Monday, November 15, 2010

Attract and Repel

Proof that some girls could be just as self-absorbed and egocentric as most guys: When someone comes up to one of them and asks her “What’s your ideal guy like?” she’ll most probably go “My ideal man would have to dig the same music as I do.” The other might say something like “He’d definitely have to love Italian food.” Or “He should love Orlando Bloom as much as I do!” Crazy. By “ideal man” we simply mean the type of guy whom you think would make a great partner. Or the kind of guy you’d want to end up in bed with. Or the perfect guy who’d fill in the empty spaces in your life. We’re not asking about what you see in the mirror.

Of course, girls want to be understood. She’d want a guy who can get along well with her folks, who could appreciate the way she dresses, who could put up with all her crazy habits. And there’s no way he could endure if he isn’t anything like her at all. Yep, it might work for some, but in my case, it just did NOT. I learned the hard way that I can never be my ideal partner. Admittedly, I used to be one of those girls who, when asked about what my ideal guy is, would immediately think about myself first—that this guy, whoever he might be, should be totally like me in all aspects: character, tastes in music, fashion, food, books (that is if he actually reads), films, etc. I might even be lucky to find a guy who shares the same opinions as I do. It’s like finding your “mirror twin”.

I did found them once, three guys who were my mirror twins. It was crazy at first. I got all consumed by the thrill of having f*ckloads of things to do and talk about. My days passed by in a flurry of late-night phone conversations, supposed intellectual discussions over beer and pizza, heavy foot traffic in book fairs, jamming sessions, walkathons, and a lot of talking and talking. For a while, it was all I had going. But in the end, all they ever proved to be were flash-in-the-pan romances. None of them actually lasted. Why? Because at some point, we just got tired of the sameness, the monotony, the lack of variety. It just got a little too boring. When all we could talk about are the books we like, the food we like, the TV shows we like, you’d start to ask yourself, when can I ever step out of my world and explore the others? When will I discover new things and eventually grow up?

Now I say this whole thing about compatibility is crap. After meeting him, of course. He was nothing like me. We did come from the same school, took up the same course in college, we’re both the eldest in the family, and pretty much share the same disposition. But none of my interests matched his. He’s outgoing and fun-loving, I’m introverted and repulsively anti-social. He likes to play basketball, I prefer to bum around all day in front of my computer. He digs fatty American dishes, I glorify Italian and Chinese cuisine. He enjoys reading news magazines and non-fiction titles, I like reading dystopian lit and magic realism. He listens to good melodies, I dissect the lyrics. He wants to earn big sums, I prefer doing work I’m comfortable with. So obviously, we are just two different people.

But here we are, two people in love, and we really don’t care much about our differences. In fact, these differences are the things that make our relationship even more exciting. If not for him, I wouldn’t realize that going out would be fun. I wouldn’t know that burgers and steaks aren’t really that bad at all. I wouldn’t know that non-fiction reads are just as great as the novels I stock on my shelf. I wouldn’t know that it’s okay to relax to the sounds without fussing over the complexities of the lyrics. It’s like living in an altogether different universe and finding happiness in it. We have this endless stream of topics of conversation flowing between us. We do run out of things to talk about, mind you, but we could share the silence without feeling awkward. With him, differences are beautiful and not something we should argue about.

As my first-grade science teacher had said, “like poles repel and unlike poles attract”. Well, I didn’t know I’d come to appreciate science this much.

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