“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films – these things matter.” –John Cusack, High Fidelity
You like U2, but she likes Garth Brooks. You like Star Wars, but she likes 27 Dresses (or even worse, Star Trek [kidding!]). You like football, she likes NASCAR. You like The Office, she likes Grey’s Anatomy. You like beach vacations, she likes mountain lodges. You exercise by playing frisbee, she works out by jogging in the park.
Does it really matter if you have different interests from the person you’re trying to date?
Match.com and other dating sites make a big fuss about sharing your interests with the world. I doubt they figure into their matching algorithms all that much, but they deem interests important enough to share on the front page of your profile.
To a certain extent, it’s hard to ignore when someone has a more eclectic taste in something that matches yours. (What, CuteTpie1983, you love Deer Tick too? I’m buying an engagement ring.)
But this goes beyond online dating–this applies to any relationship. Does it matter if you share common interests with your mate?
My take is: No, it doesn’t matter. What matters way more is common intrigue and respect.
Let me explain.
And yet, I’m fascinated that the woman likes to climb rocks in her free time. It’s something that I know very little about, so I’d want to hear about it: How it works, stories, goals, etc. I’d like to watch her climb. I’m intrigued by it.
From her side, she has the choice to try to push me to adopt her hobby (which I’ve seen all the time in relationships, and I don’t think it’s healthy), or she can respect that I have my own passions and that I don’t need to start rock climbing to care about her.
Intrigue and respect. That’s what it comes down to, in my opinion.
Movies, music, sports, books…you can share those passions with your friends. Your partner doesn’t have to be everything for you in every area of your life. The one possible exception to this might actually be television. If you live with someone, it’s going to be divisive if you don’t share any common shows. So I think it might help to have a few shows that you both like, and for the rest of your lineup, you watch them on your own time and don’t force your boyfriend to watch Grey’s Anatomy when he could be watching The Office like any sensible person.
What do you think? (Not about the previous snide comment; rather, the whole “do common interests matter” question.)