I’m struggling. I am struggling with dating and the arguable concept that opposites attract.
I mean, mostly I’m just struggling with dating period because I honestly didn’t think I’d be back at it again at this stage of my life. Seriously, the last time I fell in love I reckoned Excellent – this is The Last Love Of My Life.
I even wrote a song (available here – http://www.vickievandyke.com/samples/music-samples/) with that title. This was of course after I had written an earlier ditty – The Love Of My Life (also available on my website). Yep, in that gossamer glow of “Where have you been all my life?” love, I thought yeah, we only get one – and thank goodness he finally showed up.
For awhile. And then he was gone.
But I am a hopeless yet pragmatic romantic so, when that first little affair didn’t go the distance, I bumped my “Love-of-Life” quotient to two. You know, because “If you build it, they will come”. And baby, when #2 showed up I really was feeling the love.
Until he was gone too. Yeah, the last love of my life turned out to be, well, someone I love. Just not forever in that way. And if that’s it – if that’s truly all I get – shoot me now.
However, my inner pragmatism has prevailed and if you consult one of my earlier blogs, you’ll see that I now think we get a million. Maybe a billion. Loves of our lives, that is.
Is that just wishful thinking on my part?
Regardless … veteran soul-searcher that I am, I look back on all my loves and I think hmmm – what actually works best? Lots of commonalities or lots of differences? Do opposites really attract or are we best to stick with our own kind?
I dunno. Because I’ve tried it both ways and both worked some and neither worked some. I’ve been soul-mated with another fragile, tortured poet and I’ve married a practical, get-it-done provider. I’ve shared tofu with a non-drinking vegetarian and I’ve gnawed on bones with a wine-swilling drunk. I’ve contemplated a gypsy existence with Peter Pan himself and I’ve lived the Pepsi commercial life with the “greatest guy on earth”. And I still have no idea what I want or need.
Perhaps this is because I have no idea who I am? This is exactly what some of my girlfriends say. They counsel me to spend time alone and learn to love myself. Fine. Except (all humility aside) I already think I’m all that and a bag of chips. I mean really, at my age, exactly how much alone-time do I need? So, counter I, maybe I know exactly who I am and who I am is a combination of all of the above and if Prince Charming would just flipping-well show up and be all those things, I could finally throw away all my other shoes and just wear that fucking glass slipper.
Okay. We all know that’s not gonna happen. First of all, I’m too old for a prince and secondly I’m clumsy. Wine glasses don’t even stand a chance in my house. What are the odds a glass slipper would survive?
So here I go, dating again. And I meet a man who is very similar to me on most counts. Free-spirited, outside the box, creative, youthful.
Ho-hum. I’m bored.
I meet another man. Communicative, adventuresome, free-spirited, outside the box, creative, youthful.
Ho-hum. I’m bored.
I meet a third man. Ridiculously intelligent, accomplished, communicative, youthful, a whole lot more inside-the-box (except for when he isn’t) and a little emotionally unavailable. Okay, maybe a lot emotionally unavailable. I’m not sure yet.
But I can tell you right now we are not effortlessly simpatico. We have a connection which is undeniably unique. We are fully capable of engaging intellectually and physically. I can listen to him talk about his work ad infinitum and find it fascinating. And this is where I should admit that his work is highly left brain , and I pretty much lost contact with my left brain around Grade 10 when I decided that dissecting a frog could in no way factor into my quest to become the next Carole King.
And yet when he talks, I listen. And sometimes I even ask questions which he is thankfully delighted to answer, mercifully without a hint of patronization. Because damnit it if he patronized me even for a second I swear I’d hit him over the head with my baby grand.
He has also been known to veer off his own straight-and-narrow to ask me a question or two about my music and writing. And then he actually seems interested in my response, in that “Holy Crap, you really are from another planet kind of way.”
And the kicker is we can engage physically because, well … I’m not really sure why. Just because we do. And it works.
But what scares me is that elusive emotional availability. Because it’s already pretty clear to me that emotionally we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I am an open book, heart-on-my-sleeve girl. I can’t play it any other way, nor do I want to.
I iz what I iz.
But then again, so is he. And I’m wondering how much room there truly is for evolution (see my previous blog)?
And so, dear readers, I return (I know – it’s been a highly circuitous route) to my original question: do opposites really attract? Because as Tevye so eloquently stated in “Fiddler On The Roof” – A fish may love a bird, but where would they live?
Or is it all just wishful-thinking, take-on-a-project, maybe I-can-change-you bullshit?
I hope not.
Because I don’t want to change (but I will evolve!) and I don’t want anyone to change for me (it never lasts anyway so what’s the point?). I want to embrace what makes us different, revel in what makes us fit, enjoy what makes us unique and look forward to what might eventually make us … us.
I want to abandon preconceived notions of what works and what doesn’t and make every effort to enjoy the ride. And if “opposites attracting” is just some lame fodder for chick-flicks, so be it. Lesson learned and off we’ll ride into opposite sunsets.
I know, I know. Even this right-brained dope knows there can be no such thing as opposite sunsets.
But … if the desire to be attracted, and open, and to delight in discovery and new and different … if that desire propels us to a new level of honest relationship (you know, boldly go where no man has gone before!) well … the struggle may well be worth it.
And opposites just might not be so opposite after all.