As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving...*
F. recently told me that he isn't that big on Stevie Wonder. I was crushed.
Okay, not really. There was a time, however, when I believed that a shared love of Stevie Wonder (and all of my favorite music) was a foundation of a good, solid relationship. In fact, if a man didn't have the same taste in music as I did, I felt like our relationship was doomed. How could he love me if he doesn't love the same music as me? What does that say about him? About us? If my potential man didn't love the song As, how could our relationship work?
I know that sounds silly, but it was truly how I felt. I love music. I love soul and hip hop, classic rock, salsa, mariachi, ranchera and soft rock (think: 70's a.m. gold). Because music is so important to me, it has to be something that is important to the person I am with - but the type of music we love is what is up for negotiation. When one of my best friends met the woman who is now his wife, he didn't give her a test based on her taste in music. In fact, their musical tastes are completely different, but there is something about them that intrinsically works - so much so that despite the fact that they can't stand each other's taste in music, they have built a very solid relationship.
Fortunately, F. loves music, but he doesn't necessarily love the same music as I do. He likes some hip hop, rarely listens to soul, isn't big on Stevie Wonder and isn't a fan of my recent favorite - Girl in a Coma. A few years ago, I would have believed that we were doomed, but I've learned that musical tastes require negotiation - as do most differences that exist between two people in the same relationship.
We were from different cities on the same block...
F.'s favorite band is the Deftones and he likes classical music. I love A Tribe Called Quest and I never know the difference between Bach and Beetoven. F. is always seeking out new bands and I have a habit of listening to the same 20 songs on repeat. F. was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM (where we both live now). He grew up with the ocean whereas I grew up baking under the dry, hot sun. He isn't a morning person and I am Merry Sunshine the moment I open my eyes. He loves dogs and I am allergic to them.
There are lots of differences between F. and I, but we navigate them the way we navigate our difference in music - we listen, give each other a chance and respect those differences. I have zero interest in changing F.; he and I are adults who live and function just fine, therefore there is nothing to fix or change. There are so many things I like about him, why would I want to change him? There are parts about our personalities that drive the other crazy, but that is human nature - there is nothing to fix or change because trying to change someone only creates toxicity in the relationship. If a relationship becomes toxic, then what's the point of being together?
You've been on my mind... I grow fonder everyday...
I recently asked F. if any songs remind him of me, and he said there are, but he isn't going to tell me which. The exchange was playful, and I'm pretty sure Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced isn't the song, but it was also very telling of the way he and I operate. It's been pretty clear from the beginning who is patient in this relationship (him) and who pushes forward (me). He plays his cards close to his chest, whereas I tend to lay all my cards out on the table. He enjoys the process of building our relationship and I have to be reminded to do the same. Often. He isn't better than me for taking things slow, nor am I better than him for driving things forward. We balance each other - we move each other and as I wrote a few weeks ago, the movement is incredible.
Several months ago, I wrote that I wanted to be with "someone who understands me and accepts me for who I am, quirks and all. Someone who is appreciates beauty and life and has taken the time to truly know himself and is ready to give and receive love. Someone who loves my family and friends and they love him as well. Someone who truly cares about the world around him and while it would be awesome if he has a great taste in music, movies, art, and poetry, I want someone who is genuine. I want someone who is real from day one." F. is all those things - and yes, he has great taste in music. He is an artist and writes poetry. We both love movies and TV shows like Modern Family. F. is always making me laugh. More often than not, I don't have to say anything out loud - he already knows what I'm thinking. So much of the music he listens to knocks me out, and I love when I introduce him to a song or artist that he has never heard before.
It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine...
From the day we met in 2009, I've known that F. is someone special. We are different, we sometimes make each other crazy and relationships are hard, but we both love music and that is a beautiful sound.
Next time: How To "Be There"
*Each of the lines in italics are song lyrics. They are from the following song/artist:
As, Stevie Wonder
One and Only, Adele
The Light, Common