Always a dangerous proposition, I know, but seriously… I was thinking about the relationships I have with people who are very different from me, whether politically, gender-wise, orientationally, educationally, experientially, digestively, etc., etc.
Most psychologists would say that we tend to gravitate toward people who are more similar to ourselves than different- witness the cultural movements of the last century as an example. Most friendships thrive on common denominators- that’s what common sense says. Most married couples would say that the success of their marriages derive from the similarities of the couple involved.
That’s conventional wisdom, anyway.
I was thinkin’- maybe the common denominators are important for initial contact and possibly for staying power, but what if it’s the differences, the mystery that’s the force creating interest, that alleviates boredom, that holds the prospect of adventure and infinite arenas of discovery?
I remember hearing a conversation between a young woman about to be married and a woman who had just celebrated her 40th anniversary.
Young Woman: I can’t wait to learn everything about him!
Married Veteran: Sweetheart, let me tell you something. He’s a bigger mystery to me today than when we walked down the aisle…
Maybe commonality is important. But maybe it’s the differences that really need some credit in human relationships.
Worth thinkin’ about….