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April 24, 2014 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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We have nothing in common!
Question:

I have been dating my boyfriend, Bob, for almost 5 months, and we both truly are into each other. We didn't really get to know each other too well before we started going out and I didn't realize just how little we shared in common. I won't be exaggerating to say that we are complete opposites. Almost anything I do or like, he doesn't do or like. When I am upset at him I feel completely comfortable to express my anger or disappointment and we are able to talk about it. But the problem is that it seems like that is the only type of conversation we are able to have.

In person the two of us get along wonderfully and enjoy time together although it tends not to be conversational, but more on the intimate side. I just want to be able to talk to him and have stimulating conversation because I like the feeling of him being there and I want to have him on the phone with me but if nothing is being said it seems utterly pointless.

My boyfriend and I are not having communication problems in the sense that we cannot express our emotions, both of us can freely express our love for each other and anything else. When it comes to conversation over the phone (because I really enjoy hearing his voice) we just sit in silence. Neither of us has any interest in anything else the other person enjoys and although both of us try to become interested, the expanse of our differences is so vast that neither of us could possibly understand the other person's interests. Even in person I fear the lack of stimulating conversation will lead to our doom. I do NOT want to end this relationship with Bob after such a period because 'we have nothing in common'. This will not be fair to him for he has finally expressed his realization that he loves me and I do care for him deeply.

I know that I should have ended this relationship or not even have began it knowing that we had so little in common. Now I'm this deep with our relationship. Is there anything we can possibly do to spark conversation? Are there any sort of methods we can try? We honestly share NOTHING in common and I am not exaggerating. Well, with the exception of drinking and recreational rollerblading, but that is it. I want a solution. Breaking up is something I DON'T want to do.

Lost for Words (18 year-old woman) from B.C., Canada

Answer:

What a great question! You labeled yourself "Lost for Words," when you (probably) meant "Loss for Words," as in, "I'm at a loss for words." This is referred to as a Freudian Slip and indicates, possibly, more than you really intended to reveal.

You are, after all, lost. Words might help point the way, and actions might too. No matter what, your relationship is not moving towards a deeper, more meaningful level based on shared drinking and rollerblading.

What you are dealing with is the way a transferential relationship, which is based on the projection of one's needs onto another, must become a real relationship. The good news is that this adjustment would not be significantly different if you started the relationship out with tons of shared hobbies, interests and activities.

In other words, this developmental phase of the relationship is built-in, and is part of becoming a couple. Time and trials (of activities, interests, hobbies, etc) are the necessary components of creating your own "couplehood." Many couples avoid this work in the beginning of their relationship. They couple-up and marry quickly, only to find that their primary shared activity is child-raising, almost by de-fault.

Since you seem to feel comfortable with expressing your thoughts and feelings to your boyfriend, get busy communicating this to him. It seems very likely that the two of you could agree to try one or two new things every week to see what you may enjoy together. This "testing" is not unique to your relationship, and is ultimately the way all couples find what they have in common, or what dreams for the future they share.

Keep in mind, though, that you called yourself "Lost," which may or may not be significant. It sounds as though you may have some doubts about being involved with this man (at all). If you find yourself (unconsciously) resisting trying new things or if you sabotage the couple's activities that you try, then you might re-consider that you want to remain "lost" and do not want him to find you. If that's the case, than no amount of shared interests or activities would matter anyway.

Sincerely,

Margaret "Peg" Burr, MA, MFT

This question was answered by Margaret "Peg" Burr . She is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC34374) with a private practice in Santa Clarita (near Los Angeles). She performs psychodynamic psychotherapy with individual adult clients as well as couples, teens, and families. She also runs groups for adults and adolescents. Her specialty area is Object Relations Systems Theory. This branch of psychodynamic psychotherapy uses a client's interpersonal relationships as windows into his or her intrapsychic structure.

For more information visit the site or compact information page on QueenDom.

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