You’re at a party. You’re talking to an acquaintance (Marie) you haven’t seen in a while about a social sport you’ve been playing (let’s say softball). Marie says something like “ohhh, do you know Joe? He plays softball! And now that I think of it, he’s also a big fan of martial arts and quirky movies” (both of which you’ve mentioned in the course of the conversation). She starts getting really excited, because of course you’re going to totally hit it off with Joe because you have these three interests in common. But I think this is often how our brains work. We listen and sift and sort and put various information into knowledge buckets in our brain. Marie hears softball and martial arts, and so she goes into that bucket in her head and sees Joe swimming around in the bucket with you and thinks Click! they’d be perfect together!
Does it really work out that way? Sometimes. Often enough that this is a pretty good strategy for at least being introduced or being set up on a date.
My question is this: do common interests have any relevance to common values? Because sharing common values is what really leads to compatibility, whether it’s feeling the same about children, finances, travel, living location, me-time vs. us-time, etc. Those levels of compatibility are what sites like eHarmony and Chemistry are trying to get at (with sometimes good results).
Now granted, it definitely helps to have similar interests. If you’re the type of person who wants to be out hiking and camping every weekend, then you may not be compatible with someone who would rather stay in the city. If you’re a homebody who watches tv every night, you may not be compatible with someone who is a social butterfly. Unless you can compromise and work both of your interests into the relationship, or be fine with having separate interests.
Can you have a successful relationship having only shared interests and not shared values? Shared values and not shared interests? Ideally, you’d have both shared interests and values (with some room for individuality of course). In your experience, what works? What are your dealbreakers on interests/values?