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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Untold Story of How I (Jeremy) Found My Perfect Partner




Two weeks ago, at the saint Philips parish was a marriage celebration. The couple was faultless, the wedding ceremony cosy and everyone was in a total enjoyment mood. Then came the phase where older couples are granted the opportunity to give pieces of advice to the newly wedded and most importantly, the singles who aspire to marry. This older lady stood, moved forward and said; “today is the new beginning in the lives of the Ngums. Others have spoken about patience and care, but I will love to speak about the finding your perfect partner.... I can confidently say it today that Jeremy has found his perfect partner Catherine… you all should find your perfect partners and your lives will be better…”
Did you just read that? Find your perfect partner and your live becomes better. Let’s explore!

The pursuit of perfect

Clement the maximizer            

The groom’s younger brother clement, my good friend and elder bro wanted a phone some months back. As it is in clement’s nature to seek the opinion of those he values in a given domain, he picked up his phone and called a host of friends to find out what was the best phone to buy. After consulting all the phone nerds, his list shrunk from 9 phone types to 3 that is; I-Phone, Samsung Galaxy and Techno-Phantom. He didn’t end at that level; he went online and carried out an even more profound research as he could on these three. He evaluated the features each phone provided; he tried to discover the different types that existed for these phones. Hence, his research made his list even bigger and he now had to choose either: the Iphone 6 or Iphone S6; Samsung Galaxy S6 or Samsung S6 lite or Samsung A3 etc. a week later as I recall clement purchased finally decided to go for the I-phone.

So for Clement to purchase or have anything worth it, he is always bent on finding the perfect or best version of it. Just so you know, clement called almost every resource-person he knew to find out which among the two mineral water was better Tangui or Super Mont; he does the same thing with almost every trivial decision you might imagine. Why? Because Clement is what we call a MAXIMIZER.

Schwartz who is the psychologist that invented the term once carried out an experiment to find out what happens to people who look for and find the best? In this experiment, he looked at university students that were soon to graduate, after which he separated them into two groups. The professor and his team observed that one group was in search of the best jobs, that’s maximizers. The research showed that the maximizers put in more time and effort in the job search. In the process, they did more research, asked more friends for advice, deposited their resumes in more institutions and had more job interviews. At the end, they received a 20% higher salary than the other group called the satisficers.

Aziz’s dad’s experience

At age 22 it was time for him to marry, so his parents arranged meetings with three neighbouring families, so that he could pick from the three girls the one he wanted to marry.
When the girl from the first family came, he said she was “a little too tall”. Then the second girl came and he said she was a “little too short”. Then the third girl came then he quickly deduced that she was the perfect height, they talked for about 30 minutes and decided it would work. A week later, they were married. And still are 35 years later. Over one criterion Height. Aziz’s dad is a satisficer.

Satisficers are the combination of two words (& qualities): satisfy and suffice. Hence, for satisficers unlike maximizers who feel compelled to do a lot of research to make sure they’re getting the best, satisficers are the complete opposites.  In the research Schwartz carried out, what I earlier didn’t mention was that the other group; satisficers were students looking for a job that met certain minimum requirements and was “good enough”. That’s it Good Enough

Months later after both groups had started work, Schwartz and his colleagues interviewed them again, this time to find out how satisfied they were. What they found was amazing, Even though the maximizers had better jobs than the satisficers, they felt worse about them. Overall, maximizers had less job satisfaction and weren’t certain they had selected the right job at all. The satisficers, by contrast were positive     about their jobs, and their lives in general.

The Paradox Of Choice


In the past it was easy, let’s say you wanted a phone or charger, all you did was go to the shop around your vicinity and purchased one. Now we are bombarded with countless options to pick from, all in the pursuit of the best, which is a good thing. The same thing happened to our older parents, when they were ripe for marriage, all they did was focus their attention to the ladies/guys around (in the village), picked the one they admired most and married. But we aren’t in that kind of culture anymore, as they say we are no longer in the generation of the good enough; we are in the generation that looks for the perfect, the soul-mate.

