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How aligned do you feel you should be with an SO?

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abbycadabby posted 9/11/2013 09:02 AM

Random thoughts:

On major issues like finances, religion, long-term and short-term goals, children, housekeeping, relational roles, etc, is there an ideal to which you should aspire?

Is there room for dissonance between two people, or are differences of opinion on major issues destined to cause trouble between partners? I've always felt that with communication and mutual respect, differences of opinion on these issues can be effectively dealt with. Am I wrong? How in-line must one be with a partner?


[This message edited by abbycadabby at 9:05 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

lieshurt posted 9/11/2013 10:24 AM

I really believe that you have to have a similar viewpoint on most of those things. Some things you may be able to come to a compromise on, but overall I think there as to be similar viewpoint for the two people to be successful in a relationship.

nowiknow23 posted 9/11/2013 10:33 AM

I think it comes down to communication and respect. I have very strong relationships (granted, family and friends rather than SO) with people who have very different viewpoints and beliefs than I do. The key is in acceptance, communications around expectations, and respect for varying perspectives.

wildbananas posted 9/11/2013 13:24 PM

Personally, I need to have more in common than not with an SO, at least on the big issues (money, goals, parenting styles, temperment). My two "big" relationships in my life (ex-asshat and xso) were both incredibly stressful for me because we were such different people.

I wouldn't want anyone exactly like me, of course... but I'd like to have the big stuff in common. And like the Empress said, communication and respect are huge, no matter how alike (or not) you are.

[This message edited by wildbananas at 1:24 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

aesir posted 9/11/2013 17:51 PM

Well, communication, respect, and tolerance are more important than any of these, but I find it hard to imagine a happy relationship if you don't have compatible thoughts on relational roles. Other than home ownership, retirement planning, and what you want to do for that 25th or 50th anniversary party, I don't know if the short and long term goals are necessarily even related to relationships, so long as you can find a way to fulfill them within the context of your relationship.

phmh posted 9/11/2013 18:03 PM

I think it depends on the issue. Of course respect and tolerance are important, but there aren't compromises on some of these issues. For example if one person wants to have kids and the other doesn't.

There's a great article on baggagereclaim about shared values vs. shared interests. I think that shared values are really important -- and much of what you listed are shared values.

For example, I am frugal with money. I don't deprive myself, but I live within my means and make sure to save a lot for retirement. I couldn't be with someone (long-term) who had nothing saved for retirement, was in consumer debt, etc. I know I'd come to resent him.

I could deal with different levels of messiness as you can hire a cleaning service.

million pieces posted 9/11/2013 20:13 PM

I agree w phmh. Values are different than interests. SO are both active and have varied interests. They are mostly different, but we respect each others interests.

Values we are pretty much matched. We have the same end goals. We may not have the same exact way of getting there, but we want the same things in life.

NaiveAgain posted 9/12/2013 07:10 AM

We have the same end goals. We may not have the same exact way of getting there, but we want the same things in life.
That is where I am with my guy. We want the same end result but right now we have different ideas on how to get it. But we are on the same page as far as our values, children, religion, our future, and the way we want to handle our relationship and how we feel disagreements should be handled.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 7:16 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]

hexed posted 9/12/2013 07:38 AM

The only issue that I insist on being on the same page with my SO is kids. I don't want anymore and I am not willing to compromise on that. He feels the same. Second date conversation for me. Regarding child raising -- we're pretty much on the same page.

Religion - totally different. Politics -- we're totally different. We discuss things respectfully but I don't expect to change him and he doesn't try and make me believe what he does. We have great, interesting conversations. I respect him as a person so I respect his thoughts on these topics

Finances are trickier. We are similar but not identical and he throws a monkey wrench in to things once in a while.

Relational gender roles...well that's been interesting. I'm the opposite of the women in his past. He's learned to like it. He has also learned to express himself when that difference makes him uncomfortable. I tell him when he's being unacceptably old school IMO. We fell in love with the people we are. I remind him sometimes that he fell for a woman with a career not a stay at home, domesticly gifted type of gal. That isn't going to change.

We fell into our roles pretty naturally. He does nearly all of the cooking. I do most of the laundry. However, there are no 100% his job/my job type of things. If the laundry isn't done and he wants something clean, he washes it. He doesn't make me feel guilty for not having it done. I can make myself dinner if I want something he doesn't cook. No big thing.

For us it comes down to respect.

abbycadabby posted 9/12/2013 08:46 AM

Thank you all for your interesting responses and perspectives!

aesir- this is just an example, but if one of my long-term goals was to, say, move to Alaska or something, and my SO was confined to his current locale for various reasons, then the relationship would hardly work long-term. That's all I meant (long-term goals of one partner that would affect the other partner in some way)

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