The Trail Mix Metaphor for Love

I am a hard-core Trader Joe’s fan. With a mix of convenience, affordability, and unique products, Trader Joe’s is a haven for any college student. This article is not about my love for Trader Joe’s- otherwise, we may be here for a while. One of their products, however, did spark my inspiration for the comparing of trail mix to the concept of love.

When they say that opposites attract, what I think they really mean is complements attract. A complement adds to something in a way that enhances or improves it. For example, peanut butter is the complement to jelly and hamburger buns are a complement to patties. It is not necessarily the opposite, but it does add value that was not originally there.

Image Source: Pexels 

It is hard to find a trail mix that comes with equal ratios of the ingredients we favor. Often, we mine for M&M’s like gold nuggets only to be left with a pile of raisins. Trader Joe’s has this trail mix that is a mixture of almonds, cashews, and dark chocolate chunks. I always end up mining for cashews and chocolate then end up left with the less favorable ingredient of almonds. When searching for love, find someone who likes raisins, almonds, or whatever ingredient you always find left at the bottom of the bag. If you love M&Ms, someone who prefers raisins will surely help you finish the trail mix. This does not make them your opposite, even though they weren’t scrambling for M&Ms in the first place. Instead, they complement your preferences by simply preferring raisins over M&Ms.

In contrast, the cliché phrase that “likes repel” can be seen in this metaphor as two people who both prefer the M&Ms. This becomes difficult because the raisins are still left over and now each person only gets half of the M&Ms since both people are digging for them. I am not arguing that two people who like M&M’s cannot also fall in love. However, I would question why they are buying a bag of trail mix rather than just a bag of M&Ms in the first place. 

Image Source: Pexels

The point of the trail mix metaphor is to understand how the preferences and personalities of you and your significant other interact. Love comes in all forms, and it's actually quite a beautiful thing that there exist people who prefer raisins in the first place.