The pursuit of perfection in a relationship.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

We had been shopping for the “perfect” engagement ring for about three months. We had a bunch of jewelry stores that had said they would custom make anything we could describe. We knew that was likely going to cost us more than the basically zero dollar budget we were shopping with and the perfect ring was not something that could be described even if we had the budget. So we just had to keep looking. Then one day, seemingly hopeless in our search we stumbled into a small locally owned jewelry store. It was the same as most of the stores. We had tried on a few and after not falling in love with anything they start talking about customization. The sales person noticed our disinterest and told us she was going to go back to the safe. We had heard this before. When she left I leaned over to Jordan and whispered, “let’s get out of here.” She came back with what we certainly expected to be another round of disappointing rings. She showed me the first one and as I was putting it on Jordan rips the other ring she had our of her hand. He was pumped and exclaimed, “I can’t believe this exists.” This ended up being the perfect ring. For more reasons than just the look.

The next time I would see this ring I realize why everything worked out. The ring specifically the center diamond was imperfect. It had flecks in the big center stone. For a very long time I would try to avoid anyone seeing these imperfections. Because well that it what we are taught. Hide the imperfections at all costs. Everything in life should be shiny and perfect right? What happens if people would see the imperfections of what we actually had?

Its so funny we strive for that in our union because even in our original vows we promise and speak to imperfections and yet constantly find ourselves hurt when we realize life without doesn’t exist. No matter how hard we try to promote our life as different it isn’t and won’t be.

Maybe yours (like mine) sounded similar to this: To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.

There it is the promise of love with imperfection. So why did I fear the imperfect stone and an imperfect marriage? For me it was probably the fact that the imperfections are just less cheer worthy, right? No one talks about how to survive the for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, the in sickness and in health part. Yet, always find ourselves readily talking about the better, the perfect stones, the shiny rings, the white dresses, the babies and the vacations. For a very long time I thought I would make a goal to replace this imperfect stone. Now that I look back happily on my journey this point I realize how beautiful this imperfect stone is and what a beautiful and constant reminder.

This stone is a commitment to the imperfect just like we did the day we said those vows. Maybe that day we started communicating the first side of the vows, the better, the richer, the health but started living the worse, the poorer and the sickness. I now know that is beauty to be had in all the sides of your relationship and striving to only experience the first side of the vows or the diamond without imperfection is where the pain comes.

We have to acknowledge and accept that relationships come with imperfection. I believe the sadness comes with the promotion of what we believe to be “right.” Most moments are going to play on both sides. Usually behind the bright shiny family photo is a path of destruction to get there. While it is fine to exist in the bright and shiny and post the happy moments we have to stop ignoring the sad ones that forced us to find the strength we didn’t know we had to climb stairs to the next happy moment. While in life we strive for perfection maybe today we start committing to the imperfection we promised each other on day one.

Relationships exist in the imperfections. Hoping it will exist without is like finding diamond with no imperfections. Every diamond has an imperfection. The stones are usually cut to cover these. You or your significant other likely sat with the ring under a microscope to exam the diamond (we didn’t but we were stupid diamond buyers) and during that moment the jeweler likely showed the imperfections and also showed and talked about how they were covered up and most people won’t be able to see them. Maybe that is why we use them to commit to one another. It is an example of how we will live in our committed relationship. Imperfect but forever trying to cover that up.

Today I think we all take a step and appreciate the imperfect stones we don on our left hands for they are an example of the imperfect life we promised each other. A world where a blessing can still be a surprise and a smile can be covering up choked back tears. And we all stop trying to only live in a world that doesn’t exist with a flawless stone and a perfect life.

The world isn’t as bright and shiny as we fake it out to be.