Someone once told me that in the beginning of a relationship, you see the similarities between you. Then, after some months and getting to know each other better (and I would say, attachment patterns kicking in) you start to notice differences.

It’s why many relationships strand after about 4 months or half a year. That’s an average timeframe for those differences to kick in.

In the relationships and lovers I have had over the last few years I have noticed it every time. Sometimes it would be more subtle. Other times it would be so distinctive that someone would even look different to me from one day to the next.

It happens in friendships too I believe, although it seems more subtle, and with less nervous system turbulence. I guess a reason for the difference can be that in friendships we tend to zoom in on a few aspects of the other (maybe this is a friend for sharing emotional stories with, or to go on hikes with, or to complain about the struggles of parenting with) – and for something else we may have another friend. As a contrast to our partners whom we tend to try to make compatible for way more aspects of who we are. Noticing the differences, and potentially zooming in on them, may create the idea we aren’t compatible at all, and overshadow the similarities and/or parts that are very compatible.

I guess for relationships there is a hierarchy in importance of those differences and incompatibilities. How important are they to you? If your partner isn’t one for morning seggs, but it’s your favorite thing, is that a relationship deal breaker? Or when they think your family gatherings are so annoying that they decide not to come along anymore? Is that something you find so important that you wish for someone to meet you in that desire, or is it something you can wholeheartedly (!) let go?