Whenever anyone starts a relationship or meets someone, the first thing people want to know is, "What do you have in common?" On the surface, this seems like a good question and one that warrants serious thought. The more I think about it, though, and think about my wife and I, it seems to me that what you have in common is not the most important thing. In fact, having things not in common makes for a more interesting life in the long run.
Here are some things I DO NOT have in common with my wife that I believe add to our relationship rather than take away from it.
Yes, we can agree that the Beach Boys were awesome and everyone loves the '80s, but when I really want to crank up my tunes, my wife is not around. I like to pump metal, rap and even country from time to time. And when I do, I like it full blast. My wife does not. So, on car trips we have to find alternatives to music, or just have conversations while driving. We have amazing talks and love our road trips because we are not just zoning out to music, but rather talking about things we don't talk about in our daily lives. I still pump my music too loud, I just do it alone in traffic.
We love to eat. Let me repeat: We LOVE to eat! Going out to dinner is one of our favorite things. But when it comes to our favorite foods, we are total opposites. I love sushi, she can't stand it. She likes SPAM, yes, SPAM. How can two polar opposites in the food department find common ground? We find new places that have food we both have never tried and on occasion she lets me go to sushi while she gets whatever hot food they offer on the menu. Food is important in relationships, but it is not a deal breaker. That is, unless they are vegan.
I love them, she can't stand them. I thought this would be hard to make work, but after pushing her to go to a few baseball games, we have found that she actually enjoys going to the ball park. Sure it's for the beer and dogs, but still we do it together and we are both happy about it. If I need to watch sports, that is a good time for me to do my own thing with friends and let her do something for herself. (That usually means shopping.)
I am a person who needs to have a lot of friends around and hates to do anything alone. My wife would be fine to keep her own company 90% of the time. We make it work because we are each other's friends. She fills that gap I need and when she needs her alone time, I head out with my boys. Happy, Happy, Happy.
My bottom line is that not having things in common is not always a bad thing. It opens doors for both people to explore new options and new ways of thinking. Not having the same interests makes life so much more interesting for you in the long run. Let's face it, agreeing on everything is boring and having someone who challenges you and your comfort zone makes for a much more interesting long-term life.
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Matty Staudt has been in the radio industry since he was just 16 years old. In addition to Matty's status as co-founder of StraightMaleFriend.com, Matty is a professor at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is the former Executive Producer of several popular shows in NYC, DC, and in SF on the "Sarah and No Name Morning Show". His six-year tenure ended there, and he teamed up with one of his best friends and former co-worker Marcus Osborne to form StraightMaleFriend.com.