Sunday, May 7

Compromise And Compatibility

So the theory is that us singletons have to make compromises in our search for a husband or wife. This I have no quarrel with, and from what I've seen and heard most on the prowl are perfectly prepared to do so. However there does come a point where one is compromising on too many small things or maybe even on just one big importance, and it's then that they might decide that a person isn't quite right for them. Not that this implies that anyone is a bad person of course, even though some of our parents insist that this must be our opinion if we ever say no. But I digress.

Amongst the many things not to compromise on, compatibility seems to be the one shared by more than a fair few. But compatibility isn't really something easily definable; there is no tickbox or dropdown for it, so how do we know when we're missing it? Well generally it's just based on the impression or feeling one gets. How wishy-washy.

So it's kind of instinctive and intangible then? Perhaps. Say you walked into a party or gathering where you had the chance to meet some new people. On leaving you'll pretty much know who you would like to see again and who you would not. Sometimes, you can nail exactly why that is ("'cos they smell" or "'cos they found me funny" or in some extreme cases "'cos they're frickin' hot"). And at others you just can't qualify it.

I think when declining a person for marriage due to a lack of compatibility one tends to fall into the latter situation. A potential rishta can be great as a person and in some cases even a friend, but just not work out as anything more. Not because they smell or anything, but more because you (possibly both of you) just know it wouldn't work out; despite possibly being perfect for each other on paper. And like at the party above, you may be able to make it through an evening in their company, but a whole lifetime may just be pushing it a little.

Yes, this may just be more Western romantic teen drama rubbish. After all, it is just a variation on the everlasting chemistry versus objective love debate. The thing is, if something doesn't feel sustainable should the reasons behind that need to be good or qualified or well defined? I'm just not sure it matters much by that point.

EDIT: To be clear, it's not quite the conventional notion of chemistry that I'm talking about here. Especially since I'm of the opinion that chemistry isn't all that important in a relationship. No, the compatibility I'm talking about is perhaps something slightly more recognisable than that and considers things like not having the same general view on life or compatible religious attitudes or the same priorities and tolerances or not being able to stand each other's friends and families or even either of you having that funny smell.

Stuff like that; fuzzy yet definable (if you have enough paper to write it all down, that is). The corollary is that previous generations also looked for compatibility, albeit one that was made up of different things that were important at the time. I was also suggesting how we don't need to consciously keep track of these things to decide if someone is compatible, since we can easily determine that by asking ourselves the question: "do you like them?".

And I guess chemistry and gut feelings can contribute to compatibility if it's important to the individual, but it doesn't have to be. And of course you can totally have chemistry with someone you're not compatible with. You know, like the way a lot of Pa==Asian men do with Cheryl Tweedy.


  1. >>this may just be more Western romantic teen drama rubbish.

    [nods head]...!

  2. I dont think you can really explain the 'you just know' feeling. I think everybody is in their perfect right to feel that way, despite effort to make sense of it all. It's not exactly something people want to understand, even more so when they are on a mission to get you hooked up with a nice pakistani!