According to Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin yang depicts the strong attraction and complementary nature of opposites within a greater whole. Having lived in Asia for two years, I am enamored by Eastern philosophy and culture. Although intriguing, the practicality and success of me dating a Jewish Costa Rican photographer who likes roughing it, sleeping in beach tents, and has a flies- by-the-seat-of-his-pants lifestyle is unlikely. I adhere to my philosophy that although opposites may be exciting, similar people with similar goals and lifestyles stay together. Whether it be couples who enjoy exercise and savoring the outdoors verses homebodies; Four Seasons verses roughing it; and the like. Perhaps there is a middle ground too. Having a similar lifestyles and interests, but different temperament styles may help achieve the needed yin-yang balance in a relationship and can be helpful in identifying the perfect compatible partner. #47 New York Philharmonic in Central Park under the Stars. Okay, NYC specific this week though I’m sure similiar events exist throughout the nation – get some culture while under the stars in Central Park listening to the NYC Philharmonic with thousands of other young professionals presents a “meet-cute” opportunity to light a spark especially when followed by fireworks. See you there.
Several years ago, Partner Steve at my law firm inquired about the current status of my latest relationship. My response, cautiously optimistic, “Well, I’m reserving judgment and waiting for the Four Seasons”. Steve ridiculed, “What, the Ritz isn’t good enough??…” At the time, I held steadfast to my “Four Seasons” Theory, explaining how I felt it was important to see your (potential) life partner in different scenarios over time…winter, summer, holidays, weddings, funerals, etc., to get a complete picture of compatibility. Steve’s response: “GET OVER IT.” Steve’s point resonates with me today, more and more.
Last month two friends contacted me to announce their separate engagements. My first response, “Mazel Tov” and secondly, “To Whom??” Both couples in their late thirties had dated their fiancé’s less than 4 months before becoming engaged. Holy maracas?!?! Reflecting upon Steve’s advice and talking with my newly-engaged friends, I concluded their decision was not so crazy after all. By the time you are in your mid-thirties hopefully you have had more than enough dating and relationship experience to have the knowledge and self awareness of your desires and needs in a partner. As hopeless of a romantic as I am, I’m convinced the majority of relationships that succeed is largely due to the critical component of timing (there will always be someone more attractive or more compatible). But two individuals who “truly” are over being singletons and are ready to be part of a couple, that is a requisite. Once the proverbial green light is on, then the challenge is simply finding someone you are mentally, emotionally and physically attracted to who has similar visions, goals and compatible values. Easy enough, right???
With timing, experience and knowledge in hand, I’m no longer convinced that the Four Seasons Theory is the best determinant of a successful relationship. As Billy Crystal so eloquently stated, “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”. Granted they were friends for awhile before – that is a whole different topic, but the point remains the same.