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双语对照 ● 为什么我们爱上我们爱的人 Why We Love Who We Love

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2019年10月09日

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■ 为什么我们爱上我们爱的人 Why We Love Who We Love

◎ Joyce Brothers

 

Have you ever known a married couple that just didn’t seem as though they should fit together—yet they are both happy in the marriage, and you can’t figure out why?

你是否听说过这样一对夫妻,他们看起来并不般配——却婚姻幸福,家庭美满,令人百思不得其解?

I know of one couple: He is a burly[56] ex-athlete who, in addition to being a successful salesman, coaches Little League, is active in his Rotary Club and plays golf every Saturday with friends. Meanwhile, his wife is petite, quiet and a complete Homebody. She doesn’t even like to go out to dinner.

我就知道这样一对夫妻:他是一名身材魁梧的退役运动员,还是一个成功的销售员,另外还在一家俱乐部当教练;除此之外,他还热心于扶轮社的各项事务,每周六都要和朋友打高尔夫。然而,他的妻子天生娇小柔弱,喜欢安静,完全一副以家庭为中心的样子,甚至最好连外出吃饭都别叫上她。

What mysterious force drives us into the arms of one person, while pushing us away from another who might appear equally desirable to any unbiased[57] observer?

那么,当我们遇上在外人看来同样出色的两个人时,是什么样的神秘力量让我们对一个人投怀送抱,而对另一个人敬而远之呢?

Of the many factors influencing our idea of the perfect mate, one of the most telling, according to John Money, professor emeritus of medical psychology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, is what he calls our “love map”—a group of messages encoded in our brains that describes our likes and dislikes. It shows our preferences in hair and eye color, in voice, smell, and body build. It also records the kind of personality that appeals to us, whether it’s the warm and friendly type or the strong, silent type.

约翰·霍普金斯大学临床医学小儿科的荣誉退休教授约翰·莫尼认为,在影响我们择偶的众多因素中,最重要的因素之一就是所谓的“爱的蓝图”——一组在大脑中描述我们喜好的编码信息,它显示了我们多方面的偏好,如头发、眼球颜色、声音、气味、体格等,同时,它也记录了对我们有吸引力的性格特征——是热情友好,还是刚强内敛。

In short, we fall for and pursue those people who most clearly fit our love map. And this love map is largely determined in childhood. By age eight, the pattern for our ideal mate has already begun to float around in our brains.

简言之,我们常常会倾心于并强烈追求那些与我们的“爱的蓝图”相吻合的人。我们的“爱的蓝图”早在童年时期就基本成型了。8岁时,我们的脑中就会开始浮现理想伴侣的形象。

When I lecture, I often ask couples in the audience what drew them to their dates or mates. Answers range from “She’s strong and independent” and “I go for redheads” to “I love his sense of humor” and “That crooked smile, that’s what did it.”

开讲座时,我常常问台下的夫妻听众们,到底是什么让他们开始约会,并最终走到一起的。我得到的答案五花八门、千奇百怪,从“她很坚强、独立”到“我喜欢红头发的人”,从“我喜欢他的幽默感”到“就是他那坏坏的微笑。”

Robert Winch, a longtime sociology professor at Northwestern University, stated in his research that our choice of a marriage partner involves a number of social similarities. But he also maintained that we look for someone with complementary needs. A talker is attracted to someone who likes to listen, or an aggressive personality may seek out a more passive partner.

西北大学的资深社会学教授罗伯特·威奇,曾经在他的研究报告中说道,我们对婚姻伴侣的选择涵盖了一系列社会共性。然而,他也坚持,我们在寻找伴侣时也是为了满足互补的需求。善于聆听的人钟情于能说会道的人,个性好强的人则会寻找性格温婉的人。

However, there are instances where people of different social backgrounds end up getting married and being extremely happy. I know of one man, a factory worker from a traditional Irish family in Chicago, who fell in love with an African American Baptist. When they got married, their friends and relatives predicted a quick failure. But 25 years later, the marriage is still strong.

然而,也不乏一些社会背景相差悬殊,却能喜结连理、幸福美满的人。我就认识这样一个男人。他是一名工厂工人,来自芝加哥一个传统的爱尔兰家庭。他爱上了一位非裔美国浸礼会教徒。当他们结婚时,亲朋好友都觉得他们的婚姻不会长久。但是,如今25年过去了,他们的婚姻依旧那样牢不可破。

It turns out that the woman was like her mother-in-law—a loving and caring person, the type who rolls up her sleeves and volunteers to work at church or help out people in need. This is the quality that her husband fell for, and it made color and religion and any other social factors irrelevant to him.

原来,那个女人像她的婆婆一样,善解人意、温婉可人、富有同情心。她甘愿挽起衣袖在教堂里干活,或者为那些有需要的人们伸出援手。这就是她的丈夫觉得她的可爱之处。肤色、宗教以及其他一些社会因素之类,在他的眼中都不算什么。

Or as George Burns, who was Jewish and married the Irish Catholic Gracie Allen, used to say: his marriage was his favorite gig, even though it was Gracie who got all the laughs. The two of them did share certain social similarities—both grew up in the city, in large but poor families. Yet what really drew them together was evident from the first time they went onstage together. They complemented each other perfectly: he was the straight man, and she delivered the punch lines.

