Every night I like to scroll through Instagram, looking for anything I missed that day and the best Tik Tok compilations. One night on the couch, laughing my head off, I looked over at my boyfriend Steven and asked what he was reading about…
Like a man on a search for clues, he answered, “I’m reading about the origins of Greek democracy.” And that in a nutshell are the two strikingly different personalities in our relationship, and somehow it works really well. This conversation reminded me of a scene from The Mindy Project that I watched a few nights ago:
Jason: So what did you think of the movie?
Mindy: I thought it was very real…I thought the people in it looked like people who would be in line behind me at the bank. I’m not sure why we paid money to see it…
Jason: Ok because I thought it was refreshing to see real people fall in love in a movie.
Mindy: I have not yet tired of seeing hot people fall in love in a movie.
When we first met I was drawn to Steven’s warmth, that he was a writer, and that he loved art as much as I do. That said, our differences abound. Steven loves war documentaries, going to bed early, avant garde Punk, and wearing flannel year-round, no matter how hot it is. I hate being hot more than anything, my music is more on the chill side, and I always stay up as late as I possibly can. But in the Venn Diagram of our relationship there is some major overlap — neither of us can resist singing along to Otis Redding, we love the same secret pizza place, and it turns out I don’t mind sweating so much if I’m taking a long walk with him on a hot summer night.
Here are some more things we both love with all our hearts:
— sleeping in
— Broad City
— true crime
— strong coffee
— Conan O’Brien
— dramatically singing to the cat
I used to hold a somewhat short-sighted assumption that couples should have nearly everything in common to be compatible. Obviously that’s almost never true, and in fact that’s what makes relationships so much richer. The fact that Steven is so different from me makes me appreciate him so much more than if he was just an extension of my own interests and perspectives.
This past weekend, I was at a yard sale and came across a vintage bike that I couldn’t pass up buying. Steven, who bikes 20 miles a day, had been anxiously waiting for me to get a bike so we could ride together. “Add that to the overlap!” he texted back when I told him. I look forward to adding a lot more.
What’s the Venn Diagram overlap with your partner? Is it big or small? I’d love to hear!
P.S. Five words that changed my relationship and are you similar, or opposites?
(Photo of the Obamas.)