Conflict Is Sexy: Why I'll Only Date Someone Who's Everything I'm Not
I have a friend named Taylor who only dates people who are exactly, 100 percent, to the (literal) T like Taylor.
Taylor is what I like to delicately refer to as a "twin f*cker,” meaning he basically dates someone who could practically be his biological twin sister because they are so f*cking alike.
Taylor's last girlfriend looked exactly like a female version of him. She was 5'7”, with almond-shaped, piercing blue eyes, an aristocratic ski-slope nose and pink-flushed skin.
Her name was Cindy, and not only did she look exactly like Taylor, but she was Taylor.
They had matching dry wit, were blazing hypochondriacs and never, ever wanted to leave the great isle of Manhattan for as long as they lived.
They both worked in finance. They both bore fiercely type-A personalities. They both wanted 2.5 children, loathed public displays of affection and detested the sun. They both couldn't think of anything worse than getting into an unmade bed.
It was a match made in mother-f*cking HEAVEN.
I loved Taylor, because as different as Taylor and I were, we were both amused by one another's opposite hangups and mismatched quirks. So it wasn’t surprising that I loved Taylor's new girlfriend from the moment I laid my mascara-laden eyes upon her. Everything I loved about Taylor, I loved about Cindy (because they were the same f*cking person).
One bitter cold midwinter's evening, Cindy, Taylor and I were snuggled up at our favorite Upper Manhattan bar. The fireplace held court to a sea of romantic flames, and I was drinking a glass of hot mulled wine.
With each sip, I began to feel increasingly lonely and sh*tty about my life. There is nothing fun about being single in the winter, and I longed for a strong arm to tuck my freezing cold girl body into. It had been a goddamn coon's age since I had a partner in crime, and I was getting fed up with having to navigate the tempestuous waters of life alone.
Both Cindy and Taylor could feel my ever-pressing loneliness.
"You know, Zara?" Cindy started, her intense eyes set acutely ablaze by the flickering fireplace behind her. "I know someone who would be absolutely, undeniably PERFECT for you. Her name is Jamie. Jamie is just like you -- an actress, a writer, loves fashion!"
She was practically falling all over herself, basking in her own brilliance and teeming with the excitement of playing matchmaker. What's better than being the one who finds our friend's love, right?
Well, two weeks later, I sat pretty at an understated wine bar on the east side of town, two hours deep into my date with Jamie. And it was lovely.
We seemed to have everything under the Tuscan sun in common. We were both obsessed with the fashion blog Man Repeller. Neither of us would ever dare to wear real fur (but are vehement faux fur enthusiasts). We both had vivid imaginations that often get us into trouble. We were two Jews who loved the work of Woody Allen.
I start to get really freaked out when I realized we were both prescribed the same anxiety medication and saw a therapist from the same f*cking practice.
Were we compatible? Well, duh.
Was I into it? Allow me to answer this gracefully: HELL F*CKING NO.
There were zero sparks, no sweeping sensations of irrepressible sexual attraction and absolutely no signs of romantic chemistry.
I took a sip of my sickeningly sweet apple martini and looked lovely Jamie dead in the eye. Her irises were honey hazel, just like mine. Her hair was long and black, just like mine. She was a teeming ball of nervous energy, fluttering eyelashes and vulgar wit -- just like me.
I gazed at her again. It was like looking in the f*cking mirror.
As I tapped on my wine glass with my pointed acrylic nail and took in the sight of her, I had a very important, life-affirming realization:
I, Zara Ann Barrie, only want to date a person who is everything I'm not.
Because one of me is enough.
Truth be told, kittens, I'm a lot to handle, even for myself sometimes. I'm wildly emotional. I'm forever adorned in a sea of colorful bangles, dressed to the mother f*cking nines with mega-platforms strapped to my feet.
I'm irrepressibly outspoken and hyper-opinionated. My whisper is a loud stage voice to the average person.
One of me is, well, a LOT (don't get me wrong, it's a lot of awesome, but still a LOT none-the-f*cking-less).
Two of me? Too much, lovelies. Too f*cking much.
Because I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone.
If I were to date someone exactly like me, I would probably continue my typical routine as such: hair, makeup, French bistros, too much white wine, anxiety, New York City, taxis.
While I LOVE my routine, what kind of boring-ass life is it if you're doing the same thing all of the time?
When you date someone who is your opposite, you get to experience things you never even thought to ever try.
Instead of shopping and dinner, you're rock-climbing and hiking in the f*cking woods. And what's amazing is that sometimes, you’re surprised to learn how much fun you have doing these things you would never normally think to do.
Dating someone who is everything you're not pushes you out of your comfort zone and expands your world.
Because conflict is sexy.
Nothing gets me hotter when it comes to matters of SEX than being challenged. In fact, I consider a stimulating debate to be the best kind of foreplay possible.
If I'm dating someone who agrees with me, well, girls, that's not very sexy, is it?
The best hair-pulling, bed-shaking, f*ck-the-sh*t-out-of-you, make-me-beg-for-it kind of sex is derived from the one who stimulates your brain and then your body.
Isn't sex all about wanting something with every fiber of your being but not being able to get it right away? Aren't debates the same exact thing? Doesn't a healthy challenging debate provide you with the same exact satisfaction as sex?
(And isn't the best sex when the two are intertwined?)
Because I want to pick up where you leave off.
I know my strengths. I'm great at smoothing things over. I'm fantastic at keeping the sex life electric. I will charm the pants off your parents, friends and coworkers. I have a fierce eye for decor and will make sure our house is forever full of flowers and art. I can make a cheese board like a mother f*cker.
I also know my weaknesses. I'm terrible at managing finances. I suck at confrontation. I loathe paperwork. I can't fix sh*t. I can't cook anything that requires HEAT. I have crippling bouts of anxiety and get sad for no apparent reason. I'm over sensitive. I never know when to go home.
I don't want to have to compete with someone over who can make the better cheese board. I don't need another charming entity in my life. I can buy enough flowers for the two of us.
I need someone, however, who can help me calm down when I'm having an anxiety attack. I want someone who can tell me it's okay to go home at midnight. I crave someone who can fix the sh*t out of things I can't fix.
And I'm happy to open you up emotionally, take you on adventures, give you a gorgeous home and make our life exciting.
When two opposites date, a lovely little thing called BALANCE flourishes. And in an age of relentless chaos, balance creates the solid foundation of stability, which is pivotal to a healthy relationship.
Because, after all, stability is sexy, kittens.