Friday, January 22, 2010

Matchmaker, matchmaker?

My husband and I found each other in college. I knew pretty quickly that he and I were meant for a lifetime together, and he eventually came to the same conclusion, but we both ultimately decided that we were a good couple. When I accepted our fated union, I really never expected that we would be anything but perfectly matched for one another, and I think that expectation has made all the difference.

There are days, I admit, when I question the cosmic wisdom that claims he and I are meant to be together. The days when the differences are more apparent than the similarities, I just remind myself that sometimes opposites complement each other better than if both people are exactly the same.

So, I wonder, now, after twelve years of marriage and sixteen years of being together, whether we would still be compatible enough to survive the guantlet of an online dating service. If we listed that we were single and searching and we could lie about the children who already bind us, would we have the necessary characteristics to be matched up again?

Our individual preferences and dreams likely don't entirely match up with the life that we've shaped through the years. I'm sure he'd list his passion for sports and coaching and I'd admit I do enjoy watching all kinds of sporting events. He'd brag about his handy-man skills and I think I would reluctantly admit my fear of fixing things. I plan and organize and he flies by the seat of his pants. I wonder if that would move us closer together or further apart on the matchmaking scale. I love books and writing, and he enjoys creating the musical backdrop to any mood. Does the matchmaking formula look for such complementary characteristics or is the criterion more dependent upon similarities?

We are a mixed bag and some things we share almost exactly, while other aspects of our personalities are so different, I can hardly understand how we could possibly live peacefully in the same house. He's a computer whiz, I'm an impatient user who threatens frequently to give up the computer and just buy a typewriter. He does the bills, I buy the groceries and I am apparently in charge of cleaning the house too, but some things just don't happen at all. We both avoid the laundry, but reluctantly wash clothes when we are working through piles of dirty laundry to locate our children who have become buried in the mess. I take care of health care, and I record our lives with cameras and camcorders while he works to supply financial stability for our house. Would a matchmaking service find our strengths and weaknesses as complementary as they've become? Would it have been able to predict how effectively we would fashion ourselves one around the other?

I don't know, and, as tempting as it is to see if a matchmaking service would match us up again today, I am too chicken to find out. It would be a dangerous game to play if we went out looking for our "best" match through a service that claims expertise in pairing couples. We would undoubtedly find other matches who could fit into our preferences and desires, and in all liklihood there might be a number of people who could be potential matches. It would open the door to justified questioning and could cause irreversible damage to the house we've built together.

There is no such thing as a perfect match and there are other people who would satisfy relationship desires and needs, but of course in a unique and different way than my husband does. It is hard to make the argument that it would be any better, because there are always gaps in human relationships. No matter who the two members of any given pair are, the relationship becomes an entity of its own, and the survival of that relationship is completely dependent upon the willingness of both members of the pair to give equally to the union.

I know that we've become the best possible match for the other, whether a service agreed with us or not. I guess I'll stop wondering how someone else might match us up and concentrate more on building up the match that we already have.