Sunday, June 18, 2006

Opposites Detract

Oops! So Sorry for the super late entry on my column but I had some problems with the freaking Net (honestly Trixie and I seem to have some kind of force field that renders the Internet dead as soon as we get near it!). In fact I still can't access it from my home and am now in some freaking Internet cafe. Okay, enough about my Internet woes!

As ya'll who read the article would've noticed(I've pasted it below this entry for those who have not) - I think the phrase opposites attract is overused and offers absolutely no help whatsoever to those who happen to find themselves in a situation that reflects its premise.
I mean whoever dreamt up the phrase is just stating the obvious. Besides 'opposites attract' seems to refer to just the physical aspect of relationship when there are some many other levels.

I mean, after Opposites find themselves attracted to each other, what are they supposed to do? We all know of or may have been part of a couple who have few mutual interests and after a time this can really push the relationship into a very
precarious state. Opposing views/interests lead to less time together and even if they are together Opposites might find themselves constantly arguing about differing viewpoints.

I personally had a tough time dealing with a boyfriend who had totally different ideas about everything and we eventually gave up. Sometimes life is hard enough and all that extra work just to keep a relationship afloat just doesn't seem worth it.

Opposites attract but the attraction always wanes (it has to - otherwise everyone would be perpetually home performing the horizontal tango and nothing would ever get done!)So, when physical attraction is on the decline, all the other areas - the spritual, the emotional and the mental better be there as your safety net! If not, you're going to find yourself in a pretty pickle.

So as far as I'm concerned, opposites may start off attracting but inevitably end up detracting from your life...what do you think?


COLUMN:

OPPOSITES CAN UPSET
BY TRISHA RAJAH

ALL a girl wants...is to track down whoever came up with the saying “opposites attract” and give them a good hiding. I honestly believe that it has led many a hopeful heart down a hapless path.

Opposites certainly attract, of course. This is a statement that holds true in the world of physics and physical attraction.

How often have you found yourself drawn to an outdoorsy type who loves to go camping? Meanwhile, you're someone who would go into cardiac arrest if a cicak so much as glances your way.

What's aggravating is that “opposites attract” states the obvious but does nothing to dispel the confusion that inevitably arises from its truth.
The natural disparity between the male and female species is mind-boggling enough. Add layers of opposing opinions, hobbies or convictions and you're courting trouble!

When opposites attract, the very traits that initially seemed so distinct and unique from your own, often start off as endearing but swiftly end up as annoying.
I believe relationships stand a slim chance of surviving if there is little or no compatibility between the two people involved. The odds improve only if you happen to differ on superficial interests.

For instance, my husband thinks Oprah should be force-fed carbs until she balloons up and floats away, never to be seen or heard from again.
I happen to think Oprah is God's gift to womankind. This sort of conundrum is easily resolved. Either I try to watch Oprah when he's not around or we get a second Astro decoder. Problem solved.

It’s not that simple when deeper, critical issues are at stake. A couple who disagree on closely held beliefs and what constitutes right and wrong will find it a challenge to stay a couple for long.
Issues like belief in God or even political viewpoints that differ too drastically can spell the demise of a relationship. That's why a long-lasting liaison between an oil company magnate and an environmental activist or Dan Brown and anyone from the Vatican City is probably doomed to fail.

But how do Opposites end up in marriages or long-term relationships in the first place?
Once the superficial attraction wears off, shouldn't the relationship fade away with it?

Some Opposites stick around hoping to recapture the initial euphoria they felt when they first met. All I can is say good luck to them – chances are higher that Paris Hilton will wake up tomorrow and dedicate her life to serving the poor.

Some Opposites stay because they believe they can change themselves or their partners. After interminable lectures from Dr Phil and other relationship gurus, I think most people have finally realised that it’s easier to change the world than it is to change the one you love.

Altering yourself might be a better bet except that you're on a slippery slope. How much of yourself are you willing to change in order to maintain the relationship? After all, we spend half our lives trying to find out who we are. It would be a shame to lose ourselves all over again just to make a relationship work. This is a mistake that is especially common among women but that’s a topic for another column.

However, I must admit that it is not impossible for Opposites to stay together. Sure, you'll have to practise Buddha-like tolerance but it might be well worth the effort. A partner who is totally unlike yourself can expand your mind and enrich your life with fresh ideas and experiences.

So to all you Opposites out there – the bookworms and backpackers, rock climbers and wallflowers, activists and meditators who have taken “opposites attract” to heart – here's a secret formula that will help you along the road to Happily-Ever-After.
It consists of just four ingredients – patience and compromise, compromise, compromise! The formula works for all kinds of relationships but Opposites will just have to prepare for a bumpier ride.

As for me, life is difficult enough and the love in your life shouldn't be complicated. So I say opposites may attract but it’s so much simpler when you decide you'd rather flock together with birds of a feather!

1 comment:

delphynus said...

oprah had an interesting topic last night. it was about women in relationships whereby eventually they lose their own sense of identity. they just seize to exist as a person. all they are is a wife- or mother-to someone. their own interests are shoved away.they do not give thier opinion and sacrifice everything for the man.

and these women are fairly unhappy. so i guess in a way this can be connected to your article. how much are we willing to compromise? to the extend of losing your own identity?
guess that's not the way to go, so i agree with u...opposites brew up disaster ;)