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If you love me, be like me

Are you trying too hard to turn your partner into your own clone?

india Updated: Apr 18, 2010 00:54 IST
Sonal Kalra

There are two kinds of people in every party. Those who want to leave and those who want to stay on and enjoy. The trouble mostly is, that they are married to each other.”By now you would have understood what this week’s column is on. What to do if you and your partner reside on opposite poles when it comes to socialising?

Sakshi Gulati, a regular reader of this column, wrote to me last week and insisted that I take up this topic and give calmness tips to counter the stress of ‘social incompatibility’ in a couple.

“I love partying and enjoy social gatherings. But my husband is least interested and remains aloof. This is a constant source of stress and tension in our life,” she writes.Well Sakshi, while I’m not quite sure if I have a solution for this seemingly common stress, I can definitely try to put things in perspective. First of all, I don’t understand why ‘incompatibility’ is such a dreaded word.

Imagine being in a relationship with someone exactly like yourself. I’m sure it will be fun for a while, but wouldn’t it be awfully boring beyond a point, to never experience the pleasure of being able to shrug your shoulders and say, ‘you won’t understand, darling. We are so different!’

And secondly, what’s important is not for the two of you to be always enjoying the same things, but for both of you to realise the fun of letting the other person be, while you enjoy your own thing.

Often in relationships, we get into an overdrive in trying to change our partner’s habits, likes and dislikes. Sometimes we try and change the very same things for which we liked that person in the first place.But then isn’t trying to change the one you love, and getting him/her to love all that you like, akin to loving yourself?

There are books in the market and articles on the Internet that teach you how to ‘turn’ your introvert partner into a social animal. Tips such as ‘throw small, intimate get-togethers, invite his/her friends over, turn on the music your partner enjoys etc’ flow freely in these guides. But my point is, why try to change a person at all when it’s no crime to be different. We can try all we like, but even studies show that it is almost impossible to change a person’s basic nature.

As long as your partner does not stop you from enjoying something that you do, there’s no reason why you should insist that he enjoys the same thing. I feel much more than social habits, it is having a common value system that’s relevant and essential for a couple to survive and thrive. What say? Sonal Kalra and her husband just celebrated the tenth anniversary of trying to change each other. They have still not lost hope.

Mail your calmness tricks at sonal.kalra@hindustantimes.com