10 Life Changing Things That Happen When You Date Your Opposite

###We’ve talked about “perfect boyfriend/girlfriend checklists” before, because they’re something that we pretty much all have, whether we physically write them down or not. Even an open-minded person is probably holding onto some idea that they whipped together in childhood about the kind of person they imagined being with forever. I always thought I would meet a lanky blonde Italian vegetarian dude with long hippie hair who loves Todd Rundgren as much as I do and is very simple and is extremely outgoing and loud. And that person … might exist? There might be one person in the universe who exists like that. But maybe he lives in Dublin or something, and never our paths would meet. Did you hear? The chances of meeting your one soul mate is like 1 in 10,000!

My real boyfriend is the polar opposite of my fake/dream boyfriend. He is short and has dark skin, hair and eyes and he is kind of shy and a designer and he loves buying clothes and sneakers and eating duck and I am much, much louder than him. Yes, we are really similar in important ways — we think the same things are funny and like to live our lives in much the same way. But my relationship is awesome because he has brought so many unexpected things to my life — things that my fake/dream boyfriend wouldn’t have been able to provide me with.

Do you remember that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dates Janeane Garofalo for like 5 minutes? They broke up because they were too similar. Too similar is not good. And now, I can’t believe I ever wanted anyone anything like me. In fact, I hate me! I mean, I don’t want to date me! I don’t know how my boyfriend puts up with me! I know I couldn’t do it.

I’m going to advise everyone to go out in search of their opposite. Not their opposite in super critical ways — if God is really your thing, it would be dumb to try to get along with someone who was really opposed to religion. But just try it. Just once. Find someone who makes you go WHAT? OH! It’s an interesting exercise, in the least. And you’ll learn about yourself and get some new tunes, and all of this stuff, too!

[HOMEWORK TIME! If you’re in a relationship, I’d love to hear what was on YOUR “checklist”, and how that compared to what you actually ended up with. And if you’re single, I’d love to hear what is on your list, too! (Warning: I will probably tell you to put the list in the blender with your AM smoothie.) Email your list to lauren@howaboutwe.com. Now, on with the show!]

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It’s Really Freeing.

You know that feeling when you’re traveling across time zones or you’re studying abroad or you’ve been on vacation for 8 days and you can’t remember what day it is anymore? That’s the realization that we have created rules for time and space, and they don’t actually exist. You feel in the moment. I think you feel that way with someone different, too, because you realize that there are other ways to do things, and that you don’t have to be chained to all of your beliefs and habits. You could feel open to a new religion, a new style, or promise yourself to sleep more and stress less, or stop smoking crack or start eating more kale.

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