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“As our couples therapist once told us, ‘Yes, you are a pain in the ass, but you are pain in the ass,” says Green.“The point being that human beings are a pain in the ass sometimes—we have quirks and sore spots, we get sick, grumpy and scared.” The first or tenth or hundredth time someone shows their “flaws,” or “weaknesses,” that ghost of doubt can rear its ugly sheen: Should I leave?I tapped Hannah Green, a Bay Area psychotherapist specializing in individual and couples therapy, to find out more.Here are eight reasons why you should put it into practice.“I believe the 80/20 rule is a very consistent part of reality, and that bringing our expectations into alignment with reality is healthy,” says Green.
Though those questions are totally valid—and often the answer to them is yes—if you’re in a mostly great relationship, someone getting hangry or overly clingy or distant isn’t cause to peace out.Case in point: No one is tall, wears impossibly soft scarves, doesn’t bite their fingernails loves to read in bed while classical music softly filters from upmarket speakers—and even if they are all of those things and more, there will inevitably be some other things you’ll find lacking as dating progresses.That’s just how we are, as humans: We dig for fault, the way pigs burrow for truffles. “Realistic expectations result in less stress, more self-esteem, and better relationships,” says Green.If you’re not sure, talk about it with someone, like “a therapist, or someone who you trust and has the kind of relationship you want,” suggests Green, which “can help you be clear on this point and to move forward with confidence.” One thing to keep in mind: “Switching partners will not result in zero percent problems, but in a new 20 percent—and a new opportunity to practice acceptance and gratitude,” notes Green.
If a different 20 percent sounds pretty good right now, it might be time to consider jumping ship.After taking stock of all this, and acknowledging that no one is perfect, and saying yes to imperfection, we’re left with … “We can question our ideas of perfection, and start to redefine perfection altogether as reality rather than fantasy,” declares Green.