I'm the laid back one, chill and relaxed. With age, I've learnt to accord things and situations the necessary seriousness, but most times, I'm happy to go with the flow. Atala on the other hand is more 'do-things-according-to-plan-and-schedule type. I do not see our personality types as opposites, but as complimentary to each other. Still, we've had some adjustments to make. February will be our third marriage anniversary, and Atala and I keep discovering each other and working on a balanced relationship.
This was echoed in an interview by author Dicey Grenor in Woman's Essence Magazine. When asked what attributes she thought a lady should look for in a husband, she replied,
... it depends on the woman. She needs to look for attributes that complement her own. If she’s the passive, laid-back type that needs a take-charge Alpha male, she should look for that. If she’s a Type A, in-your-face, no-nonsense woman, she probably should look for someone who is not. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have commonalities. If she hates sports, she probably shouldn’t pair up with an athlete. Two movie lovers would probably be in heaven together. Complementary attributes bring balance to one’s life. Commonalities bring fulfillment.I believe her answer is totally on point. During the last episode of Private Practice, one of the major themes was that love isn't always enough, and that sometimes, life deals love a TKO. Pete and Violet are separating, Addison and Sam's relationship is on shaky grounds. Sheldon cares for Amelia but it's not reciprocal, and so on. You just have to look around to see several relationships where love comes out the loser because the two people involved are not on the same page.
As much of a romantic as I am, I do agree that love needs some work if a couple is to match themselves as partners and teammates. For instance, Atala's organizational skills help us to remain on point with our finances and various schedules, and my more chilled outlook keeps up the fun and spontaneity. But there's something else I like which I think is also necessary, we can switch it up. Like when he gave me the birthday surprise, or when I'm the one driving some of our responsibilities.
I don't put much stock in talk of gender differences or roles, I'm more about knowing who you are as an individual. And then as a couple with your SO, you find out what works for you, with mutual respect. This makes you appreciate that a different perspective from the other person in a relationship is not a gender war, or a call to battle, it could be just another aspect of their personality to discover.
As always, I'll appreciate comments. What has been your own experience?