Heartalytics published an article in July that outlined what information to share with a Matchmaker vs. what information to withhold, entitled: Matchmaker Says: To Tell or Not To Tell. Angie Lee, Tawkify Matchmaker and Customer Success Lead, was the brains behind this particular work. She laid out the Do's and Don'ts masterfully, but there is one particular point she made that I would like to focus on today.
In Angie's words:
"Interests are fleeting. It's okay if you have different interests. Why would you want someone exactly like you?"
"If two people are the same, one becomes irrelevant."
I believe this is true. We should not demand that a love match share all of our own interests. Why?
- An individual must have individual passions.
- Love begins with self-discovery and self-love. If you never focus on the "me", the "we" suffers.
- In relationships, we should relish the opportunity to learn from our partners. Adventure keeps us together.
- In relationships, we should relish the opportunity to teach our partners. Sharing oneself keeps the "me" and "we" relevant.
In my marriage, I enjoy experiencing things my husband enjoys--most of which I could never have anticipated doing before (e.g. surfing). Is surfing my favorite activity? No. Do I take immense joy in how much he enjoys it? Yes. Did I have fun floating around on the board, my husband offering pointers while making me feel safe in the open ocean? Yes. Would I have ever experienced surfing without him? Probably not.
Surfing can be his thing. I will happily try it, and I will always support him in interests we may not share. I won't go surfing every time, but I will sometimes--and that happy balance is the goal. Which drives the point home: We should not demand that a love match share all of our own interests.
Finding joy in your partner's diverse interests should ALWAYS go both ways. If you find that your life has been hijacked completely by another's passions, without any regard for your own individual interests--beware. This happens. So how do you ensure that interest-sharing is reciprocal? Simple, you strike a balance.
Share in the things you do not share.
My husband is not a dancer. Yet, he's taking a 6 week hip hop class with me starting in September at Met Dance. We experience our world as an adventure, learning from one another, and attaining new interests through the relationship.
When discussing match priorities with your matchmaker, keep Angie's observation in mind. You might be a die-hard snow boarder, but does your partner really need to be one too? You might love to collect antiques, but is that truly an essential priority for your match? Diana Helmuth reminded us to Delist Our Love Lives last year. This past Spring, The Scene produced an entire film project on this subject. Tawkify Director of Operations, Julia Armet, speaks to this in The Art & Science of Love Delivery, a Q&A:
"It is a mistake to be intensely focused on the end goals, rather than being focused on the present moment. People who believe there is a strict list of criteria they need in the other person...I suggest to those people all the time that it's not the qualities, it's about how that other person makes you feel. It makes much more sense to be with someone who makes you feel like your best self."
Which brings me to the next point:
Interests should only be voiced as a match priority if they are essential life elements that your partner must share.
What interests classify as essential life elements? This differs for everyone.
I foster a deep love and appreciation for food--food history, preparation and unearthing culture through food. I simply could not be with a man who didn't enjoy these things too--traveling, trying new restaurants and cuisines, discussing history. It would be a lonely life to not be able to share this passion with my husband.
Some other essential life elements could include:
- You have children from a previous relationship. Your partner must be supportive of your role as a parent.
- You are a practicing [insert religion or belief here]. It's important to you that your partner share your beliefs and attend sanctuary with you.
- What about Fido? You have a dog or cat that is an equal member of the family. A potential partner must be an animal lover too.
It's important to separate essential life elements from interests. It's also important to be discerning when discussing these matters with your matchmaker.
What are your real prerequisites?
Valerie Presley Ackler