Suppose you’re smitten with your new boo but you just found out that despite a shared passion for sushi and old Hollywood movies, your happy place is the beach. But your other half can’t even stand the sound of the ocean.
Yossi Barzilay, a strapping young flight attendant with El Al Airlines, met his future husband Claudio in 2014 (with no seashore in sight). It was clear from the beginning that while the two had much in common, only 50 percent of the couple loved the beach. In fact, Yossi often says “I hate the beach.”
“Basically I don’t like sand—frankly, it’s kind of messy— and I get bored just sitting there,” he says. “But I felt bad that I couldn’t share in my partner’s passion for the beach.”
Instead of throwing shade at the shore, he found his place in the shade—literally.
“I decided to manage the situation by buying a little beach tent,” he says. “Now when we go to the beach together, he can run around or swim and I just pitch the tent. I can use the time to read or relax without getting sand all over me or worrying about the sun.”
Yossi says that it’s still “a bit of a process” setting up his tent, but that it provides a basic working solution to their differing downtime tastes.
Still, it might not always be that easy. According to Rancho Mirage, CA., based certified feng shui expert Karen Kelly, who also has a background in psychology, “a lot comes down to compatibility.”
“If a guy watches football every single weekend and you hate football, yeah, that’s a problem,” she says.
Should you sacrifice your true preference for some other activity for the sake of the relationship?
“That only lasts so long,” Kelly says, “because then you start feeling taken advantage of. So putting in a show appearance is not sustainable. You’ll soon be going your separate ways.” Ouch.
If you just can’t deal with your partner’s downtime love, you may be looking at a one-way ticket to relationship oblivion.
“If it’s not fun for you to go the beach, you’ll never compromise on that,” Kelly says. “The bottom line to making it work is fun and compromise.”
Small wonder then that she recommends doing a compatibility test early on in the relationship. “In Feng Shui, element is everything,” she explains. “If you’re a water sign, you love going to the water. But would a water sign want to hook up with a fire sign? The water’s going to douse those flames pretty quickly.”
Ask as much as you can early on she says.
“In Feng Shui, information is key,” Kelly says. Of her own partner, Kelly says “I wouldn’t see him until I did his chart--because you don’t have two or three years to find out if you’re compatible or not.”
And if it turns out beach blanket bliss is reserved for just one of you, with open communication and compromise the show can still go on.
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