Relationships and the Perfect Person

Dear Wendy MayBy Wendy Pegan

As the weather warms, so do thoughts of romance. As a therapist I am frequently consulted regarding the complexities of love relationships. Recently, one woman wrote to me, asking for guidance.

Dear Wendy,

There are two men who want to be in my life and I am confused as to what to do. The first one is a man with whom I have been in a relationship, but it feels more like an addiction. I love how he makes me feel physically but he doesn’t treat me in a way that feels right. He is suspicious, mistrusting and uninterested in sharing his life. The other is a man I have known for a long time. I love him a friend, not romantically, but he couldn’t be nicer, is a great listener, and goes out of his way for me. We can talk about anything and he is open and trusting. I want to love him, but I don’t. If I could get the man I am physically attracted to act differently it would be perfect. But I know I can’t make him change. What should I do?

Dear Confused,

First, it’s important to eliminate the word “perfect” when it comes to finding a partner. Rarely is there a perfect match, and why it is not uncommon to be attracted to more than one person. It’s difficult to find everything we want in just one person. However, it’s important to ask yourself why you find the first fellow so attractive. What is so appealing about him? Is there a quality he has you find lacking in yourself, such as assertiveness or power? If you’ve tried to speak with him about what you find disturbing and he tells you this is the best he can do, believe him. He should know himself well enough to know whether he wants to change anything. If he’s stuck, but wants to makes some changes, a good therapist who specializes in relationships and trauma can be helpful. Previous life trauma can prevent us from moving forward and free from past hurts.

Your other guy sounds great if you could get past not being “in love” with him. Could past history be getting in the way or is there simply no chemistry? Unfortunately, you can’t force it. Perhaps neither are right for you! If so, excuse yourself from both. Sit down and figure out what you want. All too frequently, we don’t think about who we are and what we want, leaving romance to fate. Perhaps you aren’t getting what you want because you believe you don’t deserve it or because you are afraid you will not find anyone better.  

Find out what is blocking you from making a decision. Have a therapist help you. Write down what is preventing you from getting what you want, put it on 3×5 index cards and remind yourself about it daily, and then let it go. The answers will come when you are ready.

About the Author:
Wendy Pegan, M.ED, LMHC, CCMHC, is a relationship/conflict coach, marriage and divorce mediator, and founder of Creative Relationship Center. See Wendy privately or attend a workshop. Visit or call 716-446-9226.