July 28, 2007

On Compatible Differences

A friend’s friend is having some trouble in paradise. I heard her talk about how her friend is finding it tough to carry on with her marriage but still can’t get herself to walk out of the loveless cycle. The lady whose life was a subject of discussion thinks that she is still compatible with her isn’t-it-obvious-you-are-not-the-one better half and would continue to ‘sort’ things out till, well till she doesn’t feel compatible anymore, I think.

That made me wonder; what’s this non-sense about compatibility?

Some times that’s all what it takes to make us do crazy things; the lack or absence of it is what plans our exit. We all want that someone to be with who can ease then pain, make us feel better and what have you. The hyper stimulating jungle out there, called the world makes more sense if there is that one person and such assurance resides only in compatibility. It’s compatibility that makes love all the more interesting but don’t go popping the champagne yet, for experts (death to them!) believe that we are all looking at love in the wrong manner. I think compatibility isn’t what we always have; it’s something two people make as they go along. It's a process; it’s something that demands constant appraisal again and again. It’s the willingness to work. So is this friend’s friend right in sticking on?

Maybe she is for she can still feel the ‘chemistry’.

And while you just learnt a new definition of compatibility, time to get some clarity on ‘chemistry’, the corner stone of any good relationship. Chemistry is an appealing thought but it’s much too frequently used by people to free themselves of the need to consciously examine their approach to their partner. When you need to go ahead with something it’s chemistry that makes you want to do it but when it comes to talking things out, we’ll say no chemistry no talk.

Am so sad, let me listen to Roy Orbison. Wait, hold the thought on ole Roy...so what’s the deal with compatibility?

Yup, you know me by now and you know that it’s overrated. The similarities or personality traits that attract people to each other may not hold up over time. You might be attracted to someone because you both love coffee, but then one of you is told by your doctor to give up coffee, then you got to see it in a whole new light! People assume that compatibility is everything but more importantly it’s that baseline which makes you want to keep up with your partner. People are sometimes attracted to like personalities and sometimes to different ones. Relationship skills can always be improved, and they'll help any two people—with any two personalities—to get along better. I further augment my point by citing the example of The Beauty and the Beast. Oh wait the Beast is actually a prince. Hmm ok the Princess and the Frog. Oh wait the Frog is actually a Prince too…oh darn!

I read somewhere that there is no such thing as a compatible couple. All couples disagree about the same things but it’s really about how you manage your differences. If there is chemistry, then the whole courtship is about convincing yourself and others that you are compatible. But, really, you create compatibility.

Oh great!
Click to enlarge.

That’s another fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into! Now being compatible ain’t enough we’ve got to make it as well…

Image Courtesy: www.xkcd.com

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