I just finished reading the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James. I wasn’t excited about reading it after seeing a couple reviews about the author’s lack of literary skills, but, at the urging of a dear friend of mine (“You have to read this book. You need to.), I borrowed her copy. After falling asleep the first two nights I attempted to indulge, the story started to become engaging and I couldn’t put it down. In fact, for three days I couldn’t put it down, staying up until the wee hours of the morning, reading in bed until I reached the cliffhanger ending. What struck me about this story was something the protagonist, Anastasia, says nearly at the end of the book, “This is what it boils down to – incompatibility…”
Isn’t that often what it comes down to when a relationship is ending? Incompatibility? I have had conversations like this in my own relationships. “We’re just not working,”
or “I can’t give you what you need,”
or “we both want different things,”
or “our priorities have changed.”
Just as it is in fiction, too often in real life, it all comes down to incompatibility.
If you have had this sort of conversation with your partner, you know that admitting incompatibility does not necessarily mean you no longer love each other. In fact, this is exactly the dilemma you may have to face; the realization you are forced to acknowledge – “Why didn’t I fall in love with someone I was compatible with?” Like I wrote in my article, Love or a Scientific Experiment, quoting Woody Allen, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”
Love is not rational. Love does not first search for compatibility. First, your heart is struck by another, then, slowly you discover if you are compatible. Or not. Sometimes, this revelation comes a very long way into the relationship.
Once you’ve had this epiphany, where does it leave you? Perhaps at a crossroad where you can decide one of two things:
1. Acceptance: Our love is greater than our incompatibilities and therefore we will choose to stay together, overlooking instead of criticizing, trying harder to find common ground.
2. Rejection: Even though we love each other, our incompatibilities outweigh the positives; we choose to move forward separately.
There is no correct answer. Ultimately, if the feeling is mutual, you do whatever works for you and your partner. If you’re not in agreement about which road to travel, that can be difficult for both parties involved. When in doubt, follow your heart. If you communicate your concerns to each other, there’s always hope. As for Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s a sequel. I’m picking it up from my friend tomorrow.