The Cross: “Those who look alike flock together”, says the adage. Do you have to be alike to get along and form a lasting couple?
Jean-Claude Kaufmann: This saying is based on some common sense. A good sense exploited besides by the dating sites which promise to find a soul mate with so-called scientific criteria which are based, in reality, on the resemblance: same level of studies, same religious convictions, same centers of ‘interest…
→ ANALYSIS. Changing your spouse, an illusion?
But things are obviously more complex. Having hooked atoms, sharing musical tastes, a taste for sport or walking can facilitate the meeting but it is not the resemblance that makes it possible to form a couple. On the contrary. It prevents entering into the love and conjugal adventure which consists in becoming another.
The resemblance reassures …
J.-CK: Yes, it is precisely this idea that is fueled by dating sites. We dream of building a couple but we are afraid of losing control over their existence. You would like to remain completely yourself and add the other in your life without disturbing them. However, there can be no life as a couple if we do not truly commit. And to engage is to enter into a process of identity change to become someone else. A mutual reformulation which will not be the same according to the spouse.
The resemblance is also illusory, you never meet your double. Even if you come from the same village, the same social background, if you have the same religion, there will be millions of differences. The whole art of the couple lies in the ability to play on these differences to overcome them and build a new entity with a common culture. We will, for example, criticize friends and family on certain ways of living in order to build our own philosophy of life.
→ TESTIMONIAL. They wanted to develop their spouse
But also to set up a complementary role play. For example, there will be the risk guardian who will ask if “The doors are well closed”, if “We took insurance”. It is very often women who carry the anxieties on their shoulders. And the other appears rather as the ideologue of relaxation who will recall that “If we spend our time thinking about the risks, we no longer live”.
So you have to be different to build a couple. Another adage says that opposites attract. But too many differences, isn’t it difficult to manage?
J.-CK: The construction of the couple is a daily work of unification. We try to agree and build common rules. Each makes a small movement towards the other. But it’s complicated. We start from our own achievements, our convictions. And sometimes there are blockages. We believe, for example, that we should put away the slippers, that we should not make noise at the table… You need a certain flexibility to evolve, and this plasticity is decisive.
→ READ. One believes, the other does not
Couples who combine different cultures, for example, separate more often because they have more obstacles to overcome, including family ones, but those who manage to stay together have done such an important job on themselves. that they build a very solid foundation.