We have been told that opposites attract. In magnets maybe that is a good thing, but in relationships I do not think it is so good. Where people are concerned, opposites do attract but not for long. You must have things in common – lots of things. Otherwise you will tire of each other, find each other boring, and begin to resent each other for not sharing common interests.
I really believe this is why so many people divorce after their children leave home. Once the children are gone, they are faced with only each other. Up until that point, their only common interest was the children, but now what is left? In most cases, not much.
Several years ago I was getting my hair cut. In one of those tabloid magazines I read a quote from Chris Rock. At the time I thought it was a ridiculous quote. After many years of counseling and working with people, I find there is an element of truth into what he said…
“Whatever your woman is into, you better be into. Whatever your man is into, you better be into. Your partner into church, you better be into church. Your man or woman a crackhead, you better be a crackhead. Otherwise it just won’t work.”
No I am not endorsing Chris Rock, nor am I a big fan. Remember, I read and I read lots of things. Reading is food for the mind. This piece of food from several years ago caused me to go back and revisit his quote.
Here is the point of his quote and I completely agree. We have all seen couples where both people are totally different but if their relationship is a good one, I guarantee it is because they have plenty of things in common. My wife and I are totally different: she is sweet, nice, conversational, a peacemaker, an amazing cook, and everyone likes her. On the other hand, I have to work at those things which are natural to her. But… other than our personalities, we are very much alike. We both love to read, be involved in our church, travel, walk, watch soccer, spend time together, eat at nice restaurants, etc. We really share 90 percent of the same likes and dislikes. (Except she wants to go on a cruise for our 25th and I want nothing to do with a cruise!)
And while it is very important to have things in common, few couples have everything in common. True compatibility is just too much to expect and mostly overrated in my opinion; even though too many people have made it grounds for divorce: “We are incompatible, Your Honor, give us this divorce.” I have yet to see any two people who are totally compatible. Few relationships hit on all cylinders all of the time. There is always something. One loves to travel and the other is a homebody. One wants the physical relationship all of the time and one is just not that interested. One loves mornings and the other is a night owl. One loves social events and the other is a recluse. One loves antiques and the other likes contemporary. You get the drill. Think of your relationship. Are you really compatible in all areas? I doubt it.
Does it really matter? Not totally. Discover the differences between each other and enjoy them. Make them a source of humor instead of a source of irritation. We are all different. That is what makes life fun. That is what makes it interesting. That is what keeps it from being boring. Embrace the differences and enjoy the commonality!
Don’t try today; DO today!