There is an important lesson to be learned from Dharma & Greg. If you’re not familiar with the late 90’s TV show, or need a refresher course, the half-hour sitcom was about the marriage of a liberal, yoga-practicing, health-nut hippie (Dharma) and a conservative, practical, follow-the-rules lawyer (Greg). Of course drama ensues when Dharma and Greg’s different approaches to illness, home decorating, and camping conflict – Dharma’s cure for a cold involves herbs and old world mysticism while Greg employs Sudafed and a trained healthcare professional.
All my life, I’ve dated Gregs (cranky intellectuals who need a laugh and my impulsive behavior as a sidekick on the dirt road to F-U-N) – until last year, when I dated Ben.
Ben was living on his own planet, where people only cared about organic vegetable gardening and hiking with friends, where wine flowed like water, where traveling was church and where girlfriends were a burden. There were no rules in Ben’s world and I eagerly stepped in, ready for vacation.
But being around a through and through Dharma, someone so close to the KRAZY end of the spectrum didn’t further liberate me (like I expected), instead it turned me into Greg. After a while, I didn’t recognize myself.
Ben and I didn’t bring out the best parts of each other, but rather drove each other to personality extremes. But I learned something incredibly valuable from the experience: I am Dharma and Greg. And I’m looking for someone who is also a bit of both; someone who doesn’t mind my wacky ideas, love of astrology and naive idealism, but also likes that I have a career, life goals, and strive for a comfortable lifestyle.
Now think about your relationships; are they are constantly bringing out your “erratic entertainer” (Dharma) or your “voice of reason” (Greg)?
I’ll venture to guess that the best relationships are those in which one person doesn’t over-perform either role but can step in with good old-fashioned advice or a spur-of-the-moment pick-me-up when need be; where spontaneity and practicality walk hand in hand. But maybe that’s just my Greg talking…