Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Laws of attraction

Way back in high school, I co-wrote and edited a "He Said, She Said" piece for our school paper. The topic was the age-old debate of "Opposites Attract" vs "Birds of a Feather..." I don't even recall which side I wrote for, but I do know I used to be of the "Opposites Attract" inclination, believing people tend to be drawn to others who possess qualities they lack, to balance both their weaknesses and strengths.

To a certain extent, I still think some relationships involving disparate personalities or characteristics work precisely because of the yin-and-yang dynamic, but now I'm more of the "Birds of a Feather" persuasion. Over the years I've seen too many volatile relationships combust precisely because of so-called irreconcilable differences, and in my own relationships I find that the richest ones I have are those with individuals very similar to myself. It's not even so much a shared history or a common background, but a set of like traits that contribute to a mutual understanding, which in turn leads to a mutual appreciation, and later, affection.

That being the case, it now stands to presume that I actually look for myself in the men I date, because I seriously doubt I could ever commit to a romantic relationship with someone vastly unlike me. An occasionally wise man once pointed out to me that men and women are already so different by nature that we should be looking for someone as similar to ourselves as possible to form any sort of harmonious pairing. That whole "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" bit is all too true, and it takes much work to bridge the interplanetary divide, so to speak, without having to deal with a slew of interpersonal differences. Sure, the odd surprising quirk won't hurt, and some friction can create both bad and good sparks (*ahem*), but for the most part, I would put more stock in a relationship laid on a foundation of same personalities, behavioral traits, beliefs, principles and values. After all, isn't that why they call it a "match"?

Of course this makes my prospects all the more dim and depressing. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for the good of mankind) I seem to be a rare breed of sorts: an imposingly tall Chinese-FIlipino girl from a neo-conservative family, yet is somewhat of a liberal intellectual; who'd rather earn a paltry salary teaching high school than be forever tied to the family business; who can be both a cynical, cold-hearted bitch and a sentimental closet sap; who's well-read and well-traveled; who's a grammar Nazi, frustrated writer, film buff, and incurable shoe addict/bagaholic;
who eschews Friendster and Facebook but embraces blogging and camwhoring; who loves her Star Trek and Star Wars and Broadway musicals and ice hockey and UAAP basketball; who's a dutiful daughter, protective sister, loyal friend, outspoken know-it-all, unforgiving critic, and arrogant Atenean (pardon the redundancy) all in one. To find a guy remotely similar to myself, someone who would be physically, mentally, emotionally and recreationally compatible, is a tall (pun not intended) order indeed.

In spite of the daunting and wearying search for a "bird of the same feather", I'd like to think I haven't been going about it the wrong way, looking for someone like me, when I should have been looking for someone NOT like me all along. But I could be wrong. Maybe I should reconsider that whole "Opposites Attract" thing. Or maybe I should just stop looking for Martians all together and move the search to Jupiter instead.


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