Monday, February 14, 2011

Colorful Coupling...

Since it's Valentine's Day, no doubt some of you are on festive dates or celebrating your relationships. Others may commiserate and loathe this day, be it because of single life, separation from the one you love(d), or other anti-holiday feelings. Some call it a Hallmark holiday geared toward materialistic ideals. Whatever your view on today's meaning, it boils down to two thoughts: happiness and love.

Red is the traditional color of love, but love comes in so many shades. We give different colors their meanings and form symbolic attachments to each. There are people who practice colorology—the study and interpretation of colors and their meanings—and delve into auras, astrology, and divinatory methods to seek out color explanations related to mood and personality. Color meanings have even seeped into our culture (ex: "green with envy") and in many ways we are all like the color spectrum. Our world is made up of so many hues; why should we be any different?

If you've ever taken an art class, you know a little bit about color theory. It's not just about blending different hues to make new ones. It delves into the interpretations of different colors and how colors relate to others. Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) invoke happiness as a general rule, though each color has many meanings. It's very complex, just like the world and its people. And yes, even love can be a complicated thing.

I remember being in Wollongong in December, sitting across from Sam and Deb over lunch by the harbor. In some respects, they're quite different people (aside from the obvious American and Australian cultural backgrounds). At the same time, when placed next to each other, they just fit so well together. They're like complementary colors in a spectrum. I have known other people who are similar to contrasting colors; that is, they mix as well as oil and water. Most of the time, the latter makes for a short-lived relationship.

The real key to love and happiness is finding your complementary pair. This doesn't mean look for someone who is a carbon copy of who you are. (There's little excitement in dating your twin.) Opposites can and will attract, but people who seem different can still blend well together. So many people place emphasis on outward appearance, interests, and similarities and forget that interaction, understanding, and personality play a far bigger role in longevity of any relationship. It's not about how the world views you as a couple; it's about how you both interact with each other that ultimately matters.

On this day of reds and pinks, take a little time to expand your view of the spectrum of our world. If you're with the one you love, take some time to think about what makes you happy together. Or if you find yourself solo today, ponder over what has formed barriers in the past and what you truly want in the next relationship. Would being with someone with your ideal looks and a big wallet make you happy, even if you couldn't have a decent conversation with him or her? Are your expectations too narrow or too broad? Knowing who you are and the simple keys to your own version of happiness can pave the way to a more loving and happy year ahead.

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