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What if you could make your ideal love match materialize in front of you simply by putting the right code into a machine? We now have 3D printers that can print guns, working tools, musical instruments, and even a replica of a human fetus. And this is just the beginning stages of the technology. There are already experiments underway to print human organs using live tissue, and bio-printing is revolutionizing medicine. So what if we could print an entire person? I know it sounds crazy and fantastical, but just to humor me, imagine the possibility. What if you could design your spouse to be everything you ever wanted? How would you write the code that would create that person? Would they be an amalgam of the best parts of old loves, or would you start from scratch? If I could tell a computer to print out in human form my ideal mate, this is what code I would use.

Creating Your Ideal Partner

First, I'd want them to be balanced. Someone kind, but not a pushover; someone smart, but not a creative genius, because they tend to be bad at relationships. (There is a strong link between narcissism and creativity, just ask Google) I'd want someone loyal, sincere, and honest. I'd create someone who shares my sense of humor, even the dark side, but who doesn't know any corny jokes. They should be witty, possess decent fashion sense, and know something about food and wine. A traveller with a creative side that is balanced by logic, with a spontaneous streak just to keep things interesting. My perfect match would emerge from the 3D printer fully prepared to deal with my everyday quirks, and feel no need to change me. Because my ideal person is female, she'd also have lovely long hair, a perfect complexion, and be around my same height. She'd have all the grace and poise of an opera singer I once dated (and her hip-waist ratio) and the wild mane and ready laugh of the girl who came before her (but without the crazy please). I'd also take my ex-husband's earnest eyes and artistic talent (minus the arrogance), and together all of these qualities would most assuredly make up my ideal. Plus, it wouldn't hurt if she resembled Catherine Zeta-Jones. A girl can dream.

Relationships Don't Come With Directions

In reality, of course we can't create the perfect person out of a plastic machine. Not yet, anyway. We can't use a 3D printer to fabricate our ideal life partner, and even if we could, are any of us ever certain of what we really want? Even if I had the girl of my dreams right in front of me, how can I be sure I won't desire someone else, or a different life, five years from now? When I married my ex, I thought I knew what I was doing. I was in my twenties and I was ready to take on the world. In my thirties, however, things changed. I changed. We both changed. And what that tells me, is that even if I had printed him using the code that would make sure he'd never change from the person he was in 2005, it wouldn't have mattered. No matter how much we invent, progress, and bend the rules, humans are in a constant stage of change. We're constantly learning, experiencing, and adapting. The key to a successful marriage is learning, experiencing, and adapting together. That's what I've always heard, anyway. And that's precisely why the vision of who we think we want wouldn't work, because that person hasn't shared a moment with us, or a memorable event, or a bad day. But that's what relationships are all about. And sometimes, they don't work. They don't come with directions, or follow a code someone programmed into a machine.

I believe that the positive side to a failed marriage is learning from the experience and moving on, with the hope that you'll get it right the next time. After all, you'll be more aware of what and who you want, and what your boundaries are. You're not the same person you were when you were married, but in the best case scenario, you walked away with the best parts of you. Like reprogramming a printer and leaving out the code for blue, you can program yourself to be – or not to be - anything you want. I am currently training myself to be a better listener, with a more even temper as my post-divorce self. I haven't quite gotten the code right for that, but I didn't emerge freshly printed from a machine, so it's a work in progress. I'm only human, after all. We all are.


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