I love romantic stories. There is a famous Greek mythological one about the perception of love, relationships, and soul connection. The myth of Pygmalion and Galatea has been brought down through centuries as a love story. It is one of my favorite stories of love and the power of creation. The story is about Pygmalion who was a gifted Greek artist. He created beautiful sculptures. Pygmalion was disappointed with the women he met, especially the prostitutes. He had given up on love, but in his repulsion and judgment for their moral behavior, he decided to create the perfect woman, thus the sculpture of Galatea made from ivory stone. Pygmalion spent countless hours making her into his ideal woman, chiseling carefully the curves, a beautiful body, while speaking to it. He would dress her up. He would tell her stories. Then one day Pygmalion went to Aphrodite’s temple and begged for the love of this woman. Aphrodite took pity on the artist and made the statue come to life and shortly thereafter Galatea and Pygmalion married.
This story has several metaphoric clues into relationships. The story dives deeper into the common questions of how we manipulate our desires and the creation of perfection in our minds. Do we ever find the “perfect” person that lives in our dreams? Can we put aside expectations and fall in love with others without judgment? Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Can fairy tales come true? Is love everlasting or do we manipulate it to fit into our circumstances? Does love truly dictate who we pick?
When I began to date my husband I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I was allowing love to run its course. I had ended a loving relationship with a man who knew me better than anyone. I loved him beyond anything I could have ever imagined. He disappeared and I was left holding my heart in my hands. I truly gave up any expectations of what I needed in a loving relationship. I thought about Pygmalion and his creation. Truth be told I didn’t know what I needed in a partner, but I did know what I was not willing to tolerate. I had enough experience with that!
Desiring flawless partners
Relationships are not perfect. Often times our counterparts mirror our imperfections. It’s in those enhancing moments that we try desperately to chip away the characteristics that we don’t want. In all the negative light we become lunatics trying to create something that we cannot change. We are human beings. Sometimes we enter into relationships blindly with an irrational belief that “this is the perfect person.” Later the blinders come off and what was once lust is no longer part of the love equation. Lust can only take us so far. Deep connection lasts forever. You must be willing to accept the “whole-ness” of your partner. It’s not easy but it’s doable.
Love at first sight
We are creatures of determining beauty by first glance. Hormones flare and exude our animal instincts. But, does this hold on forever? Beauty is not just in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty resides deeply in the heart. Just like Pygmalion many of us spend countless hours searching for the ideal mate that we have created since childhood. We have formed a “type” and when that type enters the room we are left drooling for attention. How often do we actually get the type of partner who lives in our heads? Age takes care of making sure we return to reality. Outside beauty doesn’t last forever. Dig deeper to find the magic of love inside another. When our bodies start to age the only thing we can know for sure is what lies in the seed of the soul.
The perfect fairy tale
Society has implanted an idea of “perfect fairy tale love.” From the time we are children we watch and listen to the romantic fairy tales. Disney has created a huge franchise on the subject. It’s difficult to see what’s an illusion and what’s actually real. Love is NOT carved in ivory stone. It’s not perfect. It requires work. It expects nothing more, or less, than patience and acceptance. You create that which you are. In order to attract your desired partner you have to consider your own imperfections. You have to be willing to look at the dark and the light in yourself. You must be honest with your own expectations. I know I am not an easy person to live with and neither is my husband. What continues to keep us together is a mutual acceptance of our imperfections. The older we get the more we realize that we cannot sweat the small stuff. We have grown into love. We’ve also had to keep our Egos in tact.
Galatea and Pygmalion Effects
The Galatea Effect is a psychological theory that states that people can overcome anything through raising their self-worth. The Pygmalion Effect is a phenomenon relating to motivation: people can conquer anything when they are supported and encouraged. In relationships can we be Galatea and Pygmalion? One person has to be the motivator and the other the doer. There has to be a balance of giving and taking. Unfortunately, in our society we forget the partnership theory in relationships. It starts with clear intentions of how we will support, love and respect our mate. Life wears us down and we no longer motivate the other. Galatea and Pygmalion are perfect examples of belief and ultimate love through perseverance. You must pick a partner who will stick through the good and the tough times.
The perfect mate for you exists
We have the power to create anything we want in life, including a partner who brings out the best in us. But, while you continue having a false idea of what is perfect you might not see what’s right next to you. Relationships work on trust, forgiveness, love, acceptance, and awareness. It’s important to understand that if you aren’t being treated to your highest worth and potential then it’s time to move on. You must go where you are celebrated and honored. You cannot continue to try and mold someone who isn’t raising the best of you into your perfect mate. When people tell you who they are believe them from the beginning. You cannot change anyone. You are only responsible for you. Pygmalion created what he needed. He chiseled and prayed and spoke to the Gods. He didn’t settle for the other women.
You have the capacity to bring the love of your life into your life…but first you must be honest with what you want. Love is not written in stone but it is written in the heart. Follow your heart but take your mind with it too. And, darling, be sure to forgive yourself and others for any past relationships that didn’t work out. Forgiveness is the key to allowing. It helps make room for the magic of new beginnings.