I found this article (‘How we end up marrying the wrong people‘) interesting. It’s about how easy it is to get involved with the wrong people.
Plus, what do you think Charles and Diana have just been fighting about? She looks pretty pissed, and he looks like he’s already offered a thousand apologies!
I liked the idea that we’re all unbalanced, neurotic and mad in specific ways. The issue then becomes one of finding someone who can accommodate our particular insanities: “A good partnership is not so much one between two healthy people (there aren’t many of these on the planet), it’s one between two demented people who have had the skill or luck to find a non-threatening conscious accommodation between their relative insanities.”
This is all true, but I found the notion depressing. It all seemed like so much hard work. First, one has to work out exactly how one is insane. As the article points out, your friends won’t tell you, because they don’t care. If you live mostly on your own, then you’re not rubbing up against people and so, like cats, you remain blissfully unaware of your imperfections. Finding out one’s own brand of insanity is often time-consuming, expensive (assuming you’re going for therapy) and painful (assuming you’re gaining self-knowledge through multiple, dysfunctional relationships).
Then, once you have some understanding, you have to go and work out, psychologically, how someone else works. That’s hard to find out and takes a long time. Even after a lengthy relationship, we can still be surprised by how others behave, think or feel.
Lastly, and call me childish, I quite liked these criteria for determining rightness (they also come from the article and are seen as ‘romantic’ rather than ‘psychological’):
– one can’t stop thinking of a lover
– one is sexually obsessed
– one thinks they are amazing
– one longs to talk to them all the time
I’ve never thought of myself as romantic, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I don’t know myself after all.