The Oracle

Differences improve relationships

Jose Schneider, co-a&e editor

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I used to say the biggest source of tension in my 15-month relationship with my boyfriend was due to his dislike of the Front Bottoms. I said it with a smile. But, it was always in the back of my mind. As far as fighting over the aux cord in his car or picking concerts to go to, it was a problem with a simple solution: he didn’t like my favorite band. It was no big deal. We would listen to something else. But I got caught up in theory: how could someone love me but dislike one of the biggest loves in my life?

Any other band would have been no problem but the Front Bottoms?? The most personal thing in my life: a band that voices exactly what I want to say in exactly the way I want to say it. A band that holds such a grand and indescribable significance to me, with songs and albums that seem to be extensions of my own mind. But Emmett doesn’t like them. Hearing that was a heartbreak. They seem to be a copy of me; made for me; writing each song for me. How could he possibly love me but not them?

I brought it up to a friend once. I asked her if it was bad that sometimes I wish he lied to me. Sometimes I wish he swallowed his pride and told me they were the Best Band Ever! Just because someone so important in my life should recognize the other important things in my life; he should know that every time he says something bad about them, it feels like a personal insult too gruesome to recover from.

She told me that she used to think that, in the context of a relationship, you either liked the Cure or the Smiths. See, it was a test. If both people in the relationship agreed on one band, they were compatible. They would live a harmonious life together. But that was fatally flawed: while similarities bond people together, differences are what keep relationships strong.

Emmett likes the Cure and I like the Smiths. But that doesn’t make me nervous. It makes me proud. He doesn’t like the Front Bottoms, but I’ll live. And every disagreement we have is a hallmark of two bold personalities, stubborn and hard to prove wrong, but two personalities nonetheless who learn to work together, to compromise and who are never ever bored.

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Differences improve relationships