So You’re Single!
You’ve probably heard this old joke:
When a woman asks a man what he does, he says he’s just gotten
out of prison for killing his wife. So, she says, you’re
You can tell a great deal about people
by paying attention to the jokes they tell. In our society,
relationships - and all the ways they can go wrong - are a ready
source of humor. Think of some disastrous way that someone can
be disappointed while attempting to bond and you’re sure to get
a big laugh. Realizing how important a good relationship is, the
big laugh registers relief. It was somebody else who slipped on
the banana peel.
So why is it that it’s so hard to
find Mr/Ms Right and not have to settle for a Mr/Ms Might Do?
The benefits would seem to be obvious in a society that
considers Solitary Confinement a form of punishment. And that’s
probably the answer. The fear of being alone makes even a
questionable union seem appealing. Not only that, individuals in
relationships have been found to live longer, healthier and
presumably happier lives. So how do you know when you’re on the
right track in your search for a significant other. There are
two major clues - Chemistry and Compatibility.
Chemistry is an emotional feeling of
comfort and joy experienced when you’re in his/her presence and
just the opposite when you’re not. Time flies when you’re
together and drags unbearably when you’re apart. Interestingly
enough, your body produces a hormone - called Oxytocin - that
creates the same sense of ecstasy a new mother feels when she
first lays eyes on her new baby.
Compatibility is a logical sense of
being synchronized. You have the same opinions and the same
values. Often you meet as members of a special interest group
such as a church, a club, a hobby or a sporting event. You’re
delighted to find someone so rational. You agree on almost
everything. You think alike and even finish each other’s
But there’s a problem - and it’s a big
one - if you only have one of the two.
Have just Chemistry and you find
yourself in a relationship that’s too hot not to cool down. Give
it time, sometimes a year and sometimes just a night, and you
find yourself wondering: Who is this person? What did you ever
see in him/her? It was all physical and now you’re into friction
Have just Compatibility and after giving
it some time you find that being alike is a lot like being
alone. If you can finish each other’s sentences, why bother to
start a conversation? It was all too mental and now you’re into
a dull, boring relationship with each of you retiring to your
closed-off, private space.
Look At It This Way
While there’s a long standing tradition
of regarding love as a mysterious phenomenon that you fall into
or out of, it should be no more unfathomable than a job
interview. To check for Chemistry, make a list of your five
senses and then, taking each in turn, consider all the ways in
which your “job applicant” fills the bill. In how many ways, for
example does he/she delight your sense of sight, sound, etc.
Then make another list for Compatibility. On how many thoughts
do you agree, how many views do you share and how many
activities do you enjoy equally.
If you can quickly fill both lists with many entries then,
as Rick said to Captain Renault: “I think this could be the
beginning of a beautiful friendship.”