Match

Liking the same breakfast cereal isn’t compatibility

Every now and then I see a profile on Tinder that perfectly matches mine.

It mirrors my likes and dislikes, and line for line appears to be  directly responding to my own profile.

It’s uncanny.

A smile will spread across my face and I will think to myself ” Did this fucker rewrite his profile to mirror mine, then superlike me?”

OK a bit arrogant, but come on. It’s too much coincidence. And I’m not the lucky kind.

A shared love of tequila and sarcasm? A dislike of drugged wildcats and sexually menacing texts? That’s not compatibility. That’s common sense. I don’t put any of my genuine interests on a Tinder profile.

I’m wary of anyone who I’ve got a lot in common with. In the age of all access information all it takes to find out what makes a person tick is a shrewd analysis of their social media.

Despite being a cynic, I am a romantic. Just not your garden variety. While other little girls dreamt of getting married, I was normally crawling around in dirt, pretending I was living in a post Apocalyptic society. Foraging for berries to survive on. Building a time machine out of twigs and paper.

My romance was never about that part of a fairy tale. I liked boys. They were fun and liked to do fun stuff. But I didn’t want to wear a bedsheet for one, not when I could be fighting a robot. I wanted the kinship. A friend. A partner in crime.

I grew up watching my parents disagree on everything, which had a profound impact on me. Their only common ground was a point of origin. They’d argue over something as arbitrary as a potato.lobster

Getting along and common ground mattered to me. A bit too much perhaps.

After watching The Lobster, I got to thinking about all the whimsical common ground that I drew on to keep relationships going. Any eclectic similarity would do. He wears glasses. He does a good Terrence Stamp impression. He too knows the disappointment of never getting a Mr Frosty.

I would let that tiny bit of common ground be the focal point that I meditated towards through every argument, disagreement and stumbling block.

Until I fucking hated Terence Stamp and Mr Frosty.

Common ground is just a foot in the door. Maybe I’ll try the window this time.

Vicious Cycle

The only person you can change is yourself

Einstein once said that the definition of madness was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

You can fall into unhealthy patterns with certain people. I always thought if I tried harder, compromised and practiced patience, things would improve.

But people show you what they’re about. Ignore what they say. Mute and watch.

You’re not supposed to call it. You’re not supposed to change. You’re meant to perpetuate the cycle.

My relationship with my parents is a vicious cycle I have often tried to escape from. The stuff that Grimm Fairy tales are made of. I’ve always been quite wary of people and their intentions as a result.

If it was still socially acceptable to dump a daughter in a forest for not agreeing with you, my dad would be all over that, and my mum would blindly second him.

Why it’s like this is a mystery to me. My parents have always seen me as a troublemaker. My mother says it’s because I was a horrible child. Always crying. Having to defend why I cried as a baby was a particular low point.

I talk a lot. I have a fiery temper. I stand up for myself. I sing in the shower.

Not everyone likes that.

I was always pleasantly surprised by people who enjoyed my company. Growing up, being me was something I was told was offensive to others. The friends with ulterior motives, cheating partners, and bullying exes were to be expected, if I believed what my dad had to say.

It was easy to leave home. But cycles aren’t broken by walking away. You find a way to continue them.

If I kept asking people who didn’t value me what I was worth, I would keep on getting the same miserable answer and feeling bad about myself. There were better people to ask.

Saner people too.

I have had nothing but time on my hands in the last few months. Time to sort out my affairs, make plans for the future and readdress relationships I have had that have been one sided, disrespectful and disloyal.

It’s made me happier, albeit a few friends lighter.

There is no winning at home. If I’m not there I’m ungrateful, if I am there I wasn’t welcome in the first place.

You can’t argue with that.

You can put on headphones on and look for jobs abroad, or somewhere else to live.

It’s nice to be supported and liked by your parents. But not necessary.

My sanity and happiness, I can’t live without.

 

Main Image courtesy of Gratis Photography.