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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?

你是否聽說過這樣一對夫妻,他們看起來並不般配——卻婚姻幸福,家庭美滿,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.

我就知道這樣一對夫妻:他是一名身材魁梧的退役運動員,還是一個成功的銷售員,另外還在一家俱樂部當教練;除此之外,他還熱心于扶輪社的各項事務,每周六都要和朋友打高爾夫。然而,他的妻子天生嬌小柔弱,喜歡安靜,完全一副以家庭爲中心的樣子,甚至最好連外出吃飯都別叫上她。

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?

那麽,當我們遇上在外人看來同樣出色的兩個人時,是什麽樣的神秘力量讓我們對一個人投懷送抱,而對另一個人敬而遠之呢?

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.

約翰·霍普金斯大學臨床醫學小兒科的榮譽退休教授約翰·莫尼認爲,在影響我們擇偶的衆多因素中,最重要的因素之一就是所謂的“愛的藍圖”——一組在大腦中描述我們喜好的編碼信息,它顯示了我們多方面的偏好,如頭發、眼球顔色、聲音、氣味、體格等,同時,它也記錄了對我們有吸引力的性格特征——是熱情友好,還是剛強內斂。

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.

簡言之,我們常常會傾心于並強烈追求那些與我們的“愛的藍圖”相吻合的人。我們的“愛的藍圖”早在童年時期就基本成型了。8歲時,我們的腦中就會開始浮現理想伴侶的形象。

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.”

開講座時,我常常問台下的夫妻聽衆們,到底是什麽讓他們開始約會,並最終走到一起的。我得到的答案五花八門、千奇百怪,從“她很堅強、獨立”到“我喜歡紅頭發的人”,從“我喜歡他的幽默感”到“就是他那壞壞的微笑。”

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.

西北大學的資深社會學教授羅伯特·威奇,曾經在他的研究報告中說道,我們對婚姻伴侶的選擇涵蓋了一系列社會共性。然而,他也堅持,我們在尋找伴侶時也是爲了滿足互補的需求。善于聆聽的人鍾情于能說會道的人,個性好強的人則會尋找性格溫婉的人。

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,也不乏一些社會背景相差懸殊,卻能喜結連理、幸福美滿的人。我就認識這樣一個男人。他是一名工廠工人,來自芝加哥一個傳統的愛爾蘭家庭。他愛上了一位非裔美國浸禮會教徒。當他們結婚時,親朋好友都覺得他們的婚姻不會長久。但是,如今25年過去了,他們的婚姻依舊那樣牢不可破。

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.

原來,那個女人像她的婆婆一樣,善解人意、溫婉可人、富有同情心。她甘願挽起衣袖在教堂裏幹活,或者爲那些有需要的人們伸出援手。這就是她的丈夫覺得她的可愛之處。膚色、宗教以及其他一些社會因素之類,在他的眼中都不算什麽。

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.

又比如說喬治·伯恩斯,他是猶太人,卻和天主教徒格雷西·艾倫結婚。過去他常說,就算格雷西騎在自己頭上,婚姻也是他最寶貴的財富。他們倆的確有一些共同的社會經曆:他們都在大城市長大,都來自窮苦的大家庭。然而,真正讓他們走到一起的是他們第一次一起登上舞台的經曆。他們的性格互補得恰到好處:喬治性格直率,格雷西則妙語連珠。

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.

當然,也有一些例外,這類“不般配的夫妻”生活得並不幸福。我們都知道,有些光彩照人的“白天鵝”和平平無奇的“醜小鴨”步入婚姻殿堂,這也許就是人們所說的等價平衡理論吧!

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.

當男人和女人們擁有某種過人之處時,比如聰明絕頂、相貌出衆、個性獨具魅力、財力雄厚,那麽,他們中的有些人就會用自己的優點來換取別人的長處。出衆的美貌可能成爲她換取權勢、金錢和安全感的資本。家底殷實卻不出衆的小夥子,則可以用他的富貴出身虜獲一位貧寒但聰慧的女孩的芳心。

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?”

誠然,幾乎任何一種結合都存在幸福的可能。一次,鄰居們過來串門。晚上的時候,50多歲的羅伯特突然脫口而出:“如果你們的女兒嫁給一個綁著馬尾、並執意要下廚房的人,你們會怎麽樣?”

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

“除非你的女兒酷愛美食,”我答道,“否則我會說她走了狗屎運。”

“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.”

“沒錯,”他的妻子同意我的說法,“那就是你的問題咯,羅伯特!——你的大男子主義又來了,關鍵是他們彼此相愛。”

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.

我試著讓羅伯特放寬心,對他說,他女兒選擇的那個年輕小夥子爲人隨和,不專制,就像她媽媽一樣。

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.

真的有一見鍾情這回事嗎?爲什麽沒有呢?當愛情來臨的時候,那一刻無論如何,愛侶們總能找到讓他們惺惺相惜的地方。這些地方可能很平常:比如他們曾經讀過同一本書,或者他們出生在同一個小鎮。與此同時,他們還會看到雙方性格的互補之處。

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,我也曾經被愛情魔棒擊中。那時我還是康奈爾大學二年級的學生,在那個命中注定的周末,我得了重感冒,正猶豫著要不要隨家人一起去卡茨基爾山度假。最後,我還是決定去了,因爲無論怎樣總比一個人待在宿舍裏強。

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,我正要去赴宴的時候,妹妹沖上樓對我說:“當你走進那家餐廳的時候,你就會看到你的白馬王子。”

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.

我想我當時說了句“走開”之類的話。可是,果然被她說中了。當我見到他的那一刻,我就知道是他了。這樣的記憶至今回想起來仍會讓我渾身起雞皮疙瘩。他是醫科大的預科生,也在康奈爾大學,更巧的是,他也得了重感冒。從我第一眼看到米爾頓,我就愛上了他。

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年米爾特去世,我們結婚39年了。一直以來,我們共同經曆著艾瑞克·弗洛姆所說的那份融合之情,合二爲一的愛戀。甚至當我們不斷蛻變、共同成長時,仍舊一起履行著我們的生命之約。

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