1. Hobbies and interests. We are socialized to believe that it’s important to share common interests with our spouse. As long as a couple prioritizes spending time together on a regular basis, it is reasonable to pursue completely different interests.
2. Sexual turn-ons. As long as you have a healthy emotional foundation of trust, working through this difference requires an openness to learning what each person enjoys and a willingness to indulge them in ways that can be comfortable for you both.
3. Taste in movies, music and TV. Long-haul success of a relationship will be based on what you value, how well you communicate, and your expectations about loyalty and alone time. You both may really love Kesha and Arrested Development, but if you have wildly different expectations about children and your approach to parenting, problems in your future are inevitable.
4. Capacity for socializing. People don’t need to have the same desire to socialize in order to get along. In fact, many couples work well because one partner is more of a homebody and holds down the fort while the other socializes more frequently. As long as both partners respect the other’s social tendencies, introverts and extroverts often have very successful marriages.
5. Preferences for cleanliness and organization. It is not a requirement that you and your partner have the same level of cleaning attentiveness. Some partners need to learn to help out with managing tasks more often and tidying up regularly, while others need to learn that their partner is not going to do things a certain way so they should let go of perfectionist expectations in order to enjoy time off from the routine.