So X and I have been taking Argentine tango lessons for about six weeks now. I absolutely love it. I love the intimacy of it, the subtlety of it. I love the movements and the music. X...not so much. He's decided it's just not his thing and he doesn't want to do it anymore. I respect that. It's just one more thing X and I don't have in common.
We are actually very, very different for a married couple. He gets up around 7:30. I sleep in til 10. He goes to bed around 10pm, latest. I like to stay up til midnight. I like trying new foods, he doesn't. I love dancing. He dances just to satisfy me. He loves computers. I'm lucky I know what a monitor is. He's majorly into politics. I'm lucky I know who the Vice President is. He's dedicated to his choir. I go to mine maybe twice a month. So we're very different people.
Is this a bad thing? Far from it! Being so different encourages us to grow in ways we wouldn't without each other. Take the politics thing. I now listen to political talk radio and I've started watching the presidential debates - Republican and Democrat alike. His enthusiasm encourages me to learn about it.
Take the dancing thing. X is now a beautiful ballroom dancer. He's not always into the same styles I am - see the Argentine thing for an example - but he dances really well and does great in ballroom. We're the talk of the town when we go out together. People come up to us and compliment us on our dancing - and I couldn't do that without him.
Take the BDSM thing. I had only dabbled in blind folds and ropes before him. Now they're standard, I have multiple whipping/beating instruments, and we're trying new things all the time. By being different and being willing to share his world with me, he opens mine and helps me grow as a person.
But H, you say, how can you be a couple if you are different in so many ways? We're alike in the ways that matter. We value the same things in life and in people. We value the qualities, if not always the habits or hobbies, of the other person. Neither of us wanted a ball and chain. We wanted a partner. And partners can work independently of each other.
We have separate friends, too. I see A and K for dinner at least once a month, but X still has a hard time telling them apart. Before we go to see his work friends, I always get X to remind me of their names. And that's okay! Just because you're married, your worlds do not have to become one.
And this doesn't mean I'm not crazy about him, because I really am. He's a devoted, loving, strong, independent, smart, caring, clever, funny man and I love him to bits. And he feels the same way about me. Being married doesn't mean you become one unit. It means you become a team. And we make a great team.
For those of you considering a new relationship - be it a friendship or a romance - look at the externals, sure, but look past that. X doesn't love my tattoo (or the fact that I want to get more), but he loves that I got it because I was passionate about dancing. I don't love politics, but I love his fire for it and it encourages me to learn more about the world around me. X doesn't care about my knitting, but he knows I love it and so he supports me in my art and craft.
If you go beyond the "what they do" into the "why they do it," you may find amazing people.