I think in general people place far too much importance on “common interests” as if it’s some kind of glue that should hold a relationship together. I think shared beliefs and appreciation for individual identities is much more vital for a strong relationship than whether or not you both enjoy tennis. It’s our differences in personality and how the traits of our individual characters compliment each other that makes a couple grow. I have a tendency to intellectualize things; my wife’s ‘common sense’ simple wisdom helps temper this in me. My wife is generally very impatient, and I have the patience of Job (particularly with our daughter) – this compliments her deficit. My wife is a ‘worst case scenario’ worrier, I tend to be more pragmatic and optimistic and this balances another aspect of our relationship. I have a tendency to be more artistic and passionate and this fills a need she has, but is unable to articulate. It’s differences in identity that compliment the deficits of the other and a vibrant appreciation of them that account for strong couples.
I would advise guys to re-think this compatibility myth. Every time I see these 40 point personality tests that “ensure compatibility” on eHarmony I want to puke. They’re all based on shared commonalities and this has a potential to lead to disaster. Men need to be able to excel in certain areas or activities in their lives that serve as a renewable source of social proof for the women they pair-bond with. [ ]