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How Much Should You Have in Common With Your Partner?

Emma Chow: What Commonalities Are Important in a Relationship, and Which Aren't

Emma Chow, co-host of The Edge 96.ONE's Breakfast Show Mike E & Emma, talks about the common interests you should have with your partner, and the ones you can let slide.

It's the age old question: how much do you really need to have in common with your partner? They say opposites attract, and I can tell you from experience that they do — but it's not always the recipe for a lasting relationship. The chemistry might be there, but the thrill of hooking up with someone you normally wouldn't is almost destined to have an expiration date. Then you have the reverse situation, where you agree on absolutely everything. This also may not work because you're not challenging each other — there's no push-and-pull dynamic.

In my opinion, you need to be with someone who challenges you in some ways but is firmly on the same page for others. But what do you absolutely have to be compatible on and what can you let slide?

Here's what you can afford to look past when it comes to partner compatibility.

Food likes and dislikes. So he hates chocolate, cheese and wine. NBD! That's what girlfriends are for!

Sports. My partner shares an NBA League Pass with his mate and they watch the games together at our place. If I don't feel like watching, I busy myself with other things around the house or go for a walk. Easy.

Early riser verses night owl. This one can be tricky on weekends but it can work if you're willing to compromise. Maybe you spend Friday night out with friends, sleep in Saturday, and then wake up early Sunday for a walk and brunch.

Taste in music. Road trip playlists might be a bit of an uphill battle, but otherwise this isn't too much of an issue. You and your girlfriends can go weak at the knees at an Ed Sheeran concert while he rocks out to his fave hardcore band at the local with his buddies. It's good to have interests independent of each other.

Here's what you have to be on the same page for.

Marriage and/or kids. Whether it's to do both or none or one or the other, these are two things you absolutely must agree on. Nobody wants to be pushed into marriage or parenthood and end up resenting themselves, their partners, or worse, their kids.

Location. Most people prefer to be close to friends and family, and as life goes on and you start thinking further into the future, familiarity plays a huge role in your overall life satisfaction. If neither of you are wiling to be flexible, things are bound to get tough.

Drinking. I have a friend who says, "I want a girl who likes to party but not a party girl". Having different relationships to alcohol can put a lot of stress on a relationship. Make sure you know each other's thresholds and are on the same page.

Travel. A hermit is not going to gel well with a person who loves to explore the world. Holidaying together is often our only chance to really reconnect with our SO; if not, we get stuck in the monotony of the work/home routine and that's not healthy for anyone.

Focusing on the little incompatibilities that ultimately don't impact the quality of your relationship will only make you bicker for no good reason. Instead, aim to agree on the big picture stuff that will affect your lives in the long term.

Image Source: Unsplash / Pablo Heimplatz
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