Monday, November 24, 2008


SunglassesWhile I was on holiday with boyfriend P recently, I needed to buy a new pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses that I'd been using for the last couple of years had in fact belonged to ex-boyfriend S, and naturally he'd taken them with him when he moved into his own house. So while we were in Singapore on the first leg of the trip, we found a little shop with an extensive range of sunglasses and I started trying on a few different brands.

"Do these sunglasses protect from both UVA and UVB?" I ask the shop assistant while looking in a mirror.

"Hmmm, I don't think those really suit you," interrupts boyfriend P, handing me another pair, "how about these?"

I try on a few different styles with varying degrees of success.

"I guess these are all made from some tough kind of synthetic material," I say, "but I wonder how scratch resistant they are! Sometimes I can be a bit clumsy, so ideally I need them to be very durable."

"Good idea," replies boyfriend P. "But I wonder, perhaps a squarer style of lens would suit you better."

We look at a few more pairs and I think I find some that I like. Good protection, durable, and they seem to suit me too. So I buy them :-).

"You know," says boyfriend P afterwards, "it was fascinating how you were so focused on the practical aspects of the sunglasses."

"Well of course!" I laugh, "there's no point if they look good but don't work well as sunglasses. Were you just worried about what they looked like?"

"Well all the sunglasses in the store would probably work OK, but finding the ones that look best is always a real challenge! Just a different approach I guess."

Thinking about it afterwards, it's fascinating how we had different priorities. Indeed, I can't help wondering whether guys that make the best boyfriends for each other are ones who provide each other with complimentary points of view like that!


The Honourable Husband said...

You don't have to agree on everything. But values in common are pretty important in a relationship.

Sunglasses are one thing. But when you buy a house together, and he wants the stylish pad in the city and you want a house in the burbs, then there can be trouble at mill. Same goes for dog-or-cat persons, morning-or-evening persons, or optimists and pessimists.

My father was a Democrat, and my mother was a Republican. They were doomed.

Complementary tastes are one thing, but having nothing in common is another.

Ken Skinner said...

In good times, differences are great as they mean you each bring something different to the table. In bad times counter perspectives can be incredibly challenging and hard to overcome if you're both stubborn.

I've tried being with someone similar to myself and it was really, really boring. My husband's my polar opposite and I wouldn't change him for the world.

The key to anything is a willingness to try and understand the other person's position rather than simply dismissing it.

doug said...

I know it's not the point you were going for, but when a friend of mine took her sun glasses, that she wore everyday due to her sensitive eyes, into the opticians, the guy told her that they had absolutely no protection from UV rays. He continued to say that if she'd continued wearing them for another 10 years, she'd be partially blind. She knew she suffered from UV damage, but assumed the sun glasses were protecting her from any further problems.

jay said...

I'm inclined to agree with your conclusion. It's very similar to the notion (well at least my notion) that I prefer someone who is dissimilar enough from me to challenge me and motivate me.

Anonymous said...

i've been a similar situations with two boyfriends, and the key difference between the two is one annoyed me with his opposing view, and the other, for some reason doesn't - we're still together!

Anonymous said...

What I realised with my ex was, that the mixture of same and different opinions towards certain things made our relationship work well.

We pretty much liked the same things, but as I have less money available, I always had to find an option to get the things I wanted for less. Sometimes I tried to teach him these things, as they would be handy for everyone. Strangely he didn't want to learn although it had easily saved him 30pounds a month...

just realising it does not match perfectly to your topic, but hey ho...