Nothing in Common§
writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: April 29, 2006; revised: April 23, 2018; readers in past month: 566
Over the decades, I have been told that a good romantic match is a person with which one has many things in common. This has always seemed very logical to me and I have looked for women with practical aspects in common with me. However, when I have encountered such women, I have generally been disinterested or bored. It may be that in reality I am boring, and although I find myself to be fascinating, a woman with the same traits as me bores me to sobs. Since the number of women I have dated are few and therefore not necessarily a good sample, I realize that it may be bad luck that has led to my disappointment on this formula for a happy relationship.
When I consider the many friendships that I have had, though, my sample is much hardier for determining what is necessary for a good relationship. I have had hundreds of friends with the same interests as me, the same backgrounds, education, career choices, etc. From this larger sample, I have kept very few friends in which I’ve had much in common. However, my better and best friends are all people in with which I have worked at one time. So, they at least shared a common career path with me at one time, even though they no longer do. Although my career has changed greatly since we worked together, we have remained friends. As for their habits, attitudes, and many other factors to which one would look for commonality, they are also different from me. We have no visible reason for remaining friends, but we do and our friendships endure comfortably and they have permanency to them.
Basically, owing perhaps to my ways of the past, these friends were first met as a result of our careers coming together temporarily. Our friendships, though, have lasted because of subtle personality traits that are not usually noticed or mentioned as things in common. For some of these particular friends, I share a common desperation to be happy. For others, a similar frustration with life. What we have in common is not easily discernible to anyone who does not know us, and does not know our hearts. How these factors of our soul play out in our lives is different for each of us, but we share these elements and we are amused to observe in each other what is spawned from these subtle commonalities.
Lately, I have been dating a young woman for whom I have little in common. At first this caused a conflict within me. Or rather I should say, my heart knew how it felt, while my mind wasn’t sure. This woman is very loving, affectionate, sensual, and passionate. We share some of these traits; others she has in ways I can only wish for myself. These factors first attracted me to her and excited me. Although my mind still can find little practical commonalities, it can find no obstacles to my heart seeing this relationship through. She is not abusive and she is very caring. As far as I can see, I will not be hurt, manipulated, or trapped in this relationship. Therefore, my mind has given me permission to continue until something appears unexpectedly to prevent my proceeding further. What I’m discovering as time goes by is not obstacles, but a similar perspective on life in subtle and pure ways–pure ways as I had as a boy, but have hid as an adult. For instance, we see love and kindred spirits in plants and in some animals. We have the same reactions to rain and snow. We get bubbling about certain types of food or when eating. We both enjoy being silly and romantic. We feel good about life in the same way. Again, we have nothing in common according to normal standards, but we seem to be alike in the heart as one can be. This may not last, but my logic which tends to govern me somewhat in the past year or two has no logical objection to prevent my heart from enjoying this woman and relationship for as long as it can.