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November 5, 2013

Making Your Different Lifestyles Work Together


We all live our own unique lifestyles. This may be because this is how we were raised, or our passion or career requires living this way, or it simply works for us. Whatever the reason, our own personal lifestyle choices are part of who we are. This means that in dating, we are not only dating a person, but their lifestyle as well. Does this mean that we can only date people who live similar lifestyles to ourselves? Of course not, although it would be easier to do so. It just means that if you are dating someone  whose lifestyle is different than yours, there are areas in the relationship that might need to be  examined. For example, maybe your S.O. is a vegetarian and you are not, or your S.O. works long hours late into the night and your evenings are free because you work during the day. Whatever the differences in your lifestyles, you can and should be able to make it work. Here are some tips for how to do so.

Be Open to New Ideas

Be open to trying some of the things that your S.O. might be used to. If they are a vegetarian, try going veggie at dinner one time. You may find a new favorite dish.  Or maybe they are a different religion than you. Try  attending each other’s services some time together. It is nice to just sometimes be accompanied by your S.O. to these events. Specific holidays or feast days are good days to try this because more people will be there and there will be some, like you, who don’t know what to do there either. You don’t have to completely change your ways, but your S.O. will appreciate you trying something new for them.

Be Respectful of Their Choices

If your S.O. makes different decisions than you based on their job, their diet, their religion, or any other reason, try to respect this. Try to make sure that any restaurant choices include items on the menu that your S.O. can enjoy or don’t schedule events for those times that you know they are not available.  You don’t want to make them feel bad about their decisions simply because you do not make the same ones. Remember that you care about this person. That is why you are dating them. So be respectful of their feelings and how your reactions to their decisions might affect them.

Don’t Over Think It

Some of the fun in dating is  being with someone different than you are.  If we all were exact copies of each other, we would never learn or experience anything new. We would all just stay the same people and that would get boring. Being willing to go for an afternoon hike does not necessarily commit you to joining them for a weekend wilderness adventure.  Don’t over think every difference between you two. Try to learn and grow from each other. If you end up trying something new and you don’t like it, at least you know more than you did before.  But don’t put the other person down for what works for them.

Different lifestyles can be hard to mesh in dating, but they are not impossible. As long as you two are open to each other and your different lifestyles, the relationship should be successful. Ultimately, try to be open and respect the other person. If things then do not work out or you don’t enjoy something new that you try, at least you did try it instead of being afraid of it and safe.  And who knows, you may end up opening up your world of experiences.


About the Author

Elizabeth Monsoor
Elizabeth Monsoor is currently working on her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. While Elizabeth pursues a career in dance, she has rediscovered her love for writing. When she is not in class or at rehearsals, Elizabeth enjoys actively commenting on episodes of reality television and tweeting her observations on relationships several times a day. She has an “eyes wide open” approach to dating, acting as an unofficial advisor and commentator on her friends’ relationships. Elizabeth hopes that her opinions on relationships and her love of sarcasm both entertain and inspire her readers.

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