There’s a big difference between chemistry and compatibility, but sometimes when you’re in the throes of enjoying the chemistry, it’s difficult to see whether the compatibility is there or not, or to convince yourself it’s there when it really isn’t. In the past, I’ve certainly been guilty myself of not seeing the difference, and sometimes that has led to disaster.
I used to be the kind of person who would see red if you told me to “calm down,” and would freak out if you told me to “relax.” That was my cue to show people what upset really was, to give it to them with both barrels so that there wouldn’t be any doubt. After enough of these experiences, I started to believe that I was just too big for people, too forward, too… digital.
Some people process their emotions in an analog way. They feel just as deeply and intensely as anyone else, but they express their feelings in a more controlled, calm way. They don’t see the point in getting “worked up,” as it were. For digitally emotional people like me, however, part of the expression of emotion is the physical expression, the gestures and the body language and a lot of other things that many analog people find unpleasant. In an effort not to offend anyone and to attract as wide a range of people as possible, I tried my best to suppress my big nature, to be more analog and thus more “acceptable.”
So of course, because I was attracting from a place where I was not being true to myself, I attracted the wrong person. He was an actual analog, easygoing and emotionally reserved. So when my true nature would bubble to the surface and get too big for what he was comfortable with, he would question why.
One time we were in the car, sitting in traffic, when suddenly he asked me why I had to be so dramatic all the time. Oh, you think I’m dramatic, do you? Well then, let’s give the audience what they expect! I explained at full volume that yes, I do experience full-spectrum emotion, and no, I don’t see any need to hide it! All the while, my arms were all over the place, my eyes were rolling, and I think I may have even been spitting a little while I talked. Meanwhile, he just sate there, speechless and staring. It was definitely not the first time he’d seen a display like this, and I got the feeling he was just bored with it.
This is exactly what I mean about a situation where there’s chemistry but no compatibility. It wasn’t that I needed to try to be more analog, or that he needed to try to be more digital. It was just that I had become a magnet attracting the wrong thing, and ended up with people who were wrong for me.
So I learned a lesson from all this: that instead of “dumbing-down” my true nature in an effort to be more acceptable to a wider range of people, that it would be much more fruitful if I would just embrace who I really was, and set my magnet to attract someone who would also embrace me for being me. That way no one would have to pretend to be something they weren’t, and there would be no need for the blame game.
So I learned to love and accept my big self, to celebrate my intense and passionate nature. I decided to attract someone who wouldn’t be intimidated by this, but who would embrace me for it and love who I really am. And sure enough, when my husband arrived, there it was: the perfect fit. Whether you are laid-back or dramatic, analog or digital, or any of the stops in between, one thing remains constant: Great Relationships Begin Within!
*The magnet is the second tool in my relationship tool belt. Get a copy of Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers! at www.maryannelive.com