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Looking for Mr. Perfect

Looking for Mr. Perfect


Dear Rachel,

I know this question sounds a bit ridiculous, but how do I know when I have found “the one”? I have always had this dream that one day I will meet the right man, we will lock eyes, and just know that we are soulmates. But now I’m worried that I keep passing on great guys because there were no fireworks like I expected when we met. And I am scared that while I wait for Mr. Perfect, I am letting go of Mr. Almost Perfect. How will I know when I really have found the right guy?

Still Single

Dear Still Single,

Life would be so easy if, when we met the right person, a neon light would start flashing “Your Soulmate!” If only we could always know instantaneously as you describe. And for some people, it really does happen that way. Which I think makes it all the harder for those for whom it doesn’t happen that way. Take any of these romantic notions, such as love at first sight, and you will find real-life examples of people who met and just knew. I mean, look back to Genesis, where we are told that when Rebecca first saw Isaac, she was so smitten that she fell off her camel! And yet, you can find true love, even if it wasn’t there at first sight (or second, third, or fourth sight, for that matter).

We are complex beings. Just trying to understand ourselves and how we work can take a lifetime to figure out. Then try to figure out another person and how the two of you will connect, and clearly there is a lot to deal with. The Talmud states that it is as hard for G‑d to make a match between a man and a woman as it was for Him to split the sea (kasheh le-zavgan ki-kriyat yam suf). So you can feel a little better that you are having a hard time knowing who is your soulmate.

You mention, though, that you are waiting for Mr. Perfect. In case you haven’t already figured it out, he doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as Mr. Perfect. Nobody is perfect, including you. However, even though there is no Mr. Perfect, there is Mr. Perfect for You. And that is who you need to focus on finding. First drop your desire for perfection, and drop your idealized romantic notion that if he is right for you, you will immediately know. Then, without those pressures on your head, you can start to wonder about the actual human being you meet.

But there is something else you need to know. And that is: even though there is a Mr. Perfect for You, that doesn’t mean that he is everything you ever wanted. Because that would make him once again Mr. Perfect, who we just said doesn’t exist. Being “perfect for you” means that he is the one who will help you become a better person; he is the one with whom you can work together, so that the two of you will be able to really accomplish something in this world. That doesn’t mean that things will be easy. If anything, sometimes it is the relationships with the most challenges that are the strongest ones, but it means that the right one for you will help you become the person you are meant to be.

So how will you know when you have met him? While I know you want a real simple equation, it is not always so simple. But one thing that can help is: before you even meet him, you need to know what you are looking for. The better you know yourself—what is important for you and what you need—the more you will be able to know when you have found the right person for you. And you will need to also distinguish between what you need and what you want. There is nothing wrong with wants, but just make sure that they are lower on your list than the needs. And when you think of what is most important to you, you must prioritize and know which qualities and attributes you will not compromise on, and which ones are up for discussion.

You are the only one who knows what is most important to you, and the qualities that are essential to you in your husband. And when you think about these qualities, think about those that do not fade with time, and those that will be necessary when things are not so easy in life. You may want someone good looking, or muscular, or with a stable job, but these are things that can all change instantaneously. We lose our looks with age, and we can lose our job without any notice. But a person who is compassionate, responsible, supportive, caring, dedicated, etc., is the person who will be able to adapt to whatever comes your way in life.

It sounds like, if you really want to settle down and find someone with whom you can spend your life, you need to spend some time realizing the kind of life you want to live and the kind of person who can help you accomplish that. Recognizing your own flaws will also make you more compassionate and accepting of someone else’s. I hope to hear good news soon, when you find the one with whom you can truly grow and develop.


"Dear Rachel" is a bi-weekly column that is answered by a rotating group of experts. This question was answered by Sara Esther Crispe.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a non-profit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of and wrote the popular weekly blog, Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Devorah Mei Israel November 5, 2015

Perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. What is perfect for one person, may not be so to the other. BUT there are rules that cannot be broken, such as - a Jew don't marry a gentile, as there is no blessing in such a match. As you live in Holland I may assure you that there is no man who is Shabbat Shomer, learns Torah, guard his eyes, and has yirat shamayim - is walking around free. I lived there for three decades. Society is so impregnate with immorality and permissiveness, even Baal Shem Tov could not live in such a place without being affected. If you are Jewish, why not coming to Israel for a year to volunteer in a kibbutz for example ? Pray about this and see what Hashem will bring to your path. May Hashem hear my suggestion and bring you HOME where you suppose to live and have a family. Amen!!! Reply

