Let's start with a wise piece of advice bandied about by those burnt by love: "There is no such thing as a perfect man."
This statement may be true (especially when one considers the relative nature of perspective, truth, and good/evil), but is there such a thing as "perfect for me"? I often will refer to my boyfriend not as "perfect" (because no one is) but "perfect for me" because he satisfies me even in ways I had yet to think of when we first met. Is this cheesy and overblown? Probably. But does it make me feel contented? Yes. I guess what I am saying is that there is a person (or maybe even more than one) who is right. In my mind, right is equated with perfect, for better or worse. I know I should eschew such unrealistic adjectives, but sometimes it seems unavoidable. I don't want to say that my boyfriend is great. That doesn't convey the passion of my feelings. I want to say he is exceptional.
Here's another question: is love using highfaluting descriptors without fear of retribution or derision? Or is it simply that you no longer mind the caustic displays that come from acquaintances disenchanted with love in general?
Recently, I had a friend ask me a series of bald questions about my plans for the future and my intentions with my boyfriend. She asked everything from "how can you be happy with one person for forever" to "what about divorce". I had an answer for everything, mostly because I've been thinking about it in depth, but to me it revealed more about her than about me. It spoke to me of her history with love and relationships and her personal attitude. You could describe her as a realist and me as an idealist, or her as pragmatic and me as unreasonable. I prefer to describe myself as optimistic or trusting. Or, better yet, flexible. I am willing to bend and to compromise in order to keep my love intact. I know I am not going to be the same person now as when I'm 50 (how could I be? So much experience will happen between now and then), but who is to say that the change won't be rewarding and will make our love richer? Who is to say that it is actually our attitudes towards that change which determine how they will affect our relationship? Perhaps it is that can-do attitude that saves loves like mine and the lack thereof that dooms others to failure. Maybe I am being presumptuous, not actually being married yet, but I feel strongly about my convictions and trust them to see me through years of storms.
No one can really say what lies ahead, and while I for one am glad of that, I still think there are ways to gauge how you will respond to the situations that could arise. As a historian, I look to the past to see how things may proceed in the future. Patterns occur and point in the direction of the future. How you have responded to things up to this point are a pretty strong indicator of how you will respond to things later. So maybe it's time to stop the attempts at augury and time to focus instead on the behaviors of the present.
So I will leave you with another wise old platitude: "Gather ye rosebuds."
Beat that with a stick.