I remember making a list when I was young of all the things I was looking for in a future husband. Some were a given, like he needs to be a priesthood holder and want kids. But on that list were other things just as important to me, such as, “likes Evanescence as much as I do!” and “only shops at Hot Topic, never American Eagle.”
What I wanted was basically a carbon copy of myself as a boy.
In some ways, you want to date people who have similar interests and standards as you. It is important to know from the start how they feel about topics that are important to you, like receiving an education or paying tithing.
A boyfriend or girlfriend’s family dynamics should be somewhat similar to your own because that’s most likely how they will be with their future family. But when it comes down to it, having the exact same taste in music, movies and sports really is not the most important thing in a relationship.
Some similar interests are good; you want to have things to talk about and bond over, but rooting for a different sports team shouldn’t automatically rule that person out as a potential significant other.
In fact, having that difference of opinion on the smaller things could ultimately be good for a relationship.
For example, if one person in the relationship is very focused on schoolwork and little else, dating someone who is a little more relaxed could keep them from becoming overwhelmed and too stressed.
On the other side, the more serious person could help the more relaxed person become more motivated when the situation calls for it.
Balance in a relationship is key. It’s hard to have balance when you have two people who are the same in every way.
According to the Myer Briggs personality type indicator website, a personality test that categorizes personality types based on how people perceive the world and make decisions, people with opposite personality types attract. We are drawn to people who deal with the world differently than we do but who have a similar focus in their lives. This means we naturally look for people whom we view as exciting or different from ourselves.
For example, a person who is more naturally quiet or reserved may be more interested in a person who is loud and outgoing. Or if we are the type who prefers to be the center of attention, we wouldn’t want to date someone who we would constantly compete with for that attention.
Do not rule people out just because they are not the exact version of yourself that you may have had in mind when you were young.
This is especially true with Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages,” a book describing the different ways people communicate love and affection. It would be easy to figure out your own love language — physical contact, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation or gifts — and determine to only date or marry someone who has the same love language.
We are here on earth to learn and grow, and dating or marrying someone who is different from you will help you to do that much more easily than being with someone who is exactly the same in every way. By sharing opposing opinions, you are forced to think more deeply, both about your own ideas and being able to see things from a different perspective.
Instead of looking for someone who has your same love language or personality type, perhaps it would be better to be willing to respond when your significant other asks for what they need.