Portland Marriage Counseling: Online Dating’s Problem

February 19, 2013 by

“We don’t have anything in common,” is something I hear quite frequently in Portland marriage counseling, and my response is almost always the same: “So what?”

People are often taken aback at first, but then I start to relay stories that most of them have heard versions of before. Couples who cancel out each other’s vote by choosing different candidates. Husbands and wives who come from completely different backgrounds and belief sets. Any romantic comedy ever, almost all of which are based on the premise that opposites attract.

We’ve been taught to think that what makes a lasting relationship is some resume of attributes and commonalities that we share. As if those supposed similarities in personality will somehow prevent relationship issues from occurring.

But it’s not necessarily true, and that’s the problem with online dating. The entire premise behind finding your “match” online is that you can fill out a form and find people who are “compatible” with you, but if that were true, why aren’t you attracted to more of your friends? After all, they presumably share your interests, right?

Portland Marriage Counseling: Compatibility Doesn’t Matter

What makes a lasting, loving marriage isn’t a list of how many things you have in common, but the fact that, for some reason, you “spark” to a person and still feel that love for them even years later. Everyone – no matter how compatible – is going to suffer relationship issues, but the people who stick together are the ones who have that spark or chemistry.

That’s why, when clients complain about their differences, I tell them it’s not always a bad thing to have lives away from their spouses. Obviously, you need to spend time together and create positive interactions, but that doesn’t mean that you both have to love making pottery or going to monster truck rallies.

Portland Marriage Counseling: Listen to That Spark

As long as the spark is still there between you and your spouse – even if it’s faded over time – your relationship can and should be saved. It just means a bit of effort on both sides to reconnect. After all, there was something that drew you together in the first place.

Of course, talking about reconnecting and actually being able to do it are completely different things; so if you and your partner continue having difficulties, don’t hesitate to try Portland marriage counseling.