Not even the birds agree on this. Some birds come in flocks. Blue Jays and Goldfinches. Sometimes Tufted Titmouses. Starlings. Doves may come as a flock, but also show up individual or as couples. Some birds, like all the woodpeckers, are loners.
As a frequently married person and a viewer of many other marriages, the answer is, obviously, both. You don’t want to be a doppelganger of your mate — or vice versa. But most people want some basic agreements about politics, education, art, and often movies and literature. Mostly, because while differences may be exciting in the beginning, mating tends to be a long-term thing. If you and your partner don’t share at least basic agreement on stuff like comfortable versus fashionable furniture and whether or not you want a dog or a cat, it gets tiring. Nobody wants to fight these same issues forever. You need to agree on at least some fundamentals. What is fundamental in your relationship may well be entirely different than what we see as fundamental.
When Garry and I first got together, we were in different professions and Garry was in love with baseball and old movies. I was into photography and reading. But I liked baseball and since Garry was such a big fan, I learned to like it more so when he wanted to watch all 162 season games, I would not be sitting in the corner feeling abandoned. Similarly, when I went to take pictures, Garry realized there was no reason why he couldn’t take pictures too. He knew movies — which meant he also had an understanding of cinematography — and he worked on television, so he was not unfamiliar with photographic equipment.
I learned to enjoy baseball. He learned to take pictures. I was writing for the blog, he decided he might as well write something too. He never got into the software of photography. I edit his writing and photos. Lucky for me he’s a very clean writer and makes fewer errors than me. Well, everyone makes fewer mistakes than I do. I’m a terrible proofreader — for me. A much better proofreader for other people’s writing. I suppose that’s normal. But, I digress.
Garry’s interest in sports is much more intense than mine. I like baseball and I can follow football. I like basketball alive, but not so much on television. I have very little interest in other sports — unless there’s a horse involved. If there’s a horse, I’m IN.
Garry learned to ride and was good at and anyway, his favorite movies are all westerns — so you have to ride, right? I got savvy about news, editing, how stories are created, and who’s who in the TV world. He discovered science fiction and, it turned out, already had a secret passion for anything about time travel. Who knew?
Garry loved convertibles. I had hip-length hair and the wind through my hair is a TV thing. In real life, if you have really long hair, you aren’t going to let the wind rip through it unless you have a team of experts to unknot the mess afterward. On top of that, I always got sunburned. I finally threatened to cut off my hair if we didn’t get a car with a roof. We got a car with a moon roof. Compromise. Neither of us liked the moon roof and we moved on to solid cars which was just as well because out here, when we get 10 feet of snow, a convertible (when you don’t have a garage) is not a good idea.
Tastes change. Garry and I share an interest in history, but he’s more into modern history and I like wandering into medieval times. He loves old black & white movies about stupid rich people in the 1930s and I hate them. He watches them alone. I read a book.
A really good relationship needs a bit of everything, I think. You don’t need to be the same and you don’t need to both admire Hemingway or Jane Austin — or either one — but I can’t imagine living with someone who doesn’t read at all. Actually, I did that already and it was every bit as bad as I was afraid it would be.
I love people who grew up in a different religion or tribe than I did. I love ethnic differences and that’s what I loved about cities. Out here, everyone is the same, even if they look different. It’s a small town thing.
I always think other peoples’ lives are much more exotic and interesting than mine.