We all have our own “weird” factor. For some it’s an obsession with how well they look, for others it’s anxiety about financial security. There are as many “weird” factors as there are people. It’s the way we deal with our anxieties and woundedness. It’s about our genetic code and upbringing. It’s those quirky behaviors and beliefs that are well ingrained, though most likely out of date. In other words, we all have our issues—those neurotic tendencies that show up in our own unique ways.
The problem is that we tend to be very tolerant of our own weird factor but less tolerant of others’. It’s akin to being able to tune out our own children’s whining while holding back the desire to strangle the whining kid that lives next door. Somehow our own weird factor seems less weird than others’. But let’s face it. Being in a relationship with another human being requires tolerance—tolerance for all the weird factors; tolerance for all the differences. If your plan is to wait and find a mate who is void of weird, then you are in for a very long wait. It doesn’t exist. We all walk around with our own version.
So what is there to do?
It’s a matter of which weird works for you. Some kinds of weird will work well enough with your weird. Some don’t. It takes time to figure this out. Once you start to learn more about your significant other and what his weird is, you will then need to pay attention to how his weird works with yours. Here are a few questions to help guide you along the way.
1. In what way does her weird affect you and your relationship?
2. Does he insist that you buy into and participate in his weird or can he keep healthy boundaries?
3. Can you maintain healthy boundaries, focusing on dealing with your own weird and leaving her weird up to her?
4. Do you collude with any real dysfunction? Are you in denial of how detrimental his weird is to your well-being?
5. Do you both take full responsibility for managing your own respective weirds?
6. Is the nature of the behavior conducive to you and your lifestyles and values?
The trick is to figure out if your significant other’s weird will work for you. Don’t count on anything going away. Don’t try to heal away the weird. It’s here to stay. So you might as well be honest with yourself now. Take the time to see how your weird and your significant other’s weird get along. If they get along well enough then may your weirds live happily ever after. If not, go find another weird that works for you. Your weird will appreciate it.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery