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By Damilola Faustino

When it comes to love, you can’t always dictate what your heart is going to want! In an ideal world, you would fall for someone who has the exact same interests as you and likes to do all of the same things, but that just isn’t how it works in real life! If you don’t like the idea of making a connection with someone who is super different to you, then you might miss out on finding the love of your life! The trick is just knowing how to navigate it when the things you have in common come up. Here is how to date someone who has a very different lifestyle to yours.

couple

Accept them

Don’t spend all of your time together trying to mould them into someone that they don’t want to be. Relationships are all about compromise, so your first and most important compromise should be accepting them for who they are, and not constantly trying to adapt their personality or their interests into something that you think you would prefer. Don’t be scared of differences, that’s where you might come to learn things that you love about them.

Be respectful

You might not be able to relate to or even understand the lifestyle choices of someone you are getting to know in an intimate way, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t respect them. Asks questions and raise points of concern if you have them, but always do so in a respectful manner that lets them know you aren’t condescending or judgemental.

Show interest

Even if their passions and hobbies don’t correlate with your own, it doesn’t hurt to show a little bit of interest for the sake of the relationship. Ask questions about the things that they are in to. It doesn’t mean that you have to become a fully fledged member of their club, it just shows that you acknowledge their differences and you are cool with having different likes and dislikes.

Common ground

Rather than focusing on all of the things that you do differently and that you don’t have in common, spend more time accentuating the common ground that you share. You don’t have to spend every second of your time together doing and enjoying the same things, but you can make up the difference by really going for it with the few things that you do have in common.

Set rules

You can build a respectful and successful relationship that is filled with lots of lifestyle differences; you just need to make sure that you set out some ground rules for the ways in which you enjoy those differences. For example, if he likes to go out partying with his friends but you like to get to bed early for work the next morning, then come to an agreement that when he comes in late, he sleeps on the couch instead of barging in and waking you up. It’s these small agreements and rules that can keep you happy.

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