Monday, May 27, 2013

Opposites oppose or do they?


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In school, the shy, tongue tied nerd was invariably attracted to the girl with the deafening laugh. All the good looking girls were in love with the football star with a permanent sweaty patch on his back. I was in love with the dreamy guy who strummed the guitar. And one fine day he opened his mouth and spoiled it all.

They say when God takes time off from playing Kingmaker and pushing us in freezing cold water just as we were getting too warm for comfort; he plays the matchmaker. In fact, Rab loves making our jodis because this is his idea of playing a practical joke on us. The Almighty will make the cricket obsessed, beer guzzling, back-slapping, always joking guy, fall madly in love with the solitude loving, cricket hating and wine sipping girl whose smile is capable of lighting up an entire neighbourhood. His restless soul finds solace in her eyes that speak volumes without speaking a word. He woos her ardently with words he doesn’t have. She finds it endearing. They fall in love and marry.

It’s as if we are destined to follow a pattern. The child who refuses to grow up will always end up with a mother figure. The girl who’s never short of words and opinions will surrender herself to him who always listens with a smile playing on his lips. The dreamy, muddle-head will be drawn towards the woman on wheels, the homebody to the adventurous spirit, the spice girl to the medium rare, the cleanliness freak will fall head over heels with the Lord of mess.….

Do we seek opposites as a challenge? A man so breathtakingly different, that the fair maiden had no option but fall hopelessly for him. It can happen before marriage or after marriage. The love, I mean. When fate arranges your match, you love him before you marry him. When your parents decide your fate, you hope to fall in love after you marry him.

But it’s only after you start living together, you discover how startlingly different you are. I sometimes wonder if we mould ourselves and fine-tune our senses to strike a harmonious note. Is it that the child in him brings out the mother in us? Did the husband become subdued because his talkative wife never gave him the chance to talk? Did he become the backbone because hers was missing! Did she become the mature one because he refused to grow up, all for the sake of love?


Relationships are about getting our needs met. We always seek that elusive something that’s missing in us. A person who will nurture, heal and dredge out our best. So, falling in love is more like filling in a jigsaw puzzle with the missing parts and feeling complete.

But if it’s our differences that bring us together, it’s the same differences that may pull us apart. Especially, if your idea of an ideal weekend is a romantic getaway and his is drinking with his buddies. If all he can talk about is Gayle’s deliveries and Nehra’s maiden overs and you are dying to talk about Howard Roark – you should brace yourself for a rift wider than the Grand Canyon. And if both are unwilling to take the middle path and make certain compromises for the sake of your partner’s happiness – you can expect fireworks. It certainly doesn’t help if it’s only you who’s making all the compromises. How long can you bend backwards to accommodate his/her needs before your back gives away and you dissolve in a pool of unresolved anger!

I am not saying that couples who are mirror images of themselves have more satisfying relationships. Sharing the same interests, the same rants and the same ideologies is comforting but can get boring after a while. I feel it is the cheese in him that excites and challenges the chalk in her and always keeps her on her toes. You never know what to expect! It’s good to face a perception so different from yours that it forces you to rethink your rights and wrongs. But our contrasting interests and thought process also seek a common ground where we share the same wavelength and core values. The witty will never be happy with the man who takes himself too seriously. The cheat will never be content with the righteous. The, I’m-always-right will never be happy with anyone.

The fact is we welcome opposites as long as they challenge and not annoy us. And if all they do is make you want to tear your hair, you can expect your sizzling chemistry to turn into a chemistry experiment gone wrong, where the opposite elements don’t meld but collide and disintegrate.

Perhaps it’s God’s way of telling us - matches are made in heaven but so are thunderstorms and lightning! But if during the storms we can take the best from each other and evolve, it becomes a union that even Gods will envy.

 


97 comments:

  1. "I feel it is the cheese in him that excites and challenges the chalk in her and always keeps her on her toes." +million Opposites attract!

