I met a young woman recently. We have been going out for approximately three weeks. I enjoy the time that we spend together. I believe that she does so as well. We come from strikingly different backgrounds and have only our passion for photography in common. While that mutual passion seems to sustain us for now, I fear that in the not-too-distant future our lack of common ground in other areas might be the source of friction. Is this something that I should be worried about? Should I try to ferment other mutual interests?
When you look at a couple that is in a happy and long-lasting relationship, one of the things that you will notice is that they share certain things in common. Please note that we said “certain,” not “all,” things in common.
You mention that currently you only have one thing in common with the woman whom you are dating. You also mention that you’ve only been dating for three weeks. Our first piece of advice to you would be to allow the relationship to develop and unfold naturally for at least three months before you begin to determine exactly what you have in common.
The most obvious things that you have in common, in your case photography, are going to come out immediately. With time, however, you may begin to notice other areas of commonality. Don’t close your eyes to the small things. Sometimes these can be as simple as liking similar foods or similar types of music.
Also, you should not fear mentioning or enjoying things that are not the norm for your partner. Likewise, she should feel equally as open to introduce new things, new topics to you. Chances are that there will be a few areas of mutual interest that neither of you had thought of before. That in and of itself is the sign of a healthy, strong, and developing relationship. Where each side adds something new to the other.
This is why we say that you should not fear having to continue forward with your relationship relying solely on your shared interest in photography for now. Organically and progressively you will begin to find more things in common.
That being said, however, if after three months there literally is nothing else that either of you can come together on, that might make going forward as a couple difficult, although not impossible.
The real red flag that you should be looking out for is if all of those other areas with which you share nothing in common begin to create a source of conflict. For example, if you have contrasting political, religious, or lifestyle views — the internal conflicts that those would create might be too much for even your shared passion for photography to overcome.
For now, give it a little bit more time. Remember, your shared interest in photography is your launching point. Chances are that you will start discovering new areas of common interest sooner than you think.