobility who married and gave birth to a baby girl, Margaret. Margaret was born blind, lame, deformed, hunchbacked and a dwarf. They were so ashamed of her outward appearance and learning disabilities that, in order for their peers to not think less of them, they imprisoned Margaret for the first 14 years of her life, and eventually, abandoned her because they could not bring themselves to love her. So maybe having it all together isn’t what makes the perfect couple.
What about having it all? That’s a fairly easy perspective to dismantle… How many people have you seen in your life have plenty of money, plenty of possessions and are still gravely unhappy? If you haven’t known anyone like that, just take a look at most of the celebrities today. They have everything and their interior lives are in shambles. Very few have permanent relationships. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build wealth as a couple. It does mean that wealth alone cannot sustain a happy, healthy relationship.
So what’s left? The one aspect that everyone loves to envy. They’re in love. But that’s still fairly vague. Are they simply giving public displays of affection or are they really in love?
Affection is a necessary and important part of a love relationship. Without it, you can consider your relationship quite handicapped and in danger. But being the perfect couple is so much more than affection. The perfect couple knows how to be imperfect together. The perfect man and woman in a dating or marital relationship understand that they are highly imperfect and virtue is key to making imperfection liveable.
If you are a good person trying to live a good life, trying to form a happy, healthy relationship with someone else, society has unfortunately stacked the odds against you. But virtue is the life preserver of every wonderful relationship and it is something you need to pray for and practice every day.
At ForYourMarriage.Org, there is a wealth of resources for men and women in dating, engaged, and marriage relationships to help. One particular article describes the disillusionment that commonly takes place for couples:
“The most common (and perhaps troubling) disillusionment, however, often is phrased as “I just don’t know if I love him (her) anymore.” It’s usually accompanied by a general feeling of loss of excitement and passion for your spouse. You wonder where the romantic feelings of earlier days went” (Overcoming Obstacles).
It’s great to experience the emotion of love, but virtue must be the foundation of a love relationship. Love founded on virtue becomes an act of the will so when the emotions fade virtue is what maintains love so it still exists and can flourish, even in the worst of times.
What specific virtues keep love alive?
And love! Love is the greatest of all the virtues – placing the happiness of another above your own.
So, no matter what your state in life is now – single, dating, engaged, or married – take some time to evaluate the level of virtue you bring to your relationships. That can be a springboard to an entirely new level of love in your life.
As always, you can send me your thoughts, questions, and prayer intentions at firstname.lastname@example.org.