Is it OK to be in a relationship that is just "good enough?"
Most of us want to have the best relationships that we can - be those with our partners, or within families, with our kids, parents and siblings. And certainly a big chunk of my working week consists of sitting and talking with people who want to make their relationships better than they might currently be.
People should always have high standards for their relationships. No-one should settle and accept a second-rate relationship, simply for the sake of being in a relationship, and this is especially so for couple relationships. And people who have visited these pages before will know that I'm always banging on about the importance of working at our relationships - that remains true. We work to get into them, (yes, it was work, even though it might not have appeared so at the time) and we always need to work at them to keep them going, so that they meet our needs, and the needs pf our partners.
So we need to accept that our relationships will never be perfect - that we can get to a point and realise we are content most of the time, also happy a lot of the time, and think, yes this is good enough. We know though, that striving for perfection in a relationship seems an admirable thing to do - the internet is flooded with thousands of websites telling us we should go after the shiniest relationships possible. And so I'd agree that there's a huge raft of experts out there, who would disagree with me, and would say that we should never settle for Good Enough.
Maybe they are right - my concern is though, that by continually striving for the perfect relationship, we will always be disappointed - that this striving stops us from actually enjoying the relationship in the moment, as we are distracted from it by continually evaluating it.
For someone who might not be in a couple relationship, but is still hoping to be, settling for a Good Enough relationship does not mean that they should just "get with someone/anyone/so I don't wind up alone". It's more about knowing that "I will potentially drive myself psychotic if I don't stop until I find someone who ticks at least 99 of my 100 boxes." And if I expect them to be so damned good, it's only fair that I should also be close to perfect, right?
So maybe it's important to remind ourselves that relationship perfection is probably impossible. While we will always need to work at the relationship, we should also remember that in the end all relationships contain flawed human beings, just like ourselves.
So the good enough relationship is just good - it's not always amazing, but very occasionally it is. Mostly its' warm, it's comfortable and it's secure, even though it's settled by people who will sometimes bring baggage with them. The good enough relationship will contains flaws, gnarly bits, and mistakes. Its inhabitants are imperfect people who will sometimes mess up. They are also people who occasionally annoy the crap out of each other, but also have each other's backs. And most importantly of all, unlike it's smug big brother (the perfect relationship), the good enough relationship is big enough for people to muck up, step up, and grow up together.
Here's to Good Enough!
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."