Love & Relationship

Differences Are Healthy for A Lasting Relationship…

Black couple

“We share the same interest/ I think who I am and being me is somehow a turn off/ I am comfortable with whom I am which is becoming a struggle especially in the face of rejection by men.” We’re sometimes ‘forced’ to start living and giving up on some core values because of relationships and people we want to pursue.

Others on the other hand hold a firm belief that sharing common/same interests is enough to keep an ‘expired’ relationship going. If we meet somebody who enjoys or shares the same interest as you, we think we’ve met our soulmate. In essence, they’re similar to us because we share the same interests. At some point, you want to settle down and enjoy a long-term committed relationship but apart from the same interests you share with the ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’, your aspirations, dreams and what you require/expect in a life partner is very different to what they want/who they are.

People are threatened with differences and they dissolve a union based on ‘we’re too different’ because they believe they need to have so much in common. Some try to please by morphing and blending to ‘fit into the bill’ of the other. None of us can truly say that giving up the right to be our true selves is for purely altruistic reasons and so when you examine what it is that you expect to gain from trying to please others by morphing and blending, you will see that you’re setting you up for pain and that there’s more authenticity and less pain in being you.

Having so much in common or sharing the same interest doesn’t cut it and you don’t have to force yourself to love their hobbies and interests because you want to be with them. If someone is threatened by differences, the worse you can do for/to yourself is to appease them by conforming to their standard and philosophies. By so doing, you’ve proved them right that it’s wrong to be ‘you’ and you will be a better person ‘being them’.

It’s as if a person being different is a trigger for self-doubt. We may also be assuming that if we go out with somebody who has different interests to us that people might think something about us. We all have our differences, what may be a stumbling block for someone; another person will celebrate and appreciate it – so why drop it and ‘morph’ yourself into someone you are not.

We complain people have changed but most of the time, they’ve not changed but they have reverted to their old self and ways. We didn’t like/want them the way they are so they changed to suit our needs and preference – that’s why it’s dangerous to give people conditions before going into committed relationships with them. Take people who they are if you want to be with them but don’t force them (by deed or otherwise) to be who you want them to be.

Some people stifle their true self by making too big a sacrifice and they only end up short changed, pained and lost. We don’t have the power to influence people’s feelings and behaviour with our sacrifice. If you change to mirror who they are and what they want you to be; when they want to walk, they’ll definitely get something they don’t like about you and still walk and by then you’ve even forgotten who you are because you believed the lie so much it became the truth.

Sometimes, people tell us in no uncertain terms that we are not who they want and expect us to be but we stubbornly plant ourselves in their lives. If you do not cut the cord, you can be strung along. If you do not set boundaries, others can bust them. If you don’t value who you are, what you do and say, you can be gravely manipulated and disrespected – in short, if you don’t take responsibility for yourself, nobody will!

And again, we shouldn’t conflate shared/common interests with character/attitude/habits – you can’t mix oil with water. We can’t have a peaceful co-existence with someone just because we share the same interests neither will a great personality do. The character is ‘who’ we’re going to live with – and that should be a priority.

Living someone’s life is hard work and you’ll not be spared from disappointment, resentment, conflicts and loss. Go natural – be yourself naturally! If you discover some lifestyle, attitude and habit is not working for you – change for you!



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