Have you ever made a list of qualities that you look for in a future partner? I did, when I was younger. It seems that the media has shaped our expectations of the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend in our minds. I grew up watching Disney cartoons and fairytales. Somehow, the heroine/princess is always slim, beautiful, gentle and ladylike. The hero, on the other hand, is always this brave, chivalrous, witty and of course good looking gentleman.
After much exposure to Disney fairytales, Hollywood movies and Asian idol dramas, we inevitably begin to expect our future girlfriends or boyfriends to be as ‘perfect’ as the heroes and heroines that we see in those films.
I’m sure many Singaporeans have seen this on TV. Beautifully Imperfect is a short film produced by the late Yasmin Ahmad. It looks at love from a different perspective, from the eyes of a middle aged woman who has just lost her husband of many years. A widow is delivering the eulogy of her late husband at his funeral. Rather than give a speech on the great things her husband has done in his life, and his good qualities, she chooses to speak about his embarrassing habits and little imperfections, like his extremely loud snoring in bed. She goes on to say that those little imperfections are what she remembered most about her husband, and what made her husband perfect for her.
Does the perfect partner exist in real life? I highly doubt so. True, some of us may have found boyfriends or girlfriends who fulfill our whole list of criteria. But although they may possess the fairytale prince/princess kind of qualities that we deem to be perfect, there will always be something about them that annoys us a little, or little things which we disagree with.
The beginning of a relationship is always the honeymoon period. It is a time when everything about your partner seems wholesome and perfect, a time when your eyes are blinded by the sparkle of newfound attraction. As the relationship progresses, arguments and disagreements undeniably occur, as you begin to understand your partner more deeply, and also discover his or her little faults and imperfections.
But before you start regretting your choice to enter that relationship in the first place, let’s go all the way back to the beginning. Did you DECIDE to fall in love because your partner is rich, smart, beautiful, talented, cute, kind-hearted, sweet, etc and therefore fits your desired qualities? I don’t think so. Because it would be similar to selecting an electronic device with the best specifications while out shopping.
Nope. We do not decide to fall in love. Love is an emotion, not a thought process. That is why we often find it difficult to identify the reason for loving someone. Because their entire personality just grows on us. We love our partners for who they are, and not what ‘perfect’ traits they possess.
Of course imperfections will pop up along the road, but Beautifully Imperfect made me understand that we must learn to embrace, and cherish these little faults. For it is when we understand and accept our partner for who they are, imperfections and all, that will push our relationship to the next level, creating a beautifully imperfect relationship that will weather many storms. I’m sure that if you ask many married couples, they would rather go through periodic arguments and put up with their spouse’s bad habits and faults, than give up on their marriage.
Beautifully Imperfect is a heartbreaking short film that takes on a lovely unconventional approach towards the subject of relationships. The beauty of it lies in the deep message it conveys to viewers.
It teaches young people that a lasting relationship is not solely made up of romantic gestures and honeymoon periods, but more importantly about understanding and embracing all aspects of one another, including learning to love our other half’s not so desirable qualities.
View on YouTube