Recently a reader wrote in to share his thoughts on relationships and how we sometimes fall in love with someone who is quite different from ourselves:

I have been seeing a girl for about 3 years and now I am questioning everything about myself which I haven’t done before. She is loving and gentle and smart with a great sense of humour and style. The problem has been that I am very busy with my research, bands, music production, writing books, exercise, all the things that I like to do and feel that define me. I love all these things. I am confused because she doesn’t do any of these things. I feel guilty that I don’t respect her lack of motivation to do something, anything. She seems happy to do nothing and just be. Why should this be a problem for me and our relationship? We have both recently talked about it a lot and I am trying not to put expectations on her. But in not expecting anything from her and her not doing anything I feel like she is wasting her life and I feel unattracted by her seeming lack of passion for living and doing and travelling and experiencing and risking new things. I don’t know what to do. When we are together I want us to be together and when we are apart I want us to be apart. It sucks. What do you think?

I think you already have the answers anyway (as we always do) but I am going to try and reflect back to you what I intuit from your email.
1. Your sweet girlfriend is clearly not the issue. She is happy just being as she is which I have to admit, I admire in some ways. To be content just the way things are and not to want to add anything more is an art in itself.
2. You are highly motivated, energetic, a go-getter and a high achiever. That is who you are, it fits with your values and it makes you happy. This is a wonderful thing! You are a highly creative being and want to add to the world in a myriad of ways. I also admire this!
3. There is only one simple solution which is acceptance. You accept her how you she, for what she is and that’s it. And either you decide that you want to be with her exactly how she is or you don’t. Either way it doesn’t mean you don’t love her any less. Quite simply, you MUST accept her for who she is, she is not like you and that’s okay. That’s great in fact! We need all kinds of people in the world. The decision is simply whether in accepting her you want to continue a relationship with her or you don’t.
I know the emotional aspect of making that decision can be really challenging however you have to get past that, to the clear and pure part of yourself. You just have to get honest with yourself.
A great way to get honest with yourself is to talk with her, and communicate all of your deepest thoughts, concerns, fears and so on. Do you both know what each of your deepest values are? Does she know and love that you are a highly creative individual who must create? Do you know what her deepest values are for her life? Be kind, loving, open and most importantly and scarily: vulnerable! There is no right or wrong here. Understanding each other more can lead to accepting each other more. And that can lead to a very natural solution which you are both happy with.
The interesting thing is that often people attract their opposite in their relationships in order to learn from one another, to grow and become more complete as an individual. You have clearly attracted each other for a reason!
I hope that helps and I wish you both much love and peace and just know that whatever decision you make, it is the right one!
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