Khawla Netherlands November 3, 2015

Pray that i find my soulmate, i think the perfection here means that when man and woman complete each other! Regards Reply

Anonymous June 16, 2014

@ Mr. Jack That is wonderful. To be old yet still in love as in your first years! I hope that will happen one day to me. I love my boyfriend and he says he loves me too. The problem is maybe we are TOO perfect for each other,lol. And I'm praying hard that H-shem will show me His plan. I'm still protecting my heart, but I think all is well. Thank you Mr. Jack for your imput. G-d bless! Reply

Jack Midland Park December 27, 2013

The perfect partner From college graduation to marriage, I dated over 80 women and enjoyed spending time with most of them. Each one had unique characteristics. My future wife was also socially active.
I stopped looking when I found one who had many unique characteristics..We have been married for over five decades. We still kiss and hug each other every day.
She rarely goes to services. Last time, this happened was at my second bar mitzvah.
Still, I love her so much. This love is reciprocated by her. I am blessed.. Reply

Devorah Mei Snidecor Israel December 26, 2013


Wow, I'm really shocked that none of those Jewish people, not even this Rachel woman who wrote the article knows the REAL SECRET - which is THE POWER OF PRAYER. Trying to find someone of something with our limited judgmental tools, is a recipe for failure. Read the book FROM RIO TO UMAN, An amazing life story of Divine Providence , to discover that it is not us, nor society, or a counselor, not even our families who disclose our bashert - but Hashem ! Amen!

"Open my eyes that I can see the wonders of your Torah". Reply

Mo August 25, 2012

"First drop your desire for perfection, and drop your idealized romantic notion that if he is right for you, you will immediately know. Then, without those pressures on your head, you can start to wonder about the actual human being you meet."

Awe she nailed it on the head... SINGLE WOMEN QUIT LOOKING FOR "MR. PERFECT" LIKE RACHEL SAID THEIR IS NO "PERFECT", NO "MR. PERFECT" AND NO "MS. PERFECT". He will be GOOD ENOUGH that's what you single ladies have to realize is it's the GOOD ENOUGH and he's not going to meet all your FANTASY "requirements".

Plus like Rachel says, your parents have probably told you over and over as well as (if you have) your married friends you HAVE to simple GET rid of your "fantasy" "requirements". Once you get rid of those fantasy "requirements" and realize he might not be this and this, he MIGHT not have this and that. Such as he may not be your desired 6' or taller guy, he's not going to have "perfect" teeth... Reply

Anonymous March 8, 2012

My daughter is 30 and she can't find Mr. Perfect. I am 55 and I am still looking for man, This is so hard to find good person today !!!
I am often feel depressed. My daughter is good looking and educated and it is no man in her life. I am also not bad looking and educated. The man I dated not even close to what I am looking for. I wouldnt ever be with some one like that and I dont have high standards it is the Society to blame Reply

Anonymous East Midlands, UK February 17, 2012

Sarah MI USA Thank you for your kindness and concern. I can't begin to explain how you touched my heart by simply reaching out across the internet. I will take your advice, I hadn't realised how bad the situation had become until I saw my life through your eyes. May G-d keep you and bless you. Reply

Sarah MI, USA February 15, 2012

Anonymous, East Midlands, UK Get yourself and your children away from this toxic person. Please make sure you all get counseling to ensure that your sons and daughters do not repeat the pattern they have been shown! Please, nobody, not you, not your children, nobody deserves what you are receiving! If you cannot get a divorce, live alone and away (separated) anyway. Reply

Anonymous East Midlands, UK February 14, 2012

Relationships It's very difficult to know another person. I've been married for40 years. It took me 10 years to realise that he has narcissitic personality disorder, is verbally abusive and has a huge need to control me and our children. Unconditional love, empathy and acceptance only inflames his anger. My only advice is to ensure that: intellectually you are both equal and that unless G-d chooses one's life partner it's better to remain single Reply

Anonymous Atlanta, GA September 21, 2011

Superficial answer Are you who the person you are looking for is looking for? If you want Mr. Perfect, be Ms. Perfect first. If you have issues, and we all do, and they're causing you problems, seek a therapist to help you see them so you can do things differently. We cannot see our own most serious defects of character. Out of money, find a CoDA 12-step meeting to get started. Fireworks? This is a warning sign. Lust at first site only lasts until your brain chemistry runs down, about 4-16 months, then if you don't have a friend and partner left, all you had was lust. Your soul mate is not going to send off sparks and make you "crazy" for the other person. That's enmeshment and lust, not love and support. And if you'd like "true love", get a dog. It's the only place you'll experience true, unconditional love. People (parents, mates, children) have expectations which create conditions to the behaviors of love. In a good relationship, a husband/wife will match about 30%. Yup, that's it. Reply

