I recently did an online course on colour theory which was meant to help knitters choose the best colour palettes and combinations for their knit wear. The trainers went on and on about the colour wheel, primary & secondary colours, shades and hues and so on. Most of it went over my head and I will probably continue to choose my colours exactly the way I used to earlier – by instinct. However, it did get me thinking that some of the principles of the colour theory could be equally applicable to the world of relationships. So today, I’m going to do my own version of Indian Matchmaking and tell you how to use these principles to find the person who is right for you.
Disclaimer: Everything I say from this point on to the end of this post is entirely my personal opinion and I’m not an expert on Relationships (but then neither is Ms. Sima Taparia IMHO!). I just found the idea of applying the principles of colour theory to relationships interesting, hence I recommend that whatever I say next be taken with a pinch of salt (followed by a shot of tequila and wedge of lime, if you are so inclined).
I think this is the most important principle of colour theory. Everyone knows that not all colours look good together – some of them can clash horribly and can be very displeasing to look at. Such colours are not in harmony.
When it comes to relationships, the harmony I’m talking about is existential rather than visual. The right person for you is someone with whom you can live in harmony. When I say that I don’t mean that you should colour coordinate your clothes (though no harm in doing that occasionally) or sing a duet harmoniously. I also don’t mean to say that living harmoniously means not having disagreements or discord.
Harmony or disharmony is a state of being. It is not just a few incidents here and there but a significant amount of time spent together. When I say two people are living in harmony, I usually mean people whose life paths are aligned (though not necessarily the same), whose dreams and goals include each other and who are willing to witness the important moments of each other’s lives. A lot of people achieve this harmony by smoothing out all their differences after arguing over every small thing, other people are more detached and prefer sweeping things under the rug – there is no right way, the choice is yours. The important thing is to be in harmony.
If I put it in terms of the colour wheel theory, complementarity is the use of complementary colours i.e. colours which lie opposite each other on the colour wheel. It is assumed that you can blindly pick any two colours opposite each other on the colour wheel and they are likely to work well together.
But when it comes to relationships, I don’t necessarily agree that opposites work well together, even though there are enough and more Romcoms trying to sell us the idea that opposites attract. The popular perception is that two people who are completely different from each other are a perfect couple because each person fulfills the other’s shortcomings. I fail to understand the logic of this – think about it, how likely is it that someone who likes to party every night will be happy with someone who prefers to spend their evenings at home and vice versa.
I prefer complementarity instead i.e. partners ought to complement each other. The word ‘complement’ as per the dictionary means a thing that contributes extra features to something else in such a way as to improve or emphasize its quality. So if I were to take my partying example further someone who is an extrovert can help their partner, who feels shy at parties (but wants to attend them nonetheless), to have a good time. Or to give my own example, my partner likes to oversee the cooking and serving of food, I enjoy decorating the house and mingling with guests – we complement each other and manage to throw some fabulous parties (or so we both like to believe). Both cases are instances where the qualities of one person are enhanced by the addition of the qualities of the other. That’s the person you should look for, someone who enhances your qualities, makes you a better version of yourself.
Sometimes it happens that the colours you choose end up blurring into each other, even if you have carefully chosen contrasting colours. The edges of one colour become intermingled with the edges of the other colour and you don’t know where one colour begins and the other ends. The distinctness and individuality of each colour is lost. So you must choose colours that can stand out on their own.
In relationships also, partners sometimes tend to lose their sense of self or individuality. Sometimes they change so much that people who knew them from before are barely able to recognize them. I believe that in order to be in a happy relationship, neither do you need to change yourself nor lose your individuality. Someone who is right for you will accept you exactly as you are and will never try to mould you in such a manner that you lose whatever makes you unique. For that to happen, at all points of time in the relationship, you should be your most authentic self, which is the person you are in your head and so should your partner. Your partner may tell you the things they don’t like and you may do the same. You may discuss changing those things but only after both parties have brought their most authentic self to the table and shown each other exactly who they are, faults included. The right person for you will help you change if you want to change, but also try to understand if you feel it is important for you to stay exactly the same.
Un-Apologeticness (the state of being unapologetic)
This one is not based on a principle of colour theory, but I thought I’d add it here for good measure since as per me this is the best way to lay the foundation for a happy relationship.
I firmly believe that to be truly happy with someone, you have to be un-apologetically yourself. I’ll tell you what I mean by giving my own example – my partner knows who I am, he likes some things about me and doesn’t like some things, of the things he doesn’t like, he tells me some and doesn’t tell me some and of the things he tells me, I change some and don’t change some. Once this process is done, it is my right to assume that I no longer need to be apologetic or worry about anything I do or don’t do as far as my partner is concerned. The world, your friends and family, your friendly neighbourhood aunty may all want to tell you that you should be doing this or that vis-a-vis your partner, but mark my words – the only person whose thoughts or views matter are your own and your partner’s and as long as you keep the channels of communication open, you needn’t worry about anything. This may seem radical to some of you but it has worked for me and allows me to live without guilt and fear, which is a life I deserve. It is also a life you deserve so take my advice and be your best unapologetic self!
This is my rudimentary understanding of how relationships work. I’m still young and even though I’ve amassed more experience in a short time than most people my age, there are still miles for me to go before I sleep. Maybe in the future, I’ll feel differently about these principles but as of now this is the gospel truth for me.
I would love to know what you – my readers – have to say about your relationship principles. This is a wealth of knowledge which we don’t possess when we are entering into new relationships, but if we did have it, I think there would be lesser heartache and misery all around.
P.S. All pictures are from one of my favourite websites – xkcd.com – a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language. Since all the work on the website is licensed under a Creative Commons License, I’ve liberally shared the comics here. Do check out their website for more fun stuff.