When you stop and think about what you have in common with anyone, let alone the person you have chosen to spend your life with, it seems like it should be a no-brainer, right? Here, the question is looking for the “top 5 things” which implies there are at least 6 and probably many more. Of course, after my recent post about the qualities of friendship, this seems like a rather strange topic to me.
The thing is, as you look at similarities and then, by extension, differences, you have to start to wonder what that all means. How do you count the things you have in common, let alone rank them? I mean, we could go micro and find at least 5 commonalities just in the things we like to do at Disneyland. Or do we go macro and pull back the lens a bit and just count Disneyland itself as one thing? Do commonalities become like a Mandelbrot Set, where the closer you look, the more you see repeating patterns? Where do you draw the line as to how close or far you observe?
But if we were to take the question at face value, answer as intended…no, it still seems like there’s too much, doesn’t it? Sure, we could take it as a given, based on what I’ve already noted, that one of the things we have in common is we both enjoy Disneyland. Disneyland Paris was the first place we traveled together, but even in doing that, it exposed another common thing, in that we both love to travel. And this gets back to the problem: everything I mention can lead to more and more things in common.
For example, we both like to travel, which is an umbrella topic. But then we can subcategorize it by saying we both like to fly and travel by train and car. Traveling by bus, on the other hand, is enjoyed pretty much only by me, whereas Rasa will tolerate it if she has to. So as we move down the list we’ve reached a point of divergence, but even so, we’ve already reached our 5 thing in this short rambling, right?
Maybe I should just forego the superlative aspect, the whole “top 5” mandate, and just make a list, explicating each with a little note or comment, and then move on the next? Or just find 5 of what I’m labeling “umbrella” topics and again, add a few subcategories just to mention them before moving on to the next? Or maybe I’m overthinking it? Wouldn’t be the first time, to be sure.
Okay, so let’s see what we’ve got:
As I said, we both enjoy getting out and seeing the world. We also have in common what we like to see when we go. Since neither of us are big drinkers (something else in common, even if it is defined by the negative) going to bars isn’t our thing, but we do like museums and tourist attractions.
Interestingly, here’s a commonality created by mutual understanding of each other’s role: We both like going on road trips and are hoping, when Monki is a bit older, to head over to the US and drive across the country. When we do, however, it will be Rasa behind the wheel and me in the navigator seat – And that’s where we both belong. Same with flying – She’s perfectly set up with the window seat while I prefer the aisle (when we’re traveling together – on my own, I still prefer the window).
While we both can eat sushi or pizza or pancakes at pretty much any time, we also, especially when traveling, tend to see food more as a necessity for gathering energy to do more things rather than an end in itself. Sure, we both enjoy a good meal from time to time, but we could also just do with a quick bite and not think twice.
In one of our rare differing of opinions, I like roller coasters and Rasa does not (for a variety of reasons). But at Disneyland, she will go on Thunder Mountain and enjoy it, so there’s that. We also both like taking pictures with Monki and the characters.
Overall, though, I think the thing we have most in common is a mutual respect for each other and a desire to want the best for our partner and to help them enjoy what they enjoy and participate in when we can. Prior to meeting Rasa I had no interest in car racing at all, but now, I’m well-versed in some of the nuances of Formula 1 and for her part, Rasa now has an appreciation for Apple products. We’re still working on a game night, but hey, that’s part of the fun, right? Sharing and exploring new things which will then become common likes the next time someone asks this question.