January 31, 2015

Using Our Differences to Strengthen Romantic Relationships.


I first met her outside Whole Foods in Nashville, 500 miles from her house and mine.

I was early as usual. She wasn’t early, which is her usual.

As she pulled up in her black Mazda three the passenger door was locked. I indicated for her to unlock it. She did.

I got in this stranger’s car and we were kissing, long, wet and hungrily.

There were many phone conversations that led up to this meeting, but always before there would have been awkward moments. There were none. We necked for more than fifteen minutes and what followed was the most magical three days of my life.

I had no idea what would happen next in the outside world disappeared as we basked in romance.

After lunch we reluctantly parted, driving to our honeymoon cottage forty-five minutes North. It was snowing lightly, those huge flakes that seem in no hurry to land.

About fifteen minutes North I pulled to the side of the road. Natalie Merchant was singing on my XM radio and I was overcome with the perfection of the moment. I hopped out, walked back to her car and said “Lets switch cars.”

Without hesitation we did, after a short embrace. Now I was sitting in her car. It smelled like incense and vanilla. My car was fairly new and impersonal. Hers was lived in. Our cars represented the huge differences in the way we approached the world.

Her car was home, mine was transportation. Hers was comfortable, mine was sterile.

Head over heels, we drove to our love nest. I was out of my comfort zone and yet, more comfortable than ever.

The Perfect Complement

Many years ago, before online dating, I had a friend who ran a dating business. She marvelled at how many of her clients found long term love with someone totally different than their intake forms indicated they were looking for.

I had fallen into that trap and thought I knew who I was looking for.

I didn’t.

I imagined myself with an intellectual. Before I met her I often thought until my head ached.

I lived in an orderly world. Her world wasn’t planned out, mine was.

This got me thinking about some of our differences:


She has little money but perceives herself to be rich. She thinks that being rich just happens and has little to do with hard work. If she likes something she buys it: no budgets for her.

I have some money, and am reluctant to part with it. I know “money doesn’t grow on trees.”


Sex for me was an intellectual experience. It entailed lots of thinking. I had always wanted to yield to sex, give up control and go wild. But that hadn’t happened.

She was the essence of wild. She wanted sex all the time, expressed herself more physically than verbally. She was all over me, and she still is. It took me a bit over a year to surrender during sex, letting go completely. It was worth the wait.

We were as different as could be. And we fit perfectly. In fact, it is our differences which fire us up, keeping us continually turned on.


She arrives in the nick of time, or a little late.

We not only overcame these differences we turned them into the hottest sex ever.

The Secret Words

When my tongue and my attention touch her nipple her back arches, a primal sound accompanies her exhale. Stretching her body, she releases the tensions of her day. How could a tiny touch produce such a vast, ongoing response?

“I don’t know!”

I don’t know just might be the most powerful words you can speak in relationship. Be careful with these words, they are more powerful than “I love you.”

When two people get together they will have their differences. I don’t know bridges the gap between those differences. But don’t use it all the time. Use it when you find yourself being certain that you are right and unwilling to adopt a point of view other than yours.

Saying I don’t know opens us to the other persons point of view, therefore bringing the two people together.

I don’t know allows you to celebrate your differences instead of argue over them.

Both Worlds

Since 1637 when Descartes issued those infamous words “I think therefore I am,”  rationality, intellect and knowing have been valued. Magic has been relegated to shows in Vegas or birthday parties.

But love, relationship and great sex are magical. They aren’t the result of lots of thought, in fact, they demand letting go.

But we need both. We need a letting go ‘I don’t know’ world view, and we need a rational ‘I can figure this out’ world view.

When mixed together, these opposites can result in a powerful connection.


  • Say “I don’t know” with a soft smile and perhaps a wink.
  • Notice more, explain less.
  • Let things fall apart instead of holding them so tightly together.
  • Touch your partner with attention before, during and after physical touch.
  • Be where you are instead of trying to get somewhere.
  • Celebrate your differences.
  • Embrace the phrase “Anything can happen.”



Relephant read:

When Differences Pull Us Apart & How They Bring Us Together. ~ Matthew Gindin

Author: Jerry Stocking

Assistant Editor: JoJo Rowden / Editor: Renee Picard 

Photo:  Giulia/Flickr



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