I didn’t sign up for this. Last November, I wrote an article about a blind date. What was to be a one-time thing has been turned into a monthly chronicle of my life. While I’m happy to put myself out there to meet new people for the sake of drawing lessons to share with our readers, I had bigger problems to worry about. How could I name this column without making it sound like personal advertising? I turned to the help of my colleagues, who were brimming with terrible ideas.
“Call it Sexless in Singapore,” one said.
“Singapore Swing!” chimed in another.
“No, no. All Aboard the Choo Choo Train. Get it?”
Cheeky, but those won’t exactly get a nod from MDA. “You could be the new Sumiko Tan, you know,” my editor said. Do I want to rant about the love of my life and how we sleep separately because he has to have air-con? No, thanks.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about this time around. I was running out of ideas and time when my good friend Heath offered to set me up. “This is Colin’s number. Text him,” he instructed. He seemed friendly over text, often ending his sentences with a ‘laughing-out-loud’ emoji. Sometimes I wasn’t sure what he was laughing at, but I thought, hey, maybe the guy’s just cheerful. I can’t fault him for that. Plus, he let me name the place and offered to make reservations. So I picked my favourite pizzeria. As the day got closer, my colleagues were more excited than I was. I just wanted pizza.
We met on a Monday night. As we powered through mushroom pizza, truffle fries and red wine, I realised how much in common we both had. He hates the idea of marathons, that you pay to run, only to risk a heart attack. Me too. He loves dogs and after-work drinks. Me too. He goes to church. Me too (well, I try). He used to play the violin. So did I. And he lives in the same neighbourhood. He also agreed with a lot of the things I said. Hmmm…
But have you wondered why we’re attracted to people very much unlike us? It would be awfully easier to be attached to someone similar in personality, likes and dislikes. But because we are drawn to others out of needs and desires that are mostly unfulfilled in our lives, having a lot of things in common does not guarantee attraction. Neither does it have to do with compatibility. Not for me, at least.
Ok, maybe a few significant similarities like basic beliefs and moral values matter, but if you’re spending your days with someone in total agreement and without differences, will the relationship start to dull? Isn’t it important to have your own interests, to share them and learn from each other? If not, can conversations ever be interesting and will you ever want to get out of your comfort zone?
Back to Colin. He was a nice guy who paid for dinner and shared a whole bunch of interests. But as they all say, opposites attract, and Colin was almost a reflection in the mirror. Tip for single men out there: the ‘mirror’ technique doesn’t work, at least not when it comes to interests, personality or clothing. Differences create opportunities to discover each other, as long as you aren’t on polar opposites. Colin was a case of too similar, too soon.
(Hannah rejected Colin’s offer for a ride home to write this story at a cafe. Because it was a Monday night and nothing was open, Hannah ended up having to find her way home.)
This story was published in the January 2017 issue of AUGUSTMAN