又比如说乔治·伯恩斯,他是犹太人,却和天主教徒格雷西·艾伦结婚。过去他常说,就算格雷西骑在自己头上,婚姻也是他最宝贵的财富。他们俩的确有一些共同的社会经历:他们都在大城市长大,都来自穷苦的大家庭。然而,真正让他们走到一起的是他们第一次一起登上舞台的经历。他们的性格互补得恰到好处:乔治性格直率,格雷西则妙语连珠。

There are certainly such “odd couples” who could scarcely be happier. We all know some drop-dead beautiful person married to an unusually plain wallflower. This is a trade-off some call the equity theory.

当然,也有一些例外,这类“不般配的夫妻”生活得并不幸福。我们都知道,有些光彩照人的“白天鹅”和平平无奇的“丑小鸭”步入婚姻殿堂,这也许就是人们所说的等价平衡理论吧!

When men and women possess a particular asset, such as high intelligence, unusual beauty, a personality that makes others swoon, or a hefty bankroll that has the same effect, some decide to trade their assets for someone else’s strong points. The raging beauty may trade her luster for the power and security that come with big bucks. The not-so-talented fellow from a good family may swap his pedigree for a poor but brilliantly talented mate.

当男人和女人们拥有某种过人之处时,比如聪明绝顶、相貌出众、个性独具魅力、财力雄厚,那么,他们中的有些人就会用自己的优点来换取别人的长处。出众的美貌可能成为她换取权势、金钱和安全感的资本。家底殷实却不出众的小伙子,则可以用他的富贵出身虏获一位贫寒但聪慧的女孩的芳心。

Indeed, almost any combination can survive and thrive. Once, some neighbors of mine stopped by for a friendly social engagement. During the evening Robert, a man in his 50s, suddenly blurted out, “What would you say if your daughter planned to marry someone who has a ponytail and insisted on doing the cooking?”

诚然,几乎任何一种结合都存在幸福的可能。一次,邻居们过来串门。晚上的时候,50多岁的罗伯特突然脱口而出:“如果你们的女儿嫁给一个绑着马尾、并执意要下厨房的人,你们会怎么样?”

“Unless your daughter loves cooking,” I responded, “I’d say she was darn lucky.”

“除非你的女儿酷爱美食,”我答道,“否则我会说她走了狗屎运。”

“Exactly,” his wife agreed. “It’s really your problem, Robert—that old macho thing rearing its head again. The point is, they’re in love.”

“没错,”他的妻子同意我的说法,“那就是你的问题咯,罗伯特!——你的大男子主义又来了,关键是他们彼此相爱。”

I tried to reassure Robert, pointing out that the young man their daughter had picked out seemed to be a relaxed, nonjudgmental sort of person—a trait he shared with her own mother.

我试着让罗伯特放宽心,对他说,他女儿选择的那个年轻小伙子为人随和,不专制,就像她妈妈一样。

Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Why not? When people become love-struck, what happens in that instant is the couple probably discover a unique something they have in common. It could be something as mundane[58] as they both were reading the same book or were born in the same town. At the same time they recognize some trait in the other that complements their own personality.

真的有一见钟情这回事吗?为什么没有呢?当爱情来临的时候,那一刻无论如何,爱侣们总能找到让他们惺惺相惜的地方。这些地方可能很平常:比如他们曾经读过同一本书,或者他们出生在同一个小镇。与此同时,他们还会看到双方性格的互补之处。

I happen to be one of those who were struck by the magic wand. On that fateful weekend, while I was a sophomore at Cornell University, I had a terrible cold and hesitated to join my family on vacation in the Catskill Mountains. Finally I decided anything would be better than sitting alone in my dormitory room.

巧的是,我也曾经被爱情魔棒击中。那时我还是康奈尔大学二年级的学生,在那个命中注定的周末,我得了重感冒,正犹豫着要不要随家人一起去卡茨基尔山度假。最后,我还是决定去了,因为无论怎样总比一个人待在宿舍里强。

That night as I was preparing to go to dinner, my sister rushed up the stairs and said, “When you walk into that dining room, you’re going to meet the man you’ll marry.”

那天晚上,我正要去赴宴的时候,妹妹冲上楼对我说:“当你走进那家餐厅的时候,你就会看到你的白马王子。”

I think I said something like “Buzz off!” But my sister couldn’t have been more right. I knew it from the moment I saw him, and the memory still gives me goose flesh. He was a premed student, also at Cornell, who incidentally also had a bad cold. I fell in love with Milton the instant I met him.

我想我当时说了句“走开”之类的话。可是,果然被她说中了。当我见到他的那一刻,我就知道是他了。这样的记忆至今回想起来仍会让我浑身起鸡皮疙瘩。他是医科大的预科生,也在康奈尔大学,更巧的是,他也得了重感冒。从我第一眼看到米尔顿,我就爱上了他。

Milt and I were married for 39 years, until his death in 1989. And all that time we experienced a love that Erich Fromm called a “feeling of fusion, of oneness,” even while we both continued to change, grow and fulfill our lives.

到1989年米尔特去世,我们结婚39年了。一直以来,我们共同经历着艾瑞克·弗洛姆所说的那份融合之情,合二为一的爱恋。甚至当我们不断蜕变、共同成长时,仍旧一起履行着我们的生命之约。

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