I have wondered for years about why I am attracted to guys who seem to be my complete opposite. The idea of me dressing in business casual clothes 90 percent of the time while going for guys with multiple tattoos and piercings, mohawks and skateboards has been a comical part of why I enjoy my life: I crave diversity and individualism.
However, through the eyes of my peers and my beloved father, sometimes appearance and status is essential, and I just don’t make sense in choosing guys.
“Relationships are about getting our own needs met, often on an unconscious basis,” Jean Lawrence wrote on WebMD.com. “In other words, we try to find someone who is complementary and contrasting to us and can help us learn, heal and grow.”
My friend once told me that if she were to compare my love life to making cookies, I could never handle the cookie cutters. I would have to complete the task freehand for it to be individual and completely imperfect.
At one point, I thought I was dating the perfect guy with the best family, awesome friends, a direct career path and a clean-cut appearance (also known as the too-good-to-be-true relationship that freaked me out). This ended in mistakes made on my part and taught me valuable lessons: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and cookie-cutter boys are not my style.
In a completely different scenario, I have been hanging around a guy who is unemployed every other week, drinks like a fish, is pierced and tattooed, and has an extremely carefree sense of living. WebMD.com described us perfectly in this case: “Stable isn’t always happy. So much depends on the willingness to be tolerant of the differences.”
In all of his details that are different from mine, I find myself so intrigued by him that I realized his outward persona is something of an illusion. We can talk for hours, intellectually or jokingly, party or be serious together, and be passionate and goofy at the same time – maybe we were not such opposites after all. He and I balance in our differences, but I could never bring him home to my father (the interesting dichotomy of my life).
So, when trying to pry yourself out of your parents’ grasp and become the person that college makes you, do not ever hesitate to give those seemingly odd ones a chance. Some of the most interesting and loving guys I’ve met were the ones my dad would coin “a mess.” Being pleasantly surprised by someone, I have learned, can be much more fulfilling and juicy than predicting perfection and receiving it.
Giavanna Ippolito can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.