Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Problem of Constitutional Incompatibility

Opposites attract, but that doesn’t mean they stay together.

I spent several years with someone who, in many ways, was the mathematical opposite of me. Different attitude, different lifestyle, different goals, different everything. Which, admittedly, was kind of endearing at first. Our personalities seem to compliment each other nicely.

But as we got more serious, and as my friends started dropping more hints, I learned that what we lacked was a commonality of constitution. We might have listened to the same music, but there was still no overlap in value system. We might have enjoyed the same restaurants, but there was still no sublime connection.

When the time came to plan our future together, I knew there was something missing. I knew I couldn’t make her just like me, no matter how books I read. And I knew that if I didn’t make a move soon, cognitive dissonance would stick me into a corner that would be agonizing to escape.

So I ended it. Abruptly. As honestly, kindly and clearly as I could. And it wasn’t the smoothest breakup in the world, but it certainly wasn’t the bloodiest. I’ve seen worse.

About a year later, once the minefield had cleared, once I’d siphoned all the regret and pain and guilt out of my system, I made a decision.

Life’s too short to spend with someone who’s constitutionally incompatible.