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  2. Opposites attract, bad boys all the babes in the vicinity gushing over them. It is divine comedy - the kind that either gets couples to fight, gnash teeth and grow more alike - or break apart. Never a boring moment while all this is happening.

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  3. this 'falling in love is more like filling in a jigsaw puzzle with the missing parts and feeling complete' is very true.
    Love it loved it loved it...:-)So well written..
    You should be in India teaching English to the kids. I mean every student deserves good teacher.. What are you doing in Australia?

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    1. Well, I taught school kids for over a decade, but as a Web-technology teacher :-)
      Had to wait four decades to get back to my first love - writing.

      And thank you so much, Bhavana. Your appreciation means a lot to me.

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    2. I like your writing as it is not inundated with abstruse words. A lot of people think that if the reader has to run to get the dictionary, then the writer will create an impression. Your writing is lucid. Please keep writing. I try to read whenever I am back from the jungle.

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    3. I try not to. Don't want to scare away my readers :-)

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  4. I am so different from my husband and yet so similar. We like different movies, different books and different music but share similar views on most other things.
    The concluding lines are so apt.

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    1. Likewise, Alka. We are so different yet so similar.

      The concluding lines had too many repetitions, had to change it.

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  5. Purba this is yet another adorable post and it is the differences that bring the best in the couples as long as they are not on a scale of Grand Canyon:)

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    1. And our children absorb the best from us :-)

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  6. do the George clooney or julia roberts temptation test once in a while ....

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  7. I certainly believe opposites can make it work.. the key ingredient is wanting to make it work :D I've seen relationships where mirror images have split over a single difference of opinion and those in which opposites have been the best of friends in marriage..

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    1. Absolutely, Roshan - the key to a successful marriage is your conviction to make it work.

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  8. I liked the last para the best :D

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  9. Perhaps it’s God’s way of telling us - matches are made in heaven but so are thunderstorms and lightning! But if during the storms we can take the best from each other and evolve, it becomes a union that even Gods will envy.

    Lovely post :) :D :D

    makes me laugh and smile when i think abt opposites...I know a couple who "during the storms take the best from each other and evolve" yet when the storm abides they just bicker and bicker about all the tiny things...and they are my parents :)

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    1. Hahaha...my parents bicker like siblings. But they still share such a deep love.

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  10. "But our contrasting interests and thought process also seek a common ground where we share the same wavelength and core values". this precisely sums up your analysis.

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  11. It's the human instinct that they get attracted to what they are not or don't have. Aftermath can be anything- integration or disintegration.

    Another all-perfect, adorable post :))

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  12. :) Such an adorable post.
    The line I liked: Is it that the child in him brings out the mother in us?

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    1. I have seen so many women who mother their husbands.

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  13. I so love the cheese that excites..the post is so true and enjoyable, Purba:)

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  14. Loved the line that falling in love is like filling the jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces and feeling complete. Very nicely written. God has his own way of pulling his guns at us... first the opposites attract and then flip like magnets :)

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    1. Blame familiarity that breeds contempt.

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  15. hmm ... Interesting take ...

    but I always thought that "similar interests" help in the initial stages of bonding and then we move on to the next stage of taking similar things for granted and what keeps things lively and interesting is complaining about the differences ... which is obviously more fun :)

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    1. Laws of attraction rarely follow a fixed formula. We sometimes end up falling in love with some of the unlikeliest persons.

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  16. If opposites opposed, we probably would be talking of heterosexuals as 'differently sexed' :) :)

    That concluding paragraph drove the point of the post in quite pithily. This use of humor - to drive in a point - is one of those things that I envy in you while despairing of ever being able to emulate.

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    1. And I have yet to read a post on your blog that disappointed! You have a unique style of writing.

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  17. Wonderful post! It is an accepted saying that opposites attract. But when love happens nothing but LOVE is is there. Opposite traits, and likes dislikes are only transient. They disappear in a jiffy. The storm comes and disappears.Only Love prevails. In my 54 years of married life, this is the lesson I have learnt and this the Truth!!

