Why You Should Date Your Complement, Not Your Clone

two white sheep in a room

Compatibility should come before common assets and interests.

Tina is a psychologist who has explored many different spiritual paths over the years. She's done movement and tantra and meditation and everything else under the sun and this work is a vital part of her life. Needless to say, she wanted a man who was curious about the same things. In the process of dating, Tina quickly discovered that:

A) the number of men who are similarly "spiritual" is miniscule, and B) all the spiritual men she met seemed to be annoying narcissists. Much to her surprise, instead of continuing to pursue men who were just like her, she opened herself up to the 98% of the population that wasn't. Which way do you think Tina has better odds of dating success?

The fact is, if you're extremely passionate about ANYTHING, it's going to make you a bit of an outlier. If you live your life around your passion, it's only going to serve to take you even further outside the mainstream.

It's hard to meet your husband if you're summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro.
It's hard to meet your husband if you're doing healing work with other women.
It's hard to meet your husband if you're doing an Iron Man triathlon.
It's hard to meet your husband if you're volunteering with women at the shelter.

No one's judging you for choosing these meaningful pursuits, but I will say that it's unrealistic to find a man who not only shares your passion, but is also tall, dark, handsome, sophisticated, generous, sexy, thoughtful, emotionally available, etc.

Ultimately, it's not about finding someone who SHARES your passion. It's about finding a partner who ACCEPTS your passion without judging you.

That's what I did, and that's how I got married.

Instead of continuing to chase the elusive younger, East Coast, Jewish, atheist, intellectual beauty, who's got a Masters degree and shares novels with me, I let go of trying to date the female version of myself.

My wife is from the West Coast, Catholic, believes in God, is older than I am, is smart, but not an intellectual, and would rather watch "The Office" than read Philip Roth.

So what makes us work if we have none of those "important" things in common?

  • We both have integrity.
  • We make each other laugh.
  • We treat each other like gold.
  • We're close with our families.
  • We trust each other implicitly.
  • We accept each other as we are.
  • We want the same things out of life.
  • We want to be great parents and role models.
  • We put our relationship above our individual needs.

None of this can be seen in an online dating profile. None of this comes across on a first date. None of this means that my wife should give up her passion for wine or that I should give up reading when my wife wants to watch TV. It just means we accept each other's differences and love each other anyway.

And until you get over the idea that your partner has to be "just like you," you're not only leaving yourself with very few romantic prospects, but you're pretty much ensuring that your prospects have your flaws.

Too busy. Too stubborn. Too critical. Too self-centered.

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Choose a man who's different than you and you may finally get a different and better result.