Man and woman look at each other thoughtfully from the side and think: "we have nothing in common".
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We Have Nothing in Common: Its Impact on Relationshps

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

We’ve all had times when we meet someone and feel that intense initial spark. But as you get to know them better, it dawns on you that we have nothing in common. You don’t share interests, have the same hobbies, like the same music or even have the same values.

We tend to see all these signs that we have nothing in common as a sign the relationship will go nowhere. However, these differences aren’t as insurmountable as we think and can be a chance to discover new aspects of yourself.

’We have nothing in common’ and its meaning when evaluating your relationship

For starters, it’s just not true. You’re attracted to and like each other’s personality, which is a pretty important thing to have in common; even that initial connection is difficult to find.

We say we have nothing in common, meaning you don’t share values, tastes and activities you have a mutual passion for. But while not inherently superficial, these don’t have to be the be-all and end-all of your relationship. They merely highlight your contrasting existences. 

What to do when you feel ‘we have nothing in common’

If you’re in a new relationship you may how discovering we have nothing in common will have an impact. While it certainly can influence your relationship dynamics and the experiences you two share, it doesn’t have to be unhealthy nor is it unchangeable.

Let’s look at five factors that affect compatibility and how you can compromise or find new things in common.

1. The science of compatibility

Compatibility is distinct from commonality. So instead of counting the signs that we have nothing in common, try to focus on the aspects of your partnership that keep you interested.

Compatibility in a relationship deals with deeper concepts, like how you communicate as a couple, how your dating style complements each other’s, how you organize your lives, and your attachment styles. While these aren’t clear commonalities on paper – such as a mutual passion for the outdoors – they can have a profound influence on the longevity and harmony of your relationship. 

2. Embracing diversity in relationships

It’s not unusual to have little in common with those you love. From family to best friends, the glue bonding your relationship is often what you’ve experienced together and how your contrasting interests blend.

So when you say, we have nothing in common, are you really looking for someone who’s just a pale imitation of you? Sounds like it’d get boring soon, right? So learn to view different interests something worth cherishing because it’s part of what you love about them.

3. Finding common ground: Rediscovering shared interests and hobbies

Sometimes it’s not be that you don’t have anything in common but that you have yet to discover a mutual passion or interest. Here some tips for finding common ground:

  • Communicate your passions more and you may find they overlap in places you didn’t see before
  • Be honest and non-judgmental so you both feel you’re in a safe space to share and find common ground
  • Even if they don’t directly interest you, try to find ways to appreciate and sometimes participate in your partner’s hobbies and interests

The more often you take part in these bonding exercises the quicker you’ll discover commonality.

4. The art of compromise: Balancing needs and desires

Compromise is a key ingredient to a healthy relationship. You won’t always see eye to eye but by being willing to explore their perspective rather than say ‘we have nothing in common’ is how you can stay together.

It creates room for mutual understanding and empathy while improving your conflict resolution. By being open to compromise, couples develop greater trust and create a space where you both feel free to share your interests, needs and desires.

5. The power of shared values

When exploring why we have nothing in common and its meaning in relationships, we can sometimes have a shallow perspective.

Whether or not you both enjoy sports or the same kinds of films isn’t as important as whether you have compatible values on the deeper elements of relationships, such as communication, honesty, equality and intimacy. Being on the same page on these topics can often be far more valuable and enriching.

The importance of core values

Core values in a relationship, like respect or integrity, play out in distinct ways, particularly when it comes to the notion of compatibility. We have a look at the importance of core values in a relationship, and how they interact with compatibility.

Can a relationship work if we have nothing in common?

Some relationships can’t overcome a lack of commonality, particularly if you approach dating, intimacy, and communication in vastly different ways. These can be very discouraging signs that we have nothing in common.  

While there may be chemistry, sometimes there’s just not enough to build a healthy and functioning relationship. But just as often, these are obstacles you can overcome and bond over. The key is how profoundly these differences affect how you engage.

Discovering relationship compatibility

If you’re thinking ‘we have nothing in common’, it doesn’t have to mean you’re an incompatible couple. The crucial thing is to not let communication boundaries and an unwillingness to adapt get in the way of a budding romance.

Compatibility is more complex than most people understand. At eharmony we connect you with relationship-minded singles who complement your personality, leading to deeper connections and healthier bonds from the get-go. Sign up today and see for yourself.  

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