Well if anyone knows me, even vaguely, they will know I like a good book, and especially if it has some sort of psychology or philosophical edge to it.
Enter ‘Why You Will Marry The Wrong Person’ (clearly social media ad targeting working like a dream, as I bought it straight away.)
I’m 34 now, and I kind of thought I’d be married by now. Perhaps even with my soul searching and massive deep diving into who I am over the last year hasn’t wielded any answers to this.
Anyway, it’s a small book (68 pages), with 3 essays;
i: Why you will marry the wrong person
ii: When is one ready to get married?
iii: How love stories ruin our lives
So I wanted to just highlight some quotes that spoke to me as I read through. And yes I am the kind of monster that underlines passages and folds pages in books.
i: Why you will marry the wrong person
A good partnership is one between two demented people who have the skill or luck to find a non-threatening accommodation between their relative insanities
Another way of saying find someone whose demons play well with yours.
What would my demons/insanities be if I were to be really honest?
For one, I am incredibly guarded, it took one of my friends 3 months of living with me every day to get through to the real me. I went from me being the overly polite and reserved English woman to dancing to Taylor Swift in our pyjamas in the kitchen. It takes a long time for me to fully trust people but when I do it’s a totally different side. Imagine if you have done something that would make me distrustful of you, how long it would take for me to fully let my guard down?
Secondly, I have created a lot of rules in my head on how people should behave, and when they don’t I get annoyed, that is crazy I know, and it’s something I am largely working on to let go, as I know it’s not particularly healthy.
Thirdly, I am pretty much all or nothing, there is no in between. If something or someone doesn’t spark an internal fire, it’s not happening. That also goes for my temper too, although very few have had the pleasure. This is a demon I am not sorry for either by the way, you’ll have to like it or lump it.
Whenever more casual relationships threaten to reveal the ‘difficult’ side of our natures, we tend to blame the partner- and call it day.
I actually think, I am quite an accepting person, so for me this highlighted how I have felt with some of my more recent attempts at a relationship..
One guy who I dated for 3 months a few years ago (we no longer follow each other on social so he won’t be reading this anyway) ended it by saying;
– You don’t ask me enough questions, I don’t feel you are interested in my life
– I wanted more oomph from you
– You not liking me dabbling in class A drugs is a red flag (this was my favourite line- OK I am being facetious now)
This led me to having a bit of an identity crisis, and all my friends being confused how anyone could say I wasn’t interested in anyone’s life. It also turns out I was having a burn out at the time, hence no “oomph”.
The point being, the feedback totally confused me, it was only when I sat back and thought about the fact he didn’t know which high school I went to, what my favourite colour was, or even the time when I received a pay-rise and he barely battered an eyelid let alone congratulated me, that I came to realise he was projecting his faults onto me. Do not fall into this trap!
We ‘project’ a range of perfections onto the beloved on the basis of only a little evidence.
For some reason this happens to me a lot. People create this grand illusion of me, which I can never fulfil, and then they get disappointed.
Whereas I am always quite honest from the get go that I am not perfect, although I suspect they then think this means I am not confident. Not the case, just trying to be realistic.
I always try to see the person as they are, because life is not perfect, and I want it all, not just the passion *wink wink nudge nudge*, but the arguments, the boring moments of peeling spuds for dinner, and the quiet moments of reading together. That for me is a much deeper love.
We may reject certain healthy candidates whom we encounter, not because they are wrong, but precisely because they are too well-balanced (too mature, too understanding, too reliable)
I am sure my mum has plenty to say on this matter ;).
I just think perhaps sometimes we think to love is to suffer, or that it should be tempestuous.
Perhaps we see stable or reliable people as boring, or that it will be boring, however I think being reliable is an incredibly noble trait, to have someone who is there for you even when they have their own issues. It seems to be fast diminishing trait in the 21st century where it seems to be more celebrated to be selfish.
ii. When is one ready to get married?
No one else would be better. Everyone is as bad. We are a flawed species. Whomever one got together with would be radically imperfect in a host of deeply serious ways.
Essentially the grass is not greener, and I have never believed it is.
I always thought how much better a relationship would be if you actively chose the same person every day, if you offered them the same energy and time you spend on soliciting attention from 1, 5, 10, 15 other people on social media/whatsapp/smoke signals. That’s why relationships and marriages worked 25-30 years ago and they don’t now.
And of course, everyone has imperfections but I think shifting your mindset to focus on their positives would yield a result you perhaps have never seen before.
Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate difference that is the true marker of the ‘right’ person.
My opinion on this (as is this whole post, let’s be honest) is that it seems that most people think you need to share the same interests, hobbies, etc, but that should not be the be all and end all, it doesn’t matter if we are both quite different, it’s having a respect, and acceptance of those differences that will make it work.
It’s similar to the political spectrum at the moment, where it seems if you have a different opinion you can’t be friends, strength is in knowing all points of view, and it is the same with relationships.
iii. How love stories ruin our lives
The narrative arts of the Romantic novel have unwittingly constructed a devilish template of expectations of what relationships are supposed to be like – in light of which our own love lives often look grievously and deeply unsatisfying.
I won’t go into too much on this one, as this chapter compares a lot between classic and romantic literature.
But some of the stand out points are how work can really take a toll on yourself and the relationship, which you will actively have to work through.
That marriage is an institution and you both have to do the ‘admin’ to make it work smoothly, the word compromise is a good one.
And that we will never fully understand the other person, but that’s OK.