Raymond Bastarache Plaster Rock NB, Canada February 20, 2011

Perfect mate?? Beauty is only skin deep...but unconditonal love and Best of all "Agape Love " the Spirit -filled person with the love of G-d in his/her heart... that marriage will work everytime, as long as that particular 'love "burns in each other hearts, wanting to please each other rather than ourselves..loving G-D and wanting to please Him by.... reading His love- letters [ WORD] sent to us from above...A person cannot go wrong.. by making sure the other partner has a deep relationship with G-d . You'll be building your life on the solid Rock and when the storms of life come upon you you'll withstand all of it, cause of your personal walk with HIM. Remenber you do not hook up a Race Horse with a donkey...someone who loves the LORD with a person who loves the world? Be compatible , united, un-selfish ects, Result : G-dly seeds. Shalom. Reply

Anonymous London, UK February 19, 2011

The big problem with a lot of Jewish girls is that they are brought up by their parents to believe that no man is good enough for them.
They are not looking for Mr Right, they want Mr Perfect. You have to have the perfect job in order to keep them in the way that "daddy" has made them accustomed, drive the perfect car and live in the right area. I've been out on dates that were going swimmingly until they found out I wasn't a Doctor/Lawyer/Accountant and even less so when they saw my car, which isn't a BMW/Merc/Lexus and the less said about the fact I live in East London and not North-West London, the better.
Jewish girls generally want, want, want but as far as I'm concerned, they can have gornisht.
I think I'm a decent, loving person but I've all but given up on Jewish girls. If G-d wanted me to marry a Jewish girl, then he shouldn't have made them so damn materialistic....and no, the non-Jewish girls i've been out with were not like that at all. Reply

Leanh Blovett Shadow Hills, CA February 15, 2011

Mr. Perfect! That is true, there is no such as Mr. Perfect, if you love someone, you will find the way to become perfect in each other eyes. There is no you and me, there only one "WE" are in the relationship. I am buhdish and married to a jewish, we both respect each other equaly, we always listen to each other and try to change to the way to make other happy. No, you do not need to change for him or her, just compromise and always think about his/her feeling.
Love is missing someone whenever you're apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you're close in heart.
Good luck to you and wish you the best on finding your soulmate. Reply

Bayla Lowy Rochester, NY February 15, 2011

I found my can too!!!!! I was single for a long time and didn't think I was going to find my Mr. Right; however, my persistence in wanting to be married helped me in getting what I wanted. A Husband. I made it my #1 priority and after being single for a long time, after divorced the first time, I am now very happily married.
good luck! Reply

Jack Midland Park, NJ February 15, 2011

The perfect one That reminds me of an old joke.
A man meets his friend and says. " I found the perfect woman."
His friend says "That's wonderful."
The man says "Its not wonderful because she is looking for the perfect man." Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn February 15, 2011

Dear Auther With all due respect to the auther, I don't think anything new was written here. The same things have been said time and time again, in different words, with a superficial understanding of the singles in our generation. In general most of my single friends and I (and I believe singles as a whole) do not look for "fireworks", "Mr. Perfect" or access to Seventh Heaven.(okay maybe some do) A person may be experiencing a challenge finding his or her soul mate because of what was described in the article, However in all probalbiltiy it is because compatibly is indeed a unique thing.- and what we look for most is respect. The auther writes how knowing what you need can help you find you soulmate, I would venture to say that many singles out there know what they need, and what type of person can help them grow in life, and in effect it makes their experiece longer. However waiting is not alway a bad thing, depending on the reason Reply

sarah Mi/USA February 14, 2011

Seeing that someone is perfedt for you may mean seeing that a fault he or she has is one you can deal with more easily, or with more success than anyone else, or that this is something you must deal with (and at the start it may be very hard for you.) In either case, he or she may not look so perfect to anyone, but they may still be perfect for you. Reply

Yiddishe mama Brooklyn, NY February 14, 2011

perfect timing! My daughter of marriagable age just asked me this question which I tried to answer as well as I could - but now I forwarded your article to her which is so beautifully explained. thank you! Reply

Ana Limonova New York February 14, 2011

very smart article The article is very helpful and smart. I wish I could read it and understand earlier, before I made mistakes and learned this very truth hard way. Reply

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