I’m 27 and my husband is 29. We’ve been together since high school and have never broken up or even taken a break. The secret to our happy relationship? If you ask me, it’s how little we have in common.
We knew we had nothing in common but went on a date anyway. When we went on our first date back in 2007, the only commonality my husband and I had was the fact that our sisters were best friends in elementary school. That didn’t give us much to talk about when we were 16 and awkwardly sitting across from each other in his red Ford Mustang. I was nervous and so was he, but we ended up having a great time and we’ve been together since that night.
We’ve taught each other so many things because we’re so different. My husband is in finance and majored in accounting. He’s smart enough to do any job he feels like doing. He’s very tech savvy and great at problem solving while I can’t add two numbers together to save my life; my strengths are in writing and speaking. It’s so great to have him keep track of my books and numbers for my business, and I love when I get to help him edit emails and important papers that need to get sent out to his clients. We complement each other perfectly.
I don’t get mad when he’d rather do things with his friends. When he goes to a hockey game or a heavy metal concert, he always extends the invitation to me but doesn’t get mad when I refuse it. I know that by doing certain things with his friends, he’s going to have a better time because they’ll actually be excited and enjoy it.That’s not to say that I never go with him to these events, but most of the time we’re both happier when he goes with someone else and we do something together the next night. The same works in reverse—I go places with my friends pretty often because we enjoy the same stuff.
His skills come in handy all the time. I don’t know how I would set up my computer, fill out my Excel sheets, program the television, or anything else that’s tech related without him. He’s the one who handles all of that stuff in our relationship. Conversely, I don’t know how he would cook dinner, keep the house clean, or remember to buy birthday presents without me. We both have very different strengths and weaknesses in our relationship that balance out nicely.
We have different ways of problem-solving, which actually improves our relationship. The way my husband approaches a problem is totally different to my method. He tends to react out of emotion first and logic later. I sometimes have to remind him to take a step back and not take things so personally. Usually I stay very detached from problems and issues right from the start. I don’t lose my cool easily and I don’t get emotional. If we both reacted to issues the same way, it would sometimes be disastrous.
Netflix is the one place our tastes converge. I’m the type of person who loves to watch reruns of old shows on Netflix, and it’s very rare that I start a new series. My husband loves to watch TV and movies and he’s introduced me to so many that I never would have known about otherwise! We have very different tastes in movies, music, and general entertainment, but we usually end up agreeing on what to watch when it comes to Netflix.
We’re setting an excellent example for our son. Our son will get to see that you don’t have to be a carbon copy of the person you’re dating or married to in order for the relationship to work. You can be very different and have a very happy and healthy partnership. I don’t want him to grow up thinking he can’t be with someone because they’re total opposites. There’s a reason people say that opposites attract! I want him to learn to give everyone a chance in life and in relationships.
We appreciate our own and each other’s uniqueness. You can’t compare apples and oranges. My husband is amazing at certain things that I could never do and I’m really great at things that he finds fascinating but baffling. There has never been any competition or comparing of our jobs, families, skills, parenting style, or anything else. We know that we’re two totally different people who are just combining our unique backgrounds, personalities, and skills together.
Our relationship has never been boring. When I want to go out for burgers but he wants Chinese food, the compromise is usually trying some place that’s totally different that we both end up loving. When you like all of the same things as your partner, there’s never any inclination to want to try something new, but that’s never been the case for us. Being so different means we bring different things to the table, and that keeps things between us fresh and interesting even all these years later.
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