Someone recently told me a couple needed to have commonality for a relationship to work. This is a myth. Take, for example-Jack Sprat and his wife, Mrs. Sprat. Rumor has it that Jack Sprat could eat no fat; his wife could eat no lean; so betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean. Because of Jack’s Crohn’s Disease and Mrs. Sprat’s sweet tooth, the two have been living happily on fat and lean since 1639. What if they shared their love of Little Jack Horner’s Christmas pie or Little Red Riding Hood’s basket of goodies. What if Jack Sprat ate all the fat, and left his wife the lean. A fight would break out betwixt the two of them – and become a murder scene.
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Americans fell in love with Scarlett and Rhett in 1936 not because of the commonality between Rhett and Scarlett, but because of the passion they shared. Picture: Tara Plantation, Atlanta Georgia, 1873. Debonair Rhett Butler, and Scarlett O’Hara, a vision of loveliness in her corseted dress: Scarlett: (After she has lost everything) tearfully says to Rhett “Where should I go, what should I do” Rhett replies “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” The applause. The romance. The pain. The drama. The passion. The Pulitzer Prize. The alternate ending,if Rhett and Scarlett agreed on everything and had common interests:
Scarlett: “Where should I go, what should I do?” Rhett: “Gee Scarlett, honey, I don’t know maybe we should sit down and discuss it over a mint julep.” Not the same, is it?
The ultimate odd couple: Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. He is a frog; she is a pig. Not much in common there. They are loved for their passion for each other-not their interests.
It is a fair criticism that all these characters are just that, characters. But they are beloved characters because of the passion their love entails, not the common interests they have.
As for real people, sometimes commonality is a hindrance. Bonnie and Clyde, the notorious bank robbers, killed nine policeman and several civilians. They shared a common interest – murdering and stealing. Having a common interest did not fair well for them, they both died violent deaths, him at 25 and her at 23. It has often been questioned whether they would have become two of the most notorious bank-robbers if they had not met when Bonnie was 19 and Clyde 21. Separately, they were adventurous; together, they were deadly.
Napolean Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais, she was wealthy; he was not. He was a great leader, she was not. They had nothing in common, but their love story has been told for two centuries. Even when Napolean divorced Josephine because she had not given him an heir, they remained in love. Common interests – no. Passion, yes, an abundance. Their love letters have been read by millions who wanted, who needed, to feel their passion.
Sharing common interests and philosophy are good, but they should not overshadow having a passion for life. People with common interests can be found, in a second, on the internet. But finding someone to share passion – that can take a lifetime.