Oct 042010
 
Authors: Anna Baldwin and Eugene Daniels

Partner needs to share values

By Anna Baldwin

One of the mental pictures I get when I visualize relationships is of a crowd dancing, maybe at a concert. In the middle of this crowd is one couple where one person is swaying with the music, and the other person is standing there bored.

This image comes to mind because it’s a fear of mine that I won’t find a partner that enjoys the same things that are so important and enjoyable to me. I have this fear that I’ll be forever dragging my other half to events, and then neither of us will have a good time, as I will feel guilty that I made him go with me.

Wow, and now you must think that I’ve never had a good relationship. No comment.

The truth is, in reality relationships are about getting your own needs met in all various aspects, and so it’s important to find someone complementary to you. Someone who likes doing most of the same things.

Life cannot be enjoyed if you are feeling guilty about dragging your partner to yet another museum, play or concert­. Sometimes, though, it is about compromise and you’ll have to do something you may not care for, for the sake of love. But this shouldn’t be the norm.

Opposites don’t attract in the sense of enjoyed activities or important interests and values. If one half of a partnership is passionate about something, it’s important for this passion to be fueled in a positive way, preferably with another person.

For example, my passion is skiing. So, for you men out there: don’t be offended if I ask you if you ski before I actually say hi or introduce myself, and then walk away if you say you don’t.

And it’s about having the right similarities. You like dogs and he doesn’t? Okay, that can be dealt with. You are passionate about living green and biking, and he isn’t? This is maybe a deal breaker.

At the same time, not every little stupid thing must be shared with a partner. You don’t have to like to hunt or watch football (I know I don’t), but you decide how much you want to have in common with your love. Some space is necessary, although I maintain that important passions or interests need to be shared.

Let’s talk about values and beliefs in relationships. This is a no-brainer. These are important issues that must be shared with a partner.

The good thing is that relationships have room for growth and learning.

Relationships based on opposites lack foundation

By Eugene Daniels

Everyone wants to be wanted by somebody. And more often than not, we go out into the world for the yin to our yang. Our better half. A person who is completely different than ourselves. Our opposite.

We do this because we think that opposites attract, a negative neutron connecting with a positive proton (or something like that; I don’t teach science).

Marrying your opposite is something that goes back generations. Our parents tried the same thing. Go out and find someone who does things you don’t want to do. Someone who you can learn from.

That’s probably why their generation has a 50 percent divorce rate. Just saying.

Now do I believe that opposites attract? Yes, but only if the relationship is going to be short term, usually six months and for some: one night.

It doesn’t work for the long haul because there is no foundation. Take a house. If it was built on an unstable foundation, it will not last. As soon as a big storm comes around, that whole house is going to end up in Oz somewhere.

Obviously, I’m talking in generalities here, but how many people can truly say they found someone who was completely different than them, married them and are happy with children and dogs and parakeets? Don’t worry, I’ll wait… didn’t think so.

It doesn’t happen very often because of the foundation idea. I’m not saying you have to marry your clone (which you can’t do anyway because it is illegal to clone and probably to marry yourself too), but certain things have to be similar for it to work.

Things like morals, the way you were brought up and religion. The big ones. Stupid things like race and age and car type shouldn’t matter when choosing a partner.

Because when the tough gets going and the high heels start flying at your face guys, there has to be something that roots the two of you together, otherwise the relationship will disappear quicker than John McCain after the presidential election. (But seriously, has anyone seen him?)

Something is going to have to tether you to that other person or Kaboom. It will go down into Relationship Hell and no one wants to be there. Nothing fun ever happens there. It’s a lot of lonely people. Not that I would know or anything …

Also, what is with everyone looking for someone to yin their yang? That is not what a relationship is about. It is about the two people coming together and becoming enhanced versions of themselves.

Not having to change something to suit someone else because you two are already so different (on the important things). It should be like a puzzle, not like something that doesn’t really fit so you have to force it.

Anna Baldwin is a senior journalism major, and Eugene Daniels is a junior journalism major. “Mars vs. Venus” appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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