There’s a saying about finding love – well, there are many but we’ll focus on just this one today – about how opposites attract. The princess can love the criminal. The staid businessman can love the flighty artist. The rock star can love the accountant. Maybe they can but how often do those differences become the very reason a couple can’t stay together?
Maybe this is also just an oversimplification of what we all tend to view as ‘our type.’ You know, the woman says she loves the bad boys and dates only those guys. The guy says he prefers blonds and limits the women he asks out to only women with yellow hair. I think there are some more specific things you might look for in a partner as well, like career choice, movie preferences, height, age. Do you have a ‘type’? Did you marry that ‘type’?
For my part, I don’t have a long, checkered dating history. I haven’t had an opportunity to even think about what my preferred type of partner would be, never mind limit myself to dating only within a certain personality bracket. 🙂 I’ve always been open to going out with any type of guy. I’ve been set up on blind dates and sometimes it went beyond one date, sometimes it didn’t. I would never have wanted to turn down an opportunity and realize later that the guy I refused one day could have been The One. Of course, I don’t need to worry about it now. 🙂 One of those chances I took turned out to be the best decision of my life.
In writing, I sometimes try to match a certain personality type with their opposite. I do it in a way that on the surface meets that ‘opposites attract’ rule but when I delve deeper into their personalities, I like to give them more commonalities that had been apparent at first. In my TAITS series, the best example of this is Grimm and Jack. She’s a type-A control freak personality and he’s – up to that point – been painted as a fun-loving playboy. They are forced to work alone together, a situation that causes more friction at first than anything. As the story progresses though, they warm up to each other and begin to work as a single cohesive unit, a result that saves their lives. A couple of times.
I don’t do it so often in the Ice stories, except for maybe Vanessa being the erotica writer and not minding that fans love and revisit her stories, and Sean being the more uptight, private individual. Somehow, they found common ground. 😉
So let’s say you have a type. It’s the complete opposite of yourself. You’re an organized, career-oriented, clean freak. The people you date are flighty, can’t make plans much less keep them, and can’t hold a steady job. Do you keep holding out hope that one day, one of those types are going to surprise you and turn serious, career-driven and punctual? I hate to break it to you, but it’s unlikely. That’s not to say that people can’t change but you can’t go through life dating people with one set of personality traits only to hope that you can change the way they are. Maybe the problem isn’t the people you’re dating. Maybe the problem is that you’re dating them. Does that make sense? 😉
Back to my original topic though. Opposites attract. Do they? Maybe at first but I think sometimes you need to have some if not a lot of common interests in order to make it work. That’s not to say you go everywhere and do everything as one unit. But if you’re going to be with that person for the rest of your life, shouldn’t you have more in common than an address and a last name?
For instance, if you prefer to unwind with music and a glass of wine, but your partner unwinds with a jog around the block, does that mean you won’t last? Not necessarily. If your partner only chooses activities for date night that involve copious amounts of safety gear and training (eg. sky-diving or rock climbing) but you enjoy going to the movies or taking walks in the park, how do you find middle ground? And not just for one night, but every night for the rest of your life?
Now that I think back on it, I didn’t write a whole lot of date night scenarios for my characters. On the other hand, I didn’t write them long enough to have regular date nights. Maybe that’s a clue for me. Perhaps I should write a sequel to something… give them some date nights.
I’ve always been more of a home body, finding more enjoyment in reading or writing, or watching a favourite movie. Except for when I was first able to, I haven’t cared much about going to night clubs or drinking. I don’t care so much about going out to all the street festivals in town but I wouldn’t mind taking in the occasional live play or musical. I love to travel, when I can afford it, and I’d love to travel with my guy. Lucky for me, my guy also enjoys most of those same things. So even when I’m doing something that’s pretty much a solitary activity, like reading, I’m still spending time with him. That’s not to say we don’t ever go out with our friends, whether together or apart, but I love being able to do what I love and have it be the same thing that he loves. And he’s also my biggest fan so he loves sitting with me while I’m writing. 😉
Anyway, what’s so wrong with wanting to spend the majority of your time with your significant other? I hear the advice so often about how you need to spend time apart from your SO, you need your own interests. You save your time together for once a week or something like that. Well, no, that wouldn’t work for me. Of course, I realize I’m only giving you my preferences. Everyone’s relationship is different and you all make your own rules for what works for you. What works for me and my SO may seem ridiculous to you, and your favorite activities might seem too wild and crazy for me.
I guess the secret is to find what works for you, be honest with yourself about it, and find someone who complements you and your personality. Anyone you’re choosing to spend your life with should be willing to give you your space or want to spend as much time as possible with you, so long as it’s what you want as well.
Well, I’m off to do some writing and see what I can get accomplished today. A reminder to anyone interested, that you can still contact me if you’d like to take part in my on-line book club.
Until next time, take care and happy reading.