Are you looking for a mirror image in a mate?

When we look for someone to date or have a relationship with, we unconsciously have certain parameters. It may be good height, attractive to look at, a good physique or a voluptuous body. These, of course, are superficial. Sometimes we may look for certain qualities. They may be qualities that we hold in high esteem, like integrity, intelligence, wit.

We may even be drawn to someone because of certain interests they have, which make them more attractive to us. An accomplished musician for example, may draw many admirers by virtue of his talent. But are you one of those people who consciously or unconsciously look for someone similar to you?

Do you find yourself looking for a girl who is identical to you in every respect? Maybe you love sports and are athletically inclined, have an affinity for classical music and are a lover of the arts. Are you always on the lookout for a girl who has all the same likes? When there is an initial attraction to someone but you figure out that she doesn’t share the same interests as you, although she may still have some very positive qualities, do you unconsciously withdraw disappointed because you are looking for someone who is your mirror image?Why is this so?

Is it that you are afraid that if you find someone different from you, it will be totally incompatible? Rest assured that is not completely true. Of course you’ve heard of 'Opposites attract', but you also don’t buy that theory. Or you think that initially they attract, but once they discover more about each other, discord sets in. According to you, it is best if two people base a relationship on similarities rather than having nothing much in common.

But that is taking a very narrow view of things. By doing so, you are closing yourself off from many interesting possibilities. A person who is different from you or who has qualities, interests or pursuits separate from your's, may just enrich your life. Ever thought about that?

For instance, Mike, a finance executive, hated traveling, partying and shopping. Lisa, a self-professed wild child, was a regular on the party circuit and adored the thrill of exploring new places. The first time Mike met her, he actually took a step back. He never thought he’d have anything in common with her. And he didn’t. But what he found engaging was the interest she had in anything new, and despite himself, he got drawn into a conversation with her. And was pleased to discover she was fascinated when he got passionate about baseball. She’d never been to a baseball game in her life and he found he was excited to take her. He enjoyed it like never before, caught up in her enthusiasm and in explaining the intricacies of the game to her. He says, "At the end of it, she was hooked on to baseball and I got hooked on her."

Therein lies the crux of the issue. If you just open yourself up to the joy of discovering another person, however unlike each other you are, you will surprise yourself. Someone who is on the lookout for a partner similar in every possible way loses out on so many interesting combinations. And then may bemoan their single status, not realizing the impossible standards they are setting and how they are losing out due to this. Finding someone dissimilar can enrich our lives with newer experiences if we're receptive.

Think about it. In confining yourself to finding someone who is your mirror image, you may be denying yourself the privilege of meeting someone who will enhance your life. And if you give it half a chance, and spend time truly getting to know the person, you might even discover new shades to your own personality that may catch you completely off-guard. Sometimes, there are things about a partner that compliment what you lack, and together, make you a better team. If you are both artistic and creative personalities, but neither of you likes getting into the mundane or nitty-gritty details of life, like budgeting and managing finances, there will eventually be a problem.

The person who looks for a mirror image in a mate may delude himself into believing that by finding someone who is a replica of his strengths, interests and dislikes, he is making his life easier. There will be less of a problem adapting to each other, and more to talk about, what with sharing similar interests. But that didn’t work in the case of Jake and Nina.

Jake, a budding playwright, thought he had found his soul mate in Nina. She was a scriptwriter and the sparks flew instantly. They loved discussing their thoughts and ideas and were happy to jump into a relationship together. But when it came to making it work, things began to come unglued. With both requiring an atmosphere conducive to creativity, if Jake decided to take a break after being satisfied with the way a scene had shaped up, and playfully interrupted Nina, she would accuse him of sabotaging her creative time. And when Nina’s work began to get appreciated and she started tasting success, it didn’t augur well with Jake, who started feeling insecure and felt left out. It didn’t take very long for them to realize that things weren’t working out for them.

In looking for a soul mate, don’t make the mistake of trying to find a mirror image. It often pays to find someone who shares certain basic values and maybe, even priorities. You could also be looking for a couple of qualities that you will not compromise on, like fidelity and trustworthiness. Apart from that, it helps not to have any fixed ideas or unrealistic expectations when it comes to finding someone to love and be loved by. If you do, you will be closing the door to a lifetime of wonderful discoveries.