When you’re in the first stage of getting to know someone or dating most often it is the things you have in common that stoke the fire of your passions for one another. Of course, attraciton is definitely a key log in the fire. But, usually when people first start getting to know one another they are looking for all of the things that make them compatible.
It’s usually during this period that people will even over look the differences they have, write them off as miniscule, and quickly look past them so they could find another commonality. When you are interested in someone you’re usually not trying to see his flaws; it’s the oh so inevitable infatuation facade.
When my wife and I began our friendship we worked together and hung out in groups. I would flirt with her, pull her apron strings, write little notes to her during our shifts, and buy her little cards or snacks during my break. After work we would often hang out with friends from work. It was during this time that I would hear things about her that intrigued me, stimulated more interest, and caused me to develop deep feelings for her.
After a couple months I went to some of my friends and shared with them how interested I had become in her. One of the main things I would tell them was, “We have so much in common! She likes this and I like it too. She wants to do that in the future and I want to do it too. She has vision for this and I do too!” It was as if I was on a search and rescue mission to find every area we were similar all the while turning a blind eye to our differences.
However, the closer we drew together the more and more differences I saw. Once we got married the treasure chest of personality clashes, communication differences, and perferences swung wide open. It seemed all the things that made us compabtile were drowned out by the sea of differences we were encountering
It was then when I realized how compatibilty is overrated and sometimes really boring! It is the differences you have in a relationship that compliment you. My wife’s differences have challenged me to grow, see from a different persepective, and become more whole as a person. It is actually the differences that have strengthened our love, commitment, and desire to grow together.
Your differences are not weaknesses or obstacles, they are opportunities for greater intimacy. When you work together to understand and value the differences you have in your marriage it causes you grow; it also strengthens you sense of commitment to one another. There is a resolve that says, “We can work through anything. We are not the same and that is good!”
It is not your compatibility that makes you right for each other, it is your commitment to one another and your willingness to grow through the differences that does.