I like you just the way you are

Recently, one of my friends announced that he has found a girlfriend. For reasons that I will not go into, I wasn’t particularly sharing in the joy of my friend’s newfound happiness. But anyway, my friend suggested to me that, since I am currently still in search of a life partner, I may wish to use this time to consider what qualities would I look out for in a potential life partner, to know what I want to expect from this person, and maybe from my criteria recognise the person suitable for me.
 
Strangely, I felt that my friend’s suggestion was somewhat lacking. Whatever happened to the concept of accepting a person the way she is? And respecting that fact, understanding that each person’s personality and behaviour is unique and possibly different from your own. People are who they are, each person’s character and values are shaped by their life experiences and the situations that they had faced. And whenever we interact or associate with our friends or even with the people around us, we should accept them for who they are, provided that there is nothing evil or criminal involved.
 
Not everybody’s character or interests are going to be exactly the same as yours, and quite often when we make friends, we do not limit ourselves to those who are your exact clones, but also befriend those having personalities different from our own. What’s more important is that we can get along with each other just fine, and also have fun doing so. And should any conflict or difference in opinion occur, we should respect each other’s different point of view, "agree to disagree" so to speak, or maybe even try to see the issue from the other person’s perspective, gain some new hindsight, as long as we do not let the issue stand in the way of friendship.
 
Come to think of it, my methodology towards companionship does seem a bit too idealistic. Perhaps I should give an analogy: Suppose that amongst your friends you have found someone who you see as potential life partner and that person similarly likes you. It is up to you to decide for yourself whether if you are magnanimous enough to accept her for who she is, even if she is a person who nags and complains incessantly about every little thing, is totally unappreciative towards you for all you do for her, wants everything to be done in her own way, and thinks that she is right all the time. After all, you may have to put up with this for the rest of your life, and for your own good you probably need to know whether if you can handle it.
 
And somehow if there is a part within you that hopes that she can overcome her shortcomings so as to make you like her more, I would suggest that you do not waste too much of your life waiting for such a miracle, especially so in this day and age whereby you are SUPPOSED to be respectful and accepting of each other’s views and differences amongst friends and acquaintances. And just as much as I cannot compell a person to like me against her will, I do not assume that I have the right or authority to demand of any change in someone else’s behaviour or beliefs. Any change for the better has to be done out of the person’s own accord and it cannot be forced upon, only then can such a change be genuinely done from the heart.
 
I am going to have to conclude this rant by saying that nobody is perfect, and we can always try to improve upon ourselves by making changes for the better, such as correcting our own personal failings, or developing a tolerance towards the flaws of others. Decisions such as choosing a life partner should not be taken too hastily, and being in a relationship should be a fun process for either side, it could even be a learning experience. More importantly, try to recognise what is it in the person that you like about. Sometimes the reason cannot be put into words, but it could be something as simple as a friendly character or a good nature.
 
May the one you like be someone that you can stand, flaws and all.
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