Recently I’ve come to learn more about myself – my likes, dislikes, what I can or cannot tolerate. But then I guess that’s a part of growing up. One of the biggest changes I have noticed in myself is that I am becoming more attracted to people who are similar to me. I always thought opposites attract – at least that’s what science dictates – but is that attraction viable?
It sounds cliché but in my teens I was attracted to bad boys – or at least that’s the broad category you could slot them into. Strength, fearlessness and power seemed like qualities I aspired for in a protective and safe partner. And what many people may not realise is that these so-called ‘bad boys’ have as soft a heart as their hard shell-like exterior.
The bad boy world was alien to me. I came from a home where the law was not only followed but also dictated (my father being a magistrate and lawyer!) So call it rebellion or appeal of the unknown, bad boys were intriguing.
However, as time has gone on I’ve realised I haven’t got the patience or time for people who lack ambition or drive to make something of themselves. I no longer understand why you wouldn’t want a decent education as a solid basis for a successful career. I cannot compute why you would need to instil fear in others with aggressive behaviour and act as if the world owes you. And why you would opt for a life on benefits, drugs and crime.
Have I matured or do I just see things differently?
Instead I’ve come to realise I’m attracted to guys similar to me. Guys who want similar things in life, who have a similar attitude to life and who go about it in a similar way. So what happened to opposites attracting?
And I’m not the anomaly. In fact, many of my friends have said they’re surprised at who they have ended up with because they are very similar. It’s not been a conscious decision but they have attracted someone similar to them – be it upbringing, values, faith, personality, sense of humour, career, wealth, social circle or social status.
But when you think about it – it seems obvious (at least to me!) Why wouldn’t you want to be with someone who would understand your jokes, someone who would push you to success the way you would push them? Wouldn’t it be easier for both of you to be able to relate to each other’s backgrounds and upbringing? This is usually what defines your values, beliefs and opinions.
I know it’s a bit of a generalisation but I’m seriously questioning the notion of opposites attracting. I have no doubt they do, but I really don’t think this type of union could last. Being completely different, I think in most cases, could be a relationship doomed from the beginning.
And then there is the question of love – is love enough to maintain a relationship.
I’m going to get controversial now – I don’t believe love alone is enough. Yes, Raj, the-Hindi-film-buff-romantic-at-heart has said it – love is not everything.
For those of you who know me, you’ll know that money has never been a priority for me. I would never have chosen a career in journalism if it was! For me it’s all about satisfaction and happiness from doing things you enjoy. So trust me, I’m no gold-digger.
This was an emotive discussion at a house party I went to last week when I posed the very question. They were shocked I said what I did and it was misunderstood as me advocating money is more important.
Far from it – money is not more important than love. But it plays a significant role in life.
Love can’t feed you, money does. Love can’t put a roof over your head, money does. Love can’t pay for your children, money does.
One of the girls at this house party made a valid point and one that many people can relate to – she has all the monetary enjoyments of life – her own house, a great job, she travels, designer labels – but sitting at home every night she feels lonely. She craves a companion to share her life with.
I said I wasn’t saying wealth was more rewarding than love, but you need both. To what extent you need them depends on you as an individual. Of course you could be billionaires and have a loveless marriage. In fact mental health problems and suicide are so rife in the celebrity world because so many people are surrounded by wealth but are paupers when it comes to love. Likewise, your love would be strained if one of you refused to pull your weight and left the pressure on the other to provide everything.
So conversely – money can’t give you happiness, love does. Money can’t give you companionship, love does. Money can’t give you a reason to live, love does.
One of the guys made another great point – money doesn’t matter, you have to be confident and happy with yourself to then have a happy relationship. I get that – if you’re not happy within, you can’t be happy with other areas of your life.
And maybe that sums up what I was trying to say – love isn’t everything, nor are material things – but if you’re happy within (depending on your individual expectations of love and material things), you’re likely to have a happy relationship.
So to sum up my random trail of thought – opposites may attract but being so different can make it difficult to spend a lifetime with that person. You need some common denominators to make the formula work – and wealth/material things fall into this. If you’re used to a certain way of living or expect certain outcomes in life, you both have to be on a level playing field to achieve this and avoid resentment or frustration towards each other.