What to do when you and your boyfriend or girlfriend think in different ways

Ray asks: My bf and me don’t think in the same way, which causes a lot of fights. What do we do?

Hi Ray –

Your issue is so common – people think others should think the same way they do, and get frustrated, and even angry, when they don’t.

But here’s the funny part about that – people don’t think the same way as each other, and they never have, and both you and your boyfriend have actually known that since you were about two years old!  One kid didn’t like dolls while another didn’t like sports.  Mommy and Daddy didn’t like to splash in mud the say you and your dog did. 

Then you got older, and found that some kids liked watching Toy Story over and over, while others didn’t even like it the first time.  And later, half your class just loved every word of Pride and Prejudice, while the others couldn’t stay awake through a single chapter.  And then don’t even get me started on religion and politics!

So why in the world would a couple think each other would think the other would think the same as they? 

Simple, because you

WANT them to, so badly!  You love each other, you want to be with each other, you want to plan for the future with each other – and you want it all to be so perfect!  One of you dreams of traveling the world with the other for the rest of your lives, while the other dreams of a comfortable home you both can return to every night.  One dreams of you two having freedom and a sophisticated community of friends, while the other dreams of you parenting a bunch of screaming hilarious kids.

Is one of you wrong?  No.  Does this mean you’re not a good couple?  Most likely no – you just need to remember that the other one isn’t you, and that that’s one of the reasons you adore them!

Now sure, if there’s a big difference in what you want in life (like, one of you wants marriage and children and the other doesn’t), that might be a reason for you not to stay together forever.  But even that isn’t a reason to say the other is “wrong,” because they’re right for themselves, just not right for you.

But to fight about how the other thinks?  You might as well fight over the other’s height, or eye color.  It’s a waste of time.

Far better to use the way the other thinks, and join forces together with your two different-but-wonderful minds, and come up with ideas far better than either of you could alone!

Thanks again for the question.  I hope I – who think differently from either of you, though I’m sure I’m not nearly as smart – was able to help!

All my best,


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