Love Archetypes: Elon Musk and Grimes

If you saw Elon Musk and Grimes in the news, it was likely about their first child together, but for some of us, it was the first time we had an inkling that Elon Musk did something other than build cars, tweet in poor taste, or play with his toy space rockets in his spare time.

What made the news item fascinating wasn’t that it was about Elon Musk, but that it was about Elon Musk +1. Or Grimes +1 if you prefer, the sentiment is ultimately the same: two people who as individuals are noteworthy in and of themselves, but as a couple are infinitely more interesting. We’ve all seen artsy pop-stars and space obsessed entrepreneurs (Jeff Bezos, anyone?) but seeing two in one place suddenly catapults passe pop culture into something more brilliant: they are archetypes of love partners.

The culture bangs on insisting that lovers should look for people who share common interests, hobbies, ostensibly so they can spend every waking moment together doing the things they enjoy, until they fuse into one person like a flesh based Transformer. However, Elon Musk engineers cars and Grimes writes and directs musical art. She’s on tour, he’s busy tweeting. Where is the common ground?

That’s the attraction: there isn’t one.

Because we see so many examples of people who seem to be indistinguishable from each other in temperment, personality, or even looks — a subject to delve into on another post — we don’t often see upheld the classic “opposites attract” model. But here the differences are more subtle. More than opposites attract, what Elon Musk and Grimes represent is a more nuanced complementary ideal.

Elon Musk is an Architect type. Grimes is the Creative type. She creates art based on aesthetics and entertainment, he creates machines based on utility and science. They are both business people with a bent toward exhibitionism — Elon’s twitter feed offsets the frustrations of his high status and private life (as silly as that may seem to those of us who do not have a high status position), as happens with men in successful positions who require outlets for other parts of their personality. Elon eschews opening up about his private life, but his lock down on that freedom of expression suggests a personality that secretly craves the freedom of exhibition.

In this sense, it is not only twitter that allows him this outlet, but Grimes who validates it herself. She becomes the partner who can complement the need, as she has no problem with expressing herself in a public way. We can see Musk’s attraction to the Creative type with his previous affair with Amber Heard and his marriage to Talulah Riley. It is not only that these women are expressing art through performance — they have a wild edge about them. Their feminine libido is part of their work, and a call to attraction. Elon Musk responds in kind.

For Grimes, the stability of the Architect type — the man who can strategize, and get things done — provides her with a certain type of support and constriction, and his work is mainly focused on objects — and objectification, which is why he appears to arrange each of his love interests so they are always exclusively blonde. But his objectification is not only how he relates to his love interests, it is what his love interests most desire: a captive audience, a worshipful audience. Elon readily agrees to be this audience for Grimes. On one level, this seems to go against the grain of a free relationship, except that the captivity is desired by both.

The danger is not in their types — Architects and Creatives can express love and relate it in different ways then how Elon and Grimes choose to — the danger is the same as it is for every relationship: Can they meet all of their needs? Or will their relationship collapse the strain of too many divergent interests and agendas? That story is still waiting to play out.