what makes a partner?

is it having things in common? is it to have the safe belief system? should couples do everything together? have some things that are totally separate? do we have to have the same hobbies? or do we just have to participate?

with Patrick, i enjoyed scooters. i didn’t particularly like rallies. but i liked rides, as long as i wasn’t cold. which didn’t work real well in the bay area. we had music interest overlap, but not consensus. our sexual interests overlapped, but had differences. we thought basically the same way politically, which was actually sort of boring (we couldn’t really build on anything because our perspectives were the same). he loved shopping with me and had excellent taste in clothing. i really liked coming home and sharing with Patrick. i think he mostly enjoyed sharing with me. i would have liked if he had been more passionate about the music i loved, liked going to clubs. but i had friends i could do that with too.

andreas and i had little in common. mostly sex (which was exactly what i was looking for when I met him). improv was ok. further into the relationship he wanted to spend more time outdoors, which i totally respected. but it totally isn’t me. and that seemed like a problem to me. i would have liked to spend that time with him, but i just can’t do the sunny outdoors. so it was sort of like a difference in religion. it couldn’t be bridged.

with both Patrick and andreas we held creative parties together. that was extra special for me. it was creating something together. so perhaps that is another expectation on my part? that event aside, was it a problem that our interests were so different? that we didn’t have enough passions in common? i baked for a fundraiser at austin MOMA. andreas came but sort of stood off by himself and didn’t interact with anyone. this made me sad. i wanted him to share the fun. i brought it up at the counselor and andreas said he was subdued because he didn’t want to steal the limelight. that made no sense to me. what limelight? and how would he steal it at a baking event? he wasn’t himself that night. it felt like he didn’t want to be there. as though it bored him. and that reduced my enjoyment. now, i didn’t love improv. i found the majority of what i saw only mildly funny. but i engaged in it. the community became my friends too (which is now awkward). was my lack of interest in being an improviser (i am more scripted oriented) a huge problem in the relationship? to date an improviser, does one need to be an improviser? to have a satisfactory relationship how much “in common” is required? is my problem that i don’t date people like me? how on earth would i find someone like me? i am seriously quirky. my therapist says that, to build deep connections with friends, one needs to participate. seems like that would be the same with a partner. but how is that possible when your share your lives so much? is it a grin and bare-it situation? a trade off? i’d like to have my partner enjoy going to Elysium as much as i do. but is it required? basically, how does a couple need to overlap, interest-wise, to be successful?

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