How to overcome different likes and dislikes when dating

by Fran Creffield - August 5, 2013

One way in which we form strong connections with a new partner is through shared interests, but what if you have very different tastes?

You might be highly compatible with someone because you have the same value systems and vision for life but when it comes down to the day to day things, what happens if you have little in common?

Different tastes in food

One of the first intimate experiences you often share on a date is eating together. This is usually in a public place like a restaurant. The venue is usually a joint decision but you may come across a date that has very particular food tastes, or you may yourself, and this can make eating together problematic.

Whether one of you is a carnivore and the other a vegan, one a fast food junkie and the other a cordon bleu chef, or one of you is just really picky; the whole pleasure of eating out together can turn into something of a nightmare if you’re not careful.

The key to making it more of an adventure, and less of an issue, is to be open-minded. Don’t sit and scowl at your partner’s plate or refuse to kiss them because of what they’ve just eaten (unless you have a nut allergy and they’ve been munching peanut butter sandwiches)! If you can go one step further try things they like and invite them to try your favourite foods, you might find that you both broaden your tastes and find foods that suit you both.

Differences in music

This is often one of the first questions people ask when they start communicating with a new match. Music is part of everyone’s life to some extent. For some people it’ll be a huge part, they may play an instrument, spend their spare time going to gigs or simply love to go dancing. It’s unlikely that you’ll get together with someone who has completely different attitudes to music from you because, like food, someone’s attitude to music is often indicative of deeper values and beliefs.

What’s more likely is that one person has little or no interest in music while the other is very passionate. A relationship between two people like this can still work if they are respectful of each other and one person’s views don’t dominate the relationship – it’s no fun for someone who doesn’t enjoy heavy rock to sit through endless gigs, but neither should someone who is passionate about music have to shelve their enthusiasm for the sake of the relationship.

There are many different ways to enjoy music and if you are committed to each other you’re sure to be able to find ways that suit you both.

Other differences

Music and food are common examples of where differences may arise in a relationship but there are many more. The most important rule of thumb is to allow your partner to be who they are and not insist that they change drastically in order to accommodate the relationship.

Try new things together and develop likes and dislikes that are yours as a couple rather than always looking at the differences between you both as individuals. Remember the only way you can really get it wrong is to refuse to try new things. If you try something and still don’t like it, at least you will have shown your partner you are willing to be open-minded and flexible.