My college sweetheart was Superwoman, and you couldn't tell me anything different at that time.
You might not have been able to tell by the way I treated her, but it was true in my mind nonetheless. She was the smartest and most stunning human being I've ever known.
In my eyes, her beauty was a 10, her intellect was a 10 -- and, again, you couldn't tell me anything different.
I've felt the same way about all three women I've ever dated.
When I fall in love with a girl, she's perfect. PERFECT. My ex-girlfriend? She was perfect. She was perfect for me. She was everything I ever said I wanted in a girl -- both physically and personality-wise. She was it.
Even her flaws were flawless. I'd stay up at night just looking at her, counting all 83 freckles on her face. Yeah, I was that creepy.
The problem was that these women weren't flawless. In fact, they were extremely flawed. As was I.
And when all of our flaws would come to light, all hell would break loose. It was usually because we didn't know how to handle each other's low points.
Say, for instance, I caught her going through my phone.
I couldn't understand why she would be insecure enough to do such a thing. I mean she was the second coming of Beyoncé, so why would she be worried about me doing anything to her?
I couldn't fathom her insecurities and her shortcomings. It ultimately led to a lot of disagreements that would get blown way out of proportion because I couldn't see she was human and I couldn't understand her flaws.
This type of thing was a constant in all my relationships. My high valuations of the individual would often end in avoidable disappointment.
Of course, it's a two-way street.
My college sweetheart admits she put me on the same type of pedestal. She thought the world of me and my insecure ass at the time.
She thought I was God's gift to earth at a time when I was struggling to find the balance between confidence and humility. This struggle manifested itself in a disgusting, self-protecting arrogance.
The last thing I needed was someone telling me I was, unequivocally, the shit.
It was a lot to live up to for a 20-year-old who was still eons aways from figuring out his place in the world. While I appreciated the admiration, it was pressure I didn't ask for. I'm certain she felt the same.
So we were two head-over-heels, starstruck kids. It didn't turn out too well.
What I failed to do in all my relationships was to take the time to get to know the person and cherish and adore their strengths AND weaknesses. I failed to embrace their humanity and vice versa. Disaster ensued.
When two people get together, it's imperative that they take their time in assessing the situation and ask themselves whether they're able to take the upside along with whatever potential downside the person opposite them has to offer.
It's dangerous to pretend their shortcomings don't even exist.
When we put people we care about on a pedestal, we may mean well, but we're often doing that person a huge disservice.
We are unknowingly exerting unwanted pressure on that person. We may even see things in them they don't see themselves, or even things they don't want to see/be seen. It's unfair.
When reality trumps the hell out of expectations, we're left bewildered and disappointed. This usually leads to feelings of resentment.
The moral of the story? Take your time to appreciate someone else's flaws before you crown them the greatest person on earth.
As a matter of fact, I would advise you never to give anyone that crown.
If, however, you can learn to see the beauty in your significant other's humanity, learn to love the little flaws, and even learn to accept the things you may not understand, you're on the right track.
When you're so absorbed by the person's bright spots and are completely naive to their flaws, it isn't love: You're simply infatuated. And infatuation is a fast track to disaster.
In conclusion: We need less infatuation and more adoration.