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JR. Forasteros - Sep 30, 2012
From Series: "After Happily Ever After"
In our culture, Love is all about the build-up to the Wedding Day. But what comes next? What happens AFTER "happily ever after"?
More From "After Happily Ever After"
In our quest to find the One, to marry the right person, one of the all-time most important factors is compatibility (it’s part of that “missing puzzle piece” mindset we talked about last week). True Love, we think, is finding that person with whom we “click”, a person who either shares all our same interests or complements us in such a way that when people meet us, they think, Wow, what a great match!
Compatibility is so all-important that online dating base their entire business models on it. eHarmony promises they’ll
Help you find the most promising matches. People whose goals, values and personality traits most complement you… Which means you’ve already got a great foundation and a head start.
Other sites all have you list your likes and dislikes, favorite books and movies and more. The idea behind all of these is the same: we want to find someone who’s just like us, someone who fits us. Just like we saw last week, it’s as though I’m a half-soul looking for my other half. And if I’m dating in today’s world, I’m in luck. Because in olden days you had to rely on dumb luck. But now we can harness the power of science to find my match!
And even if you’ve never been to an online dating site, we still think that way. We want to find someone we’re compatible with. Because we think that compatibility is the soul of true love. It’s all about finding your soulmate, your One, your puzzle piece.
The big problem with the Compatibility Myth is that it doesn’t stand the test of time.
This is the story time and time again: You get married to someone who completes you. You’re deeply in love and you complement each other so well. The first year or two are pure bliss. But the longer you’re married, the stranger the other becomes. After a few years, you’re starting to wonder if you even know this other person. There’s so much about them that seems… just weird. Or maybe they’ve changed. Or maybe they didn’t change like you thought they were going to.
However it unfolds, at some point you start to wonder,
Who is this stranger I’m married to? I thought we were compatible, that they were my One, but now I’m not so sure.
I wonder if I’ve married the wrong person?
This experience – sometime between the third and tenth year of marriage feeling like you’ve married a stranger, that you’ve made a mistake – is so common we’ve given it a name – the Itch. I’ve heard it variously called the Four Year, Five Year, Seven Year, and Ten Year Itch. It’s something that nearly every marriage experiences.
Which ought to give us pause. Wonder if maybe our expectations for Marriage are broken. Does anyone actually marry the right person? Actually, no.