I heard a comedian recently recount how he got out of going to the ballet. (I can see the guys here paying more attention now...) What he did might surprise you. Rather than saying he did not want to go to the ballet, and getting into a confrontation, he actually doubled down, "The ballet? I love the ballet! Me and my ex - that was our thing!" After a moment or two of silence, his girlfriend said, "Screw the ballet! Let's stay home and watch a movie..."
This short story highlights two issues that make for the bread and butter of both comedy and therapy, recognizing the differences between partners and the challenges we have communicating them and about them.
This is unfortunate, since it does need to be so. I mean, listen to what Lauren says about meeting Ryan: "We clicked instantly, and have been together ever since. Ryan is such a kind-soul and is an amazing person as well as partner." And Ryan doesn't hold back either: "She is the most thoughtful person that I know, and would do just about anything for me." With those kinds of statements screw the ballet, right?!
The thing is that many couples allow these very types of differences to overshadow their love. Not Lauren and Ryan. Listen to Ryan: "Oddly enough, Lauren and I... really don't share any major interests that I can think of. Although it can be frustrating sometimes, I think that in many ways, it's a good thing. It gives us an opportunity to be individuals, and we don't feel forced to hesitantly get into something that we honestly don't care about, just to appease one another."
Isn't that cool? So, HOW do they do it? Well, it goes back to that second issue - communication. Lauren and Ryan are tremendously open with each other, and they communicate their differences and about their differences. That is how and why Ryan can state what is mutually true about their acceptance of each other, "She allows me to be me, and she accepts me that way."
It is this acceptance that promises, in Ryan's words, that, "There is nothing that either of us could do to change the love that we have for one another. " It is this communication that allows Lauren to say, "Things are always crazy in our lives, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way!"