Ask Wendy

How Important is it to Have Things in Common within Your Relationship?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
How Important is it to Have Things in Common within Your Relationship? Or Silent Treatment
Hey Wendy,

How important is it to have things in common? I am motivated by things that are quite intellectual and academic, and even though my boyfriend tries to be interested in the things I find fascinating he struggles as it’s not his thing.

I'm trying to get past the fact that I can't have in-depth intellectual conversations with him about things like the nature of power/politics.

I love him and his kindness and warmth with every fiber of my being, but I miss that intellectual connection. Can this work?

Sandy O. — Minneapolis, MN

Hey Sandy,

“Can this work?” is a question only you can answer, but you can gain some clarity with this query:  I hear that you love him, but do you respect him? If his lack of knowledge/interest in intellectual topics cause you to lose respect for him, you don’t stand much of a chance together.

However, if you do respect him, and you want to have these types of conversations with him, try teaching him things first. Once he understands what you’re talking about, see if he can give you his perspective; that’s another way to engage with him. Or if that doesn’t work, make sure you’re making room for friends who love diving into the same topics you do in your life, and hang out with them when you need your fix. You can relish those satisfying conversations and then go home to him and do what the two of you enjoy doing together.

We shouldn’t expect to get every single need we have met by our partner (it takes a village), but we should expect to be able to respect and honor who they are, enjoy our connection, and be satisfied with what they provide as a partner.

Good luck!

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