Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

I Enjoy You Like That

Originally posted on October 18, 2012

It is so special to find another person who can say that. Some folks have not had this pleasure, alas. And it can be so very different for different folks. Do others enjoy you for what you’d like to be enjoyed for?
  – your preferences and style of travel
  – going fishing and being together quietly
  – going to movies, the same kind
  – preparing food together, or eating
  – getting drunk together
  – your way of enjoying sexuality
  – your style of being affectionate or not
  – your choice in reading materials, books
  – your degree of adventurousness (or relief at your lack thereof)
  – your type of physical challenges or thrills
  – your choice of television shows
  – your choice of magazines
  – enjoying family together
  – enjoying extended family visits
  – avoiding the same things
  – exchanging and giving presents    … etc.
    Of course I missed many categories. The aforementioned list is meant to have been suggestive rather than definitive, to encourage you to come up with items that fit your situation.

This varies greatly, and is a clue to “compatibility,” which involves the presence of more than a  significant percentage of pleasantly symmetrical (we like doing together) or complementary (he does this while I do that and together we’re a team) role connections. There is always some non-symmetry and non-complementarity, and the question is whether the number and significance of the roles where there isn’t compatibility is that important. There is no external judge of what counts and how much—each couple works it out for themselves. This applies to friendships, siblings, not just marriages.

Another point in these musings on the interface of social psychology and depth psychology is to confront our tendency to assume that others do or at least should like what we value and dislike what we disdain; but they don’t. And being curious and open to the deeper and more mind-stretching meaning of different strokes for different folks is broadening. You mean there are people who actually like that?  And others who don’t like this? Wow!

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