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    1. Ah, I loved this line - Opposite traits, and likes dislikes are only transient. Couldn't have put it better.

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  18. Relationships are like we had Radios in olden days with a knob.
    All it needs a bit of fine tuning and one hears only music.
    In any case,relations are fixed and decided up there by the Almighty.

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    Replies
    1. I am getting read such lovely thoughts! So glad I wrote this piece.

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  19. I have always related this fact of Opposites attracting to the theory of Yin-yang. They attract and they are so good together simply because they complete each other. And when in love a few compromises only bring happiness :)

    Totally loved the post. You observe things so well and present them fantastically! You bring out things which are so common but still manage to make the reader feel connected to it and feel special, like I did ^_^

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    1. The fire in her seeks the water in him and together they create a symphony :-)

      Delighted that I could make you feel what I felt :-)

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  20. It was an amazing read, esp. right when I needed it. Thanks! Makes a lotta sense and quite thought-inducing.

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  21. Matches might be made in heaven...but they undergo their survival test in here.
    Loved this!

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    1. And only the fittest survive!

      Thank you.

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  22. Absolutely delightful read, as always!
    I have long maintained that people always romanticize about romance. And when they do that, they have their blinders on...and can't make sense from nonsense. I guess it is ok to go after your 'opposite' if he/she is a bit different from you. But if you are polar opposites, I think you need to be very wary.
    Like you said, you don't want to be hiding from thunderstorms and lightening all your life!

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    Replies
    1. Love is a drug. Once it wears off you start seeing the reality :-)

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  23. I agree with Rickie! Some differences are exciting and sort of complement the couple in a nice way. Too many differences and there are no common grounds. It won't work in the long run. And too similar is boring as hell. I feel that in the large issues synchrony of thoughts and matching perspectives are so important.

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    1. Absolutely! Sharing a similar wavelength is an imperative.

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  24. Loved this ! I have always wondered abt this aspect of love..because many of my friends had boyfriends they adored so madly ..and these guys were nothing like them !

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    1. Good girls falling for the bad boys thinking they can change them?

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  25. Ummm.....errrr.....hmmmm....uhmmm.....ok. This is the hardest post of yours to comment on. :-/
    P.S. Is it 14th February already?

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    1. Ummm... is also a comment :|

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  26. 4 years in a relationship and I have stopped believing in things like opposites attract and made in heaven. I used to find them fascinating but slowly i realized it does not take rocket science to make things work.

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    1. A lot depends on your partner and her willingness to forgo her ego for the sake of love.

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  27. hahaha - 'Matches are made in heaven, but so are thunderstorms and lightning.' Well put. We do, after all need the excitement of the occasional thunderstorm. Boredom would set in quickly if every day was as sunny as the last one.
    Interesting post!

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    1. We have reached a stage where we complete each others sentences but still can't take each other for granted.

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  28. So true! I would never want to spend my life with someone like myself :-/

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  29. Nice thrashing of the topic-there is something for everyone.
    Opposites work well when they fit like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle,but when this misfires............God help !

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    1. God help the flying utensils.

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  30. "Our contrasting interests and thought process also seek a common ground where we share the same wavelength and core values." - That summed it up for me - I found myself nodding all through the post!
    Cheers,
    Deepa - 10 Reasons Why I Didn't Post

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    1. Relationships evolve with time - from Chemistry to Biology to Philosophy :-)

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  31. The girl who’s never short of words and opinions will surrender herself to him who always listens with a smile playing on his lips. Oh yes, you've got it just about right, I think!

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    1. No one is 100% right. There's always a margin for correction.

