Thursday, June 30, 2011

Verisimilitude: Romance - Each Partner Completes the Other

Reading thuRsday

I don't know if it's a trend--or simply something I never noticed before--but of late I've seen a number of explicitly complementary Halloween costumes for couples: you and you partner can dress as a plug and socket or a key and a lock.

After you're done giggling (or, with your best Queen Victoria impression, being, "Not amused,") at the sexual innuendo, remember that there was time before the triumph of interchangeable parts when only one key fit a given lock.

We talked before about mutual respect as the structural foundation of a romance. Respect is necessary but not sufficient to explain why a couple came together. Each partner likely respects several potential mates so there must be something more that brings two people together.

Sarah Eden, speaking on Writing Excuses (episode 5.31), said that in a good romance, each partner fulfils a need in the other: they complete each other.

You might be tempted to either get sappy about the one key to someone's heart or to wax rhapsodic about soul-mates. What we're really talking about is a structural completion: each partner is a better person or more fully alive when they are with the other.

More than simply the act of falling in love, romance is about the possibilities that spring into existence when two people come together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

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