Everything in our world nowadays is set up to connect us with people that we have things in common with. All of our social media wants us to know what mutual friends we have, that we both love the same music, are from the same neighborhoods, spend our free time the same way, and believe the same things. Sometimes, that’s great. But, it’s not all that we need.
Real quick, let’s talk online dating. It’s all about being similar. They want us to know that we’re both dog lovers and both enjoy bowling. Look, we both graduated college! It’s a match! Insert skeptical face here. I’ve definitely tried my hand in the online dating world and, when people ask me about it, I usually have the same answer: I met a great guy, he looked like he was supposed to from his pics, we had a lot in common…but where the hell was the chemistry?
What is chemistry? Pheromones? Auras? Complimentary energy? If you hold the answer or even a theory to the answer, please share it with the class. What I do know is that I need it and it has nothing to do with how good we look together on paper. It’s one of those damn elusive things that you just feel.
Yes, all this applies to dating. But it’s bigger than that.
Remember that you don’t have to have everything in common with someone to vibe with them as another human being. It’s about releasing any instinctive judgement you feel and just listening. Take a minute to relate. How did they become who they are? Be genuinely interested.
It feels amazing to share things in conversation about yourself or your experiences and have that other person come back at you with plain and simple acceptance or curiosity. It leaves behind that purgatory of ‘small talk’ that we so often find ourselves in these days and leads to real conversation.
Learning to understand others helps us to understand ourselves. We become mirrors for each other and have the chance to feel just a little more connected during this whole ‘human experience’ thing we all have the pleasure to go through. You don’t have to agree on everything or like everyone. Not everyone will meet you halfway. It doesn’t matter. This sort of willingness to TRY is a testament to your own empathy, helps you to keep your mind open, and makes your world just a little more vivid.
Make it a point to seek out people that are different from you. Don’t limit yourself by shying away from people with an alternate perspective, background, appearance, or belief system. You never know what might come of it.
I don’t believe that we can become the fullest version of ourselves by spending time with only like-minded people. Challenge yourself to talk to anyone and FIND the commonalities. This gives us an opportunity to learn, grow, and realize that maybe we’re not so different after all.