My boyfriend wants me to watch football and yell at the TV with him (I don’t get it). I want him to stop eating frozen vegetables and take up a meditation practice (never going to happen). We’re just different. I like group hugs and yoga. Ben likes beer and cycling.
I’ve dragged him to Kirtan (better known as a chant circle) for “date night” – but there was nothing romantic about the wafts of incense, the emotional Sanskrit howling or the babe gyrating in the corner and twirling around the room with her bells on.
I enjoyed the howling, but chanting just isn’t Ben’s caper; he’d much rather be watching football or drinking beer like a normal person. For the sake of his sanity and our longevity I need to be more respectful towards his beliefs, values and interests. This coincides with us both cultivating our common ground and finding the inspiration, entertainment and fulfilment from our varying pursuits.
Opposites do indeed attract, but then they need to learn how to both love and live with each other simultaneously. I adore books, art, yoga and am wholly committed to my spiritual practice. They add a richness and depth to my life and are the things that simply light me up inside. But Ben doesn’t like reading, is ambivalent towards art and thinks that most ’spiritual stuff’ is for weirdos.
We definitely don’t think alike. But thankfully we do love alike.
We both place more importance on each others happiness and our shared joy as opposed to figuring out who’s right and who’s wrong.
We lead with understanding and then find the beauty in our differences rather than trying to change, force or manipulate the other person towards one way of thinking.
We then openly discuss our differences – as understanding paired with compassion builds a stronger sense of trust and a deeper love for one another.
I love that we’re so different and we both find great joy and laughter in each others quirks and nuances. I’ve come to understand that I’m not always right and Ben is now more open-minded and respectful towards people with differing beliefs. I’ve also been made very aware that singing, clapping and euphoric dance just isn’t for everyone (go figure) and chant circles don’t always make great date venues.
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