This article is inspired by both my life experiences, and the song “We Got Two Jealous Agains”, by the band NOFX. Here are some of the lyrics so you get a better idea of what I mean:
I thought you were the one when I heard “Holidays In The Sun” come from your bedroom
but my mind started to stray when I saw ‘Youth of Today’ mixed with your singles
What’s with this Underdog and this GNR EP?
I don’t think Hanoi rocks
and I don’t want your Paul Stanley
next to my Subhumans gatefold
I’m not trying to be a jerk
but I don’t think this record mergers gonna work..
But when I saw Christ on Parade,
and This is Boston, Not LA
I knew you were the one.
I want to paint picture for you of my teenage dating-self, and the boys (yes at this point they were boys) I used to crush on. When I was 16 I had pink streaks in my hair, wore a lot of black, referred to Mindless Self Indulgence as “genius”, and pretty much thought I was Avril Lavigne. The guys I crushed on were all pretty much carbon copies of each other. Black hair (usually dyed black), thin, studded anything, and (apart from Avril Lavigne) were into the same type of music I was. All of this meant they were perfect for me. In 2001 they were the kids you’d describe as Emo, Punk, or in New York we called them “Rockers”. Of course, I had a boyfriend at the time (who I had nothing in common with) so I never got to do anything more than crush on these guys from a distance. However, I was convinced if I could just be with one of them, my love life would be perfect.
And still, lots of people carry this notion around with them today. If you can just find that one person who can sit through an “Orange Is The New Black” Netflix binge, then he/ she’s the one. Or if I could just meet another lawyer, they’d understand my hectic work hours and we’d be perfect for each other.
What even qualifies as having things in common?
As the years went on, I grew up (slightly) but still was attracted to this type of guy. And then finally, my boyfriend and I broke up and I was free to date one of these elusive Emo guys.
We liked the same music, we liked the same movies, we liked the same bars, and we were attracted to each other. But that’s about as deep as it went. My boyfriend and I dated for a few years, and at first it was a lot of fun. But by the time I hit my early twenties, the fun was gone. I was older and learning a bit more about the world, and realized that this guy and I, apart from our awesome CD collection, really didn’t have anything in common.
For example, I was a democrat, he was a libertarian. I wanted to end up living somewhere warm and sunny, preferably by a beach. He was stuck on the idea of moving to Portland, Oregon. He hated my friends, and I hated his. He mocked my choice of career path, often calling me a sell-out for going to graduate school and wanting to work for “the man”. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.
About a year or two after that, I met someone in graduate school who I never expected to like. He didn’t dress like an emo kid, in fact it looked as if he cut his hair quite regularly. It surprised me how hard I fell for this guy, he was so unlike anyone I had ever met. We were just friends, but we would talk for hours about everything. About school, about how we felt about religion, about what we wanted to do with our lives. It was the first time I had a conversation like that with a man in my life (yes, he’s a man. Not because of age but because of maturity), and it had taken me 23 years to find it.
After meeting him, and a few more people down the road, I started to realize what it really means to have something in common with someone. It means you see the world the same way.
Sure, you can find “anyone” to go to a hip bar with you, or a NOFX concert. But how easily can you find someone who will talk to you for hours about how the country is run, and agree. Or how you’d love to live a year abroad, and find out they would too. Or that you both want to have children someday, or you both don’t want to have children any day. These topics are much more important than rooting for the same basketball team.
In the long run, you will stop frequenting concerts as much. You sadly won’t have time to keep up with those season tickets to the games you have. It stinks, but unfortunately the older we get, the busier we get. Our jobs take over, or other things out of our control derail our plans. But when you’re 50 years old, and you are happy with your partner because you both nearly agreed on all decisions concerning money, how to raise your children or not have children, and where you want to live, you’ll look back and be thankful that you made the right choice.
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