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  32. Its such a beautiful post. I mean I always feel the same and I say thats why relationships are complementary in nature (pun on the word with compliment). My husband and I, my sister and me all fall into the same pattern :)

    lovely post purba :))

    Richa

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    1. Compliments as well- it's our way of saying, I appreciate the hard work :-)

      And thanks :-)

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  33. Wow..Awesome Post..Loved a lot reading it especially the last para,It somehow defines my relationship.. :-)

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    1. I thinks it sums it up for many of us :-)

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  34. Do Opposites attract? This one question, we all surely come across at some point of time in life. I guess..very rightly like you pointed out, its the grave amount of challenge involved in being with someone who is totally opposite to you. The challenge brings in itself a sheer sense of joy and pleasure, that we all seek in life. We may fortunately or unfortunately succumb to this pleasure.

    It was a lovely read. loved it totally.

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    1. Delighted that you liked, Jigyasa.

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  35. "The fact is we welcome opposites as long as they challenge and not annoy us!!" True!! :)
    Like like!!!

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  36. Very amazing post. Relationship are too delicate to handle nowadays.
    See my post here about relationships
    http://jitendravaswani.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/is-technology-killing-relationships/

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  37. Wonderful post! Relationships are like sugar and salt - without which they are incomplete but too much of them annoy us

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    1. Like salt and sugar..like spicy and bland...for that perfect blend.

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  38. Rightly put! "The cheese in him keeps the chalk in her". Until the opposites annoy us, the little challenges give us the pep to live ;)

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  39. I am reminded of this BBC research that said that we choose our partners depending on how they smell, its something to do with genetic code and the smell that comes out of it.
    And only today I was discussing with someone that people in relationships change to cover for the weakness of the partner. So I think opposites do attract....

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    1. They do, don't they? Their partner's immaturity forces them to grow up.

      Btw, I do not have the link to your blog.

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  40. Loved it all the way through...and the last line summarizes perfectly...i believe compatibility matters a lot and it can there only if there's a trust among the couples...!!!

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    1. Trust..respect...willingness to forgo their ego...

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  41. Now that I am married, I understand whatever you are saying more clearly. My husband is an adventure freak whereas I run miles away from adventure. He doesn't even fit into the image of husband I had created for myself a couple of years ago. Destiny pushed us together and am happy it did :) A wonderfully crafted post as always Purba :)

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    1. And don't you wonder, how you managed to fall for someone so opposite?

      Thank you :-)

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  42. whattay subject.. enjoyed reading every bit.. :) I often feel like bowing down in front of R because I am that obliged to him that he can live with a drama queen like me :P :P .. It would be highly impossible for me to live with me O_O...so I am glad this theory of opposites dwell better exists... but as you said only till the point they don't annoy us...

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    1. Maybe the drama queen in you is the much needed spice for his life!

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  43. "cricket obsessed, beer guzzling, back-slapping, always joking guy, falls madly in love with the solitude loving, cricket hating and wine sipping girl" hahah!! That's us! The main binding glue is our core values. Plus, I would be completely bored with my mirror image! All my friends are chatterboxes, so why not the husband too?! :)

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    1. Exactly, who wants to spend the rest of her life with her mirror image :-)

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  44. Wonderful post :-) Yes, as long as people don't drive each other crazy and are willing to peacefully co-exist, opposites shouldn't pose a problem. But in the end, it all comes down to the attitude of those involved, whether they are willing to let go of their egos and stubborn traits for the other.

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    1. Yes, the ability to admit that you were wrong, willing to things that you might not like but will still do for his sake.

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  45. The beauty of this post is in the 2nd and the 3rd para where you have chalked out all the possible "miss"-matches! That's amazing...it feels as if the reader is bound to fall into one of the categories :)

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    1. Did you find yourself in the 2nd and 3rd para?

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    2. Yes I did :)...and many others also :)...that's why I found it beautiful...

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  46. The miss matches do happen and they did with me.. Alas! Now to wait for the disintegration of the opposite ;)

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    1. May you rest in bits and pieces?

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  47. Thats true that we don't know how much opposite are we unless we live with the other half...but yet it is fun...only when both choose the middle path..me and my wife(former girlfriend) have extremely varied interests...we just sacrifice now and then for each other...:P

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    1. Yes, that's the secret behind a successful union :-)

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