Explore some few changes with me that our generation now experiences: early dating (starting from secondary school or earlier), later marriages and online dating. 

Finding the perfect partner

Every girl or woman I know is categorical on the fact that all men cheat. Why?
This is the advice they received; “there are many fishes in the sea, kiss as many cheeks as possible, find the one that is the best, so don’t relent until you’ve done that and when you’re done marry one”.

You might be wondering why I said clement carries out a research on every matter both trivial and vital. He is 29 and has been searching for the perfect partner for the last two years. If you happen to speak with him like every Cameroonian I know, they would tell you they are monogamists, simply searching for their soul-mates. Clement has 6 ladies in his life he has been analysing for these two years. Whenever he thinks may be Jane or Mary is the one to get married to, he gets dissatisfied and goes out to search for more. He has dated as many girls as you can imagine all in the search of the right one. But he is blocked and has paralysis of analysis because of these numerous choices. And the notion of monogamy has changed from one partner for a lifetime but to one partner at a time.

Why were the maximizers dissatisfied with their job? Simple because they were searching for the perfect job. Why do men cheat? Because they are searching for the perfect partner.

Let’s have a little recall of the advice given during the marriage at the beginning; “today is the new beginning in the lives of the Ngums. Others have spoken about patience and care, but I will love to speak about the finding your perfect partner. I can confidently say it today that Jeremy has found his perfect partner catherine; you all should find your perfect partners and your lives will be better…”

I felt like screaming “shut the hell up, do you know what you are saying”?

Who finds the perfect partner? Who is your perfect partner? Let’s do the math...

We are 7.8 billion in population; girls are roughly 3.9 of that population. Finding your soul mate, will mean meeting all 3.9 ladies, dating all of them and evaluating each one to find the perfect one. No one can do that in a life time, because even if you attempt to, by the time you finish, the younger ones would have been of age and guess what? Your so-called perfection might be among. Hence, the perfect partner does or doesn’t exist. Even if he/she does, it will take a lifetime to have 100% certainty.

The truth about why maximizers are very unsatisfied with jobs and partners is that, they meet with as many dating partners as possible in the first place. Such that when they finally meet someone or a job that everyone perceives as quasi-perfect they never perceive it as perfect why? Because by meeting different people they have unconsciously created a perfect partner in their minds that no lady or guy will ever be able meet up with.

The advice therefore at the marriage was: Do you know what young folks? Go out there and find someone that doesn’t exist, even if it means wasting your twenties and thirties and lifetime; because when you find her, (which you will never do) your life will be better. I couldn’t agree less.
Why do relationships fail? Because once you are in, you discover one area in which your partner is lacking and guess what? They are many fishes in the sea.

The Big Lesson and My Punch Line

Satisficers often face the same problem too. Research has proven that people, who live in small communities and have to marry from within the group, often daydream on whether or not meeting new faces and picking from there wouldn’t have been better.

Hence, my point isn’t that one set of people (maximize vs. satisficer) are better and the others bad. But I believe that deep within us we are both satisficers and maximizers. With electronics you might be a maximizer but with food a satisficer, the same goes with the type of polish you use for your shoe or the toothpaste you buy for your teeth. We all react in different ways with different mindsets in different circumstances. But with relationships, because unlike others it is a lifetime decision we CAN start out by focusing on a little community, while having a little list of what we are searching for from a partner e.g ability to cook and procreate. After which, we should pick one, not because he/she is the perfect one but because the maximizers part of us will make her perfect where she is lacking. That is start as a micro maximizer in searching for the best community in which to search. Secondly, become a satisficer and pick one, then re-become a maximizer daily in making her/him perfect. Hence, when you encounter someone better (in some aspect), see what you admire form the person, then go try to apply it to your partner. 

I once asked a missionary what the secret to a successful marriage was and he answered; “there is no secret at the beginning, but twenty years later into the marriage you find it and it isn’t the same for everybody.” Love it.

Are you a maximizer or a satisficer? How else can we make relationships better? And how can we ensure that men (your man) cheat no more? What do you like or dislike about the post?

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By Verberi Leslie Ace

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