Well, Keepers, we have Selection Sunday coming up in a few days (I’m sure you NCAA fans have your bracket pools already figured out) and everyone around you may seem to be getting in on the madness. I know every year my colleagues look forward to participating in the hopes of selecting the right national championship contenders– although it’s widely known that the odds in picking a perfect March Madness bracket are pretty low; 1 in 9.2 quintillion to be exact. By the way, that still hasn’t and won’t stop me from eliciting help in beating those odds! One reason is that it’s sort of fun participating in a competition that going into it you know what the naysayers are throwing at you – basically, you stand no chance at perfection. Secondly, strangely enough, I still have hope that either my blind picks or my enlisted choices from knowledgeable sources have a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of being right! An oxymoron that is worth about $12 billion dollars in bets on college basketball; according to Forbes last year.
And you know, I was thinking, there’s something else we tend to bet on knowing that the odds are slim to none – and that’s finding “the perfect mate”. Similar to the madness during the NCAA games played annually in March, we go through the process of attempting to select the perfect person to settle down and spend eternal bliss with often with an attempt at a very calculated approach that inevitably lends itself to unpredictable results. To the contrary, others may initiate a random selection process with great potential contenders, ultimately finding themselves back at the drawing board.
Why is this? Well, simply put, many of us navigate through life’s circumstances dreaming of a partner that can walk into our lives as a quick fix that can share in our stress, in our unhappiness, and help in making all of our wildest dreams come true. To say the least, movies, social media, and reality TV tends to magnify the illusion of perfection. Not to mention, TIME magazine confirming that the ethereal search for “the one” stems from an ancient mythological romantic concept that has ultimately created impossible to meet expectations; “making people think that a happy, healthy relationship isn’t good enough” – and the potential for perfection looms somewhere in the universe.
I would argue that true soul mates are made, not born. In observation of long marriages, many of us can recall the stories of the time it takes for kindred spirits to derive out of these relationships. Surely, there are initial characteristics that bind them together, and yet similarly it is the lack of perfection that as writer, J.R.R Tolkein describes the ideal partnership to be “companions in shipwreck not guiding stars.”
The point I’m trying to make is that we can’t look for our mate to be the perfect of the imperfect within ourselves.
Yes, have standards. Yes, have expectations. And make these known – but only after you have asked yourself the question of where these are derived from. Its nearly impossible to find a perfect checklist partner – and by chance, he or she checks every box off the list, there is a possibility that we may overlook other unappealing qualities they may possess. Those unappealing characteristics come with a definitive cost.
So while my odds in picking a perfect bracket may cost me a mere $10 dollars thrown into the pot of $12 billion, I’d gladly suffer that loss compared to passing up a good potential partner to “do life” with. March Madness is a one-month game of fun ultimately for fans, playing this game for Keepers requires a different approach. Looking for qualities that are the foundation of a good partnership, such as, reliability, integrity, empathy, and honesty are a great start to picking the right person for the right reasons at the right time. Ultimately to last a lifetime.
But, in the meantime, let’s leave the madness of the idea of perfect selection in the month of March, with the NCAA – where it belongs. Enjoy the game Keepers!
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