My Partner & I Have Nothing In Common But It Works

The idea that relationships only work if you have a lot in common with your partner is ridiculous. Not only is this logic crazy and outdated but it causes unnecessary stress. My partner and I are polar opposites and it’s perfect in every way.

We ended up together because we’re different.My partner and I met at a fraternity party in college. The only reason I was even there was that my crazy, party-loving best friend made me come. I’m more of an introvert while my now-boyfriend was actually in a fraternity, uber popular, and full of charisma. I’d rather have been anywhere else that was quiet and had free coffee refills. The fact that we were so different intrigued us both and we were fascinated with each other.

Literally everything about us is different, even our friends.Introducing him to my friends (and vice versa) proved to be an interesting experience. He had a social crowd that would rather be out until three in the morning at a bar. Meanwhile, mine were all quiet, studious, and enjoyed dinner at a normal time. The cliche that opposites attract proves valid because when we were all together, it became a learning environment rather than one of tension between different friend groups. It pushed us all to find one thing we did have in common, and if there was nothing? We learned!

We aren’t even physically similar.When I met my partner, I was 19 and still figuring out who I was. Over the years I’d cut off all my hair, buzzed it, dyed it insane colors, took part in tattoo sleeve culture, and my partner… well, he remained the same. He was confident in who he was from the start while I had a lot of soul-searching to do, but I observed a lot from his guidance and eventually grew to love myself because of it. While he looks like he stepped out of an Abercrombie ad, I could pass as an alternative model for fighting the patriarchy—and that’s OK!

Being so different led to acceptance.When I chose not to keep my part in the LGBTQ community a secret, I was both shocked and relieved when he accepted me for it and even more so, he wanted to learn about it. Our sexual diversity has actually brought us closer and pushed us to constantly have an open line of communication because to love someone means loving every single aspect of them. 

While he watches sports, I’ll read. It’s totally not uncommon for guys to love sports and leave their partners hanging. However, I’m not bothered by it! Being so different from each other means that I get to do the things that I love without cutting into the time we choose to do things together—and whether he admits it or not, I know he loves that I don’t talk through baseball highlights. It works because a pet peeve of mine is when someone tries to talk to me when I’m in the middle of a super gruesome chapter of Stephen King’s latest.

I’m sarcastic and he’s playful.Blame it on our horoscopes (I’m a Virgo, he’s a Pisces) or just the fact that I was born with a quick wit, but our humor is contagious at times. Many a time our family and friends have taken a seat and watched the show as we’ve gone back and forth in an entertaining verbal duel to the death. I usually start with a snappy response that I’ve put at least two seconds of thought into before spewing a verbal dagger while he’ll deflect with a playful anecdote or teasing to counter. 

Our fights are intense but short-lived. All couples fight and my partner and I are no different. The older we get, the sillier things we find to debate about. As adults, it’s not difficult to find something to spar over and we’ve perfected the art of the 10-minute fight. While I’m busy explaining and analyzing in full-length monologues, he’s sitting there interjecting with comments about how silly the fight is and semi-laughing over how eagerly I’m trying to get a point across that he most likely understood five minutes prior. Give it another 20 minutes and we both end up too hangry to keep fighting and move on to dinner.

Fire and ice have nothing on us.I can be a chilly bitch or as feisty as an angry cat while he’s laid-back and cool as a cucumber. Our personalities are completely different and occasionally it’s problematic but most of the time it works. He mellows me out while I encourage him to snap into action, and we find that both are needed to support and motivate each other through this crazy maze called life.

We’re in a constant state of learning.Being so different means there’s always an element of surprise. When your partner turns around and says, “Yeah, I really do agree with you on that!” It’s definitely a time-stopping moment since you never expect it. This is good and bad but it always turns into a learning process. I feel like I’m constantly learning something about him and vice versa, and that keeps things interested and prevents them from becoming stagnant. 

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