When Opposites Attract
by Dani Stone
When Carrie and Chris started dating heavily, Carrie gave up her friends, extracurricular activities and going to church. Chris’s presence in her life was all she needed. Unfortunately, he did not feel the same way. Though he seemed committed to the relationship, he never proclaimed his love, but Carrie did…and often. Chris preferred to maintain the same lifestyle with few adjustments, and Carrie resented him not being as consumed with her as she was with him. She complained about him not making the same sacrifices for the sake of the relationship.
To Carrie, love meant devotion and the exclusion of outside interests. Chris felt being in a relationship should be a happy involvement. Therefore, he resisted Carrie’s attitude and the pressure she put on him to change. In his words, he valued and needed the friendship of other people as well as Carrie’s. But to Carrie, for him to have such a need was not in keeping with his commitment to her. She needed him only and other people didn’t matter. Carrie eventually left him to seek out someone who shared her opinion.
Jake is 40 and has never been married. He says, “I have never married and I doubt if I ever will. Although I have enjoyed several meaningful relationships, I have not yet felt the need to commit myself to matrimony. I have a serious concern about compromising my freedom and trying to live up to the unreasonable expectations of most women. I have never met a woman who did not expect me to do as she wanted me to. How I felt about her wishes or demands were irrelevant. Most women live and abide by the crazy notion that if we’re in like or love, we must feel and act the same way. There is no room for individuality or independent movement. Togetherness to them is the cloning of ideas, wants, aspirations and desires. I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable.”