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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Heaven's Choice

In a candid discussion with one of my friends, this topic came up, as whom should you choose as your life partner?Some one who is very similar to you or someone who is dissimilar to you?
While it so emerged from our discussion that both of us are kind of skewed towards two opposite ends of the spectrum, the topic didn't phase out from my mind in the following days.
Broadening the topic, this seems to be existing in case of all relationships, basically the question is whom do you choose to be a part of your life?By part of your life, it may mean friends, life partner(s) or , for that matter anyone for whom you have the leeway of choosing( hence blood relations are out of scope).

Going into any kind of relation requires a certain degree of change in your own life. Be it lifestyle, food , work, sleep, entertainment or other bigger things as ideology .
Change is something we all yearn for and yet sometimes are so reluctant to. We choose our jobs that give us a reasonable degree of change, we choose our academics that enables us to learn new things.
When it comes to people and relationships, you may accept the change because of primarily 5 reasons.

1.The person is very similar to you, hence change is minimal.
2.The person is quite different, a considerable change might be needed,but then you are in love, and just accept the change.
3. The person is quite different, change is required, but acceptance of the change ensures bigger profits, primarily materialistic profits
4.The person is quite different, change is required, but acceptance of change is the best option in the situation you are into.
5. The person is quite different, and you are very confident that you can change the person.

Similarity, of-course has multiple dimensions, social, economical, educational, professional,ideological, sexual, and many more.Let's look at some of the use cases in each scenario.

So when a person is very similar to you, he or she  and (you) don't need to change much. He comes from a similar background, shares similar perspective towards life .Dealing with him becomes easy.And most importantly, he doesn't do stuff because he loves you, but its just innate to him.This model , on the face of it seems to be more reliable, stable.It seems to be sustainable in the long run.It ensures that you are not coercing someone to change and hence he remains in his comfort zone, you, in yours.
One of the reasons why same caste, religion marriage ensued in society , apart from ensuring that the total net worth of the community remains within the community, was this. It is a harmonized solution that ensures not only stability within the couple but also among their relatives.

On the other hand, if you are dissimilar, things are different.So if someone is doing something for you, it is because he had taken the onus to change and make you happy.There is a remarkably greater degree of passion involved or hormones , you name it!This model, does ensure that you are able to learn from each other.It also compels you to go beyond your own comfort zone and change for the other person.And hence somewhere the bond gets stronger.But having said that, this is a highly unstable model, as people will burn out soon, tired of changing and satisfying others needs.

While the above correspond to #1 and #2 and resemble a more utopic scenario, #3 ,#4 are more practical .You may "ideally" want a healthy mix of #1 and #2 , but knowingly or unknowingly you will end up somewhere in the zone of #3 or #4.

By my own choice I would not want a #3, as this implies strictly materialistic profits creeping in..like say you get married to a person , and your father in law is a real whose who in your field and you have the intention of fully monetizing this!

I would say #4 is the most common and most normal thing happening. You may simply like or dislike a person or a thing based on the situation and make the calculations to maximize your returns(be it mental peace, happiness, or anything else but strictly intangible(we covered tangible benefits in #3)).And parting situational behavior with raw preference is really impossible.How would you or can you say that you would have loved the same person if you were in a different set up or at a different point of time in your same life? Our preferences change and there is no reason to believe that what/whom we choose today would have been same 10 years back or 10 years down the line.

As far as #5 is concerned, there are a bunch of overconfident people, who themselves are reluctant and stubborn enough not to change, but yes , they are forceful to ensure that others change. Dealing with such people is very difficult if you are in love with yourself and your individuality.You might feel claustrophobic with this lot, and if you want to be "you" these people should be avoided.
While we all have our optimal mix of similarity and dissimilarity , and most of us belong to somewhere in between range, what matters to me most is, whatever be the reason of choosing a person, once chosen, we should be able to say, that we did the right choice and would want that person to be a part of our life for a long time , unless something drastic happens.So decision followed by overall acceptance.People change , situations change, but there should remain some stability and coherence to deal with the choices we have made.After all when individual becomes more important than the incentive he or she yields, it is then we meet life!

Whats your pick??

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