Monday, February 1, 2010

The Right One and The Right Chemistry

WeddingImage via Wikipedia

If you've completed yesterday's homework assignment, you've probably already realized why some relationships don't work. Despite similar interests or complimentary personalities, there are too many major differences for any amount of trying to overcome. Nor do they always have to be. This may sound surprising in light of the common assumption that relationships involve some measure of compromise. Core values, however, may not allow for compromise without violating one's integrity, without feeling something essential has been lost.

Core values include, but are not restricted to, such things as religion, politics, morality, family, and children. Highly personalized, what is critical to you may be peripheral to someone else. Furthermore, depending on the strength of your convictions, allowances might be made for variance. You're Jewish, she's Christian, and you respect one another's traditions. But if he's absolutely opposed to abortion on moral grounds and you insist on a woman's right to choose, you may have an insurmountable obstacle. It helps to be aware of these things and the earlier the better.

Once you have a good idea who inhabits your skin, so to speak, you can start asking what kind of person would be a good match. Look at the lists you made and pretend they belong to a close friend who you're going to set up on a blind date. Who will you choose for them? This is the person you're looking for. Where to find them depends a lot on the description you've drawn of yourself.

So, tell me, based on what you've learned so far, where would I find you? One of my favorite jokes has a man crawling round on his knees. A woman comes up, inquires as to what he's doing, and he says, "Trying to find my contact lens." When she asks where he lost it, our guy points several feet away and replies, "Over there, but the light's better here." I can search for you in either the wrong or right places. Forget real life for a minute and let your imagination take over.

For example, let's say you love camping but your job won't allow you much time off. Instead of eliminating that as a possibility, if you dropped by a meeting of the Sierra Club, we could meet. I'm busy too, so let's miss camping together, shall we? You're health-conscious and shop for groceries on a cost-cutter budget. Go to Whole Foods and prowl the aisles now and then; you don't have to buy a thing, but it gets you in a position to see and be seen. If you want someone more like yourself, you need to look in those places where you would be found.

The point of all this is to take charge of the process of finding and meeting people who, at least potentially, share your interests and, hopefully, core values. Once you've decided you're weary of one Ms. or Mr. Never Would Be Right In A Million Years after another, it's time to take as much guess work out of the process as possible. We have to become more consciously aware and deliberate; no more relying on luck, we're going to make our own.

A couple of practical tips: when you meet their friends, ask yourself if they could become yours as well. Our social circle reveals a lot about our character and if my choice of friends requires you to compromise core values, it tells you something about me that you may have overlooked. Second, examine your relationship history. Who have you dated, lived with, married, and why. Can you discern patterns that you'd like to change? If you're having trouble either identifying or correcting them, don't hesitate to consider seeing a therapist. A little investment in yourself can pay big dividends in the relationship stock market.

A few years ago, a popular book title was, Do I Have to Give Up Me to be Loved by You? The answer is, you shouldn't have to. The right one is very truly someone who values your "self" as much as their own. They are like a best friend with whom you share that indefinable something that makes it impossible to tear your eyes away from them. There is both magic and meaning; the love of your life and your truest friend. The right one with the right chemistry.

(GNU General Public License image via Wikipedia)
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