Originally posted October 31, 2009)
In fact, they can actually get in the way of a great relationship! This is yet another fallacy perpetuated by relationship or dating writers who are willing to settle for “satisfactory” or “good” relationships!
But before I get to that: Happy Halloween! Just a little side story. When I was growing up, I had this interesting experience that Halloween used to be a day when all good stuff happened, while Memorial Day was my bad luck weekend. Other than my weight loss surgery, the only time I’ve ever had to get stitches happened on Memorial Day weekend. Same for my only broken bone (not including my broken nose–that happened on Super Bowl Sunday, a story for another time!). Whereas Halloween always seemed to have good things happen. Of course that could have been beliefs driven, since right around Halloween was when the wind started kicking up in San Diego, signaling that ACTUAL WEATHER was coming after 7+ months of nothing but boring blue skies and sunshine, and things like wind and rain have always been a joy for me. And it’s WONDERFULLY blustery outside as I sit and write this in The Berkshires of Western Mass! So, in honor of the joy of Halloween, here’s a quick list of my 5 favorite scary movies of all time. For best effect, watch these at night, with all the lights off, and all the curtains closed!
1. The Blair Witch Project
3. Night Of The Living Dead (original 1968 version)
5. The Thing (John Carpenter’s 1982 version)
And I’m looking forward to seeing “Paranormal Activity”–I hear there’s a good chance I can add this to the list!
Okay, on with the blog!
It’s often stated that finding someone with common interests is a big factor in searching for a romantic partner. Let me say this as clearly as I can: BULLSHIT! LOL! By FAR the more important factor is finding someone who sees THE WORLD and the way it operates like you do. Essentially, that you share a philosophy rather than the same “likes”.
So if, as I’m claiming, having the same “likes” isn’t a useful thing to build a relationship on, why are so many people speaking and writing as if it is? Because it’s an EASY entry. Because it gives people just meeting something easy to talk about when they’re not comfortable talking about something deeper. You might ask: “what’s wrong with that?” Well, first, it means, by definition, that you’re approaching dating from a place of discomfort, which ain’t gonna lead you to a great relationship, in most instances. Second, and even worse, is that you might continue this exact pattern INTO a relationship, continuing to avoid talking about deeper subjects by sticking to safe and easy topics such as the things you both like to do. And if these things you share in common are work-related–that’s the triple-whammy! (A quick note: if your work or the things have in common are GREAT PASSIONS in your lives–that’s not what I’m talking about here, that is actually a GREAT thing!).
On the other hand, having very DIFFERENT likes can lead to a REALLY GREAT connection! I have a friend who is also a former romantic partner of mine, had lots of different likes from me, and I from her. I LOVE THAT! Because it means that I get to learn something new AND find out why that thing she likes or loves is such a passion for her. In this particular example, one of the things she does is volunteer her time for hospice work. She is part of a program that brings a “last meal” to folks who are entering their last days of life. Right fromwhen I first heard she did this, I started asking her about it. Why did she want to get involved in this? (Led to her story about what led up to it and gave me a great view into her past and how she sees the world). What exactly does she do? Can I do it with her? And, although she was a little hesitant at first, my unbridled enthusiasm to get to experience this part of her world led her to let me go on one of her “last meal” visits. It was AMAZING! We brought this woman an authentic Lebanese meal, which was her great wish (we found the Lebanese place due to my knowledge of geography–at least my degree was good for SOMETHING!). But she hardly touched it because all she wanted to do was talk! We were told by the nurses that she had been unhappy and difficult for the past couple of days, but all that changed when we got there. She had tears of joy in her eyes the whole time! Ah, beautiful! What a true blessing of an experience I got to have! And I would never have gotten to experience that if I was with someone with all the same “likes” as me.
So to me, much more important than having common “likes” or work is in having the same approach to life. The same view of how the universe operates. And I want to make sure that I stress here that although Mary and I have a very optimistic view of how the universe operates, it’s not about you choosing the same philosophy as us, it’s about finding someone who has the same philosophy as YOU. Why is this SO important? Because as things happen and you interact with the world, it’s helpful to have someone who reacts the same way you do. Most conflicts, arguments, and rifts in relationships arise out of differences in this area. Think about it. Here’s a significant stimulus, especially now: one of you loses your job. If both of you have a “positive” view of the world, you see it as an opportunity, maybe a doorway to something bigger, and you don’t spend a lot of time worrying about money because you believe it will all work out great! If you both have a “negative” view of the world, you think “this ain’t good”, and you both hunker down, circle the wagons, and take steps to protect the money that you have. I’m not saying one approach is better than the other, but you BOTH approach the issue the same way! GREAT!
Now imagine if you have a relationship where one person is one way and one person the other. That was a perfect description of my marriage with Cindy. I was very much a “universe is belevolent, it will all work out” kind of guy, and she was a “the world is dangerous, we have to constantly be on guard” kind of gal. So if we had to deal with money issues, I was positive about what was next, and she thought it was a disaster. CONFLICT! Ding, ding, ding.
Now although I’m oversimplifying to show how this works, this is, in fact, exactly the way this works! And it will happen in EVERY aspect of your life. Not just money, although that is a big one for relationships. If one person lives in the world in a “safety first” perspective and the other in an “adventure first” mode, conflicts will show up everywhere. Even to the point of which food to buy, or how to deal with an invasion of ants. The above are all REAL LIFE examples. In the case of Mary and I, we are both totally positive in how we view the world (if you couldn’t tell that already!), and she is “trying” learn about American Football (something I’m passionate about that she knows nothing about), and I am learning about past lives and how to cultivate my intuitive side, which I don’t know about, and have never really believed in. It’s our matched philosophy that makes us such an amazing match for each other, not our matched “likes”!
So ask yourself first, do this post seem logical to you? Do you have past examples that would either affirm or refute this? If you like it and believe it, go into your next relationship asking yourself “do we approach the world from the same perspective?” rather than “does he/she like to do the same things I do?” Oh, and–just a suggestion–have the DEEP conversations first!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this!