With Valentine’s just around the corner I wanted to talk about one of the most important aspects of a relationship and that is that real lovers appreciate the differences between themselves and their partners. Dr. John Gottman’s research shows that the way to have a resilient relationship is to turn towards each other.
Differences are part of what initially draws us to our partners. Have you ever noticed how a talkative, engaging extrovert could be attracted to a quiet, reflective introvert? How about someone cautious being drawn to someone filled with confidence?
While this is the case in so many relationships, these differences often become distractions down the road. Those cute nuances can move from appealing to appalling. Those same differences that first attracted you to one another can cause conflict, misunderstanding, and even alienation as time passes.
Here are some examples:
Planners vs. Flexers:
Planners are individuals who love organization and structure. If you were to look into their cupboard, things would be organized because everything has a place.
Flexers, on the other hand, tend to be more malleable, able to adjust to the ebbs and flows of life quickly.