April 26, 2009

Lowering the bar

Being in my mid-20s means that I have many many friends that are getting married/got married recently or are in the phase where they are partner hunting... ok you get the idea. Having been through the phase myself and still in touch with many of the eligible bachelor/bachelorettes, I have tried to understand what seems to be the most important characteristic that these people look for in their potential partners. Of course it is different for different people. While secure jobs and charming personalities make the list in most cases, still others are a bit more superficial like physical appearances and similar tastes in movies. Of course certain things may matter more to some than some others. For instance, while I think movies is an area that can be compromised either ways, someone else may see it as a deal-breaker if their partner cannot enjoy similar movies which they tend to interpret as their possible lone-time being split. To each one, their own. However, what struck me through this whole discussion was how the bar just went down when it was subject to an object of their affection. Almost everyone who’s still single and looking to mingle has had a crush or something more on someone else in the past. Amusingly, none of those people were of the “perfect” characteristics that are now being sought in the potential partner by all of them. For example, one of my friends was insistent about marrying a “tall'” guy. But I also happened to know that she had fallen for someone who was of average height earlier. And this to me was a clear sign that this particular expectation could immediately be done away with as a necessary ‘checkbox’ in the already tedious mating dance. If she ended up with a tall guy in the end, great… but there was no reason to ‘reject’ another perfectly great guy just because he wasn’t tall enough. Now substitute “tall” with any of the many many, sometimes odd expectations that people have of their partner, be it being well-travelled or having a “good vocabulary”. The reason I don’t necessarily see these as flaws is that there are no consistent definitions for these examples and they vary from person to person. And these are just some of the perks that I’ve witnessed as deal-breakers. Sure we all have that one big pet peeve and while that’s best avoided in our partners, surely, some of the lesser significant ones can be easily worked with. While one could unknowingly lower the bar for a previous object of affection, a person they didn’t even end up with, why can’t they lower the bar knowingly for someone they could end up with? Or is it the thought of settling for someone lesser than they ‘wanted’ dissatisfying? Or is it that they all think that there is someone better out there? Maybe it’s a combination of everything. But ultimately, as time passes, the bar steadily goes down, one peg at a time. Time sure levels out practically everything. Interesting, isn’t it?


Seshadri said...

mid 20's! Hmm, thats a perspective.. :D

Just Kidding btw..

Anonymous said...

Is compromise the name of the game? In every part of life that rules. If one (boy or girl)does not compromise at the right time(?) he (or she) has to accept the leftovers.

Jaya said...

Anon -> Crudely put but case in point... I guess I was trying to make the same point.. though i don't believe in the "leftovers" concept. What wasn't desirable to one certainly has the prospect of being desirable to another. Thanks anyhow n keep visiting!

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