Does your date share your world view?

Many months ago, I was sharing with a gal pal how I was smitten with the guy I was seeing. After stammering to answer when she asked why I liked him so much, she eventually asked, “Does he share your world view?”

EarthI stopped in my tracks. It was a question I hadn’t thought about. First, I had to think what the question meant. Next, I had to articulate my world view and look for signs of his world view. Then I compared where they matched or didn’t.

So what is “world view”? Your world view is how you see the world: friendly/unfriendly, optimistically/pessimistically, people are good/people are out to get you, you are safe/you are at risk, you are treated fairly/unfairly, etc.

After this was defined, I quickly reviewed in my mind his behaviors that exemplified his world view. Within seconds, I had to answer “No” to her question.

Is it a requirement that your potential suitor share your world view? Not necessarily. But if you are the eternal optimist and he is a constant pessimist, you will begin to drive each other crazy at some point. If he thinks all people are bad and you think generally people are good with a few bad apples, then you will experience much frustration.

We could cite examples of ardent Democrats and staunch Republicans marrying and living happily. Or people with polar religious views. Or pro-lifers living with pro-choicers. However, I think these couples either are fine expressing their opposite views, or they decided not to discuss them.

My friend’s question forced me to see I was smitten because of surface attributes. I needed someone who shared more of my view of life. He and I did not last long after this realization.

How important is it that a potential suitor share your world view? What elements are deal breakers and what could you be fine with disagreeing? If you haven’t defined your world view, start now by listing how you see the world.

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2 responses to “Does your date share your world view?”

  1. Gatti Avatar

    Funny you should mention this, DG. I’ve seen a guy a couple of times and he’s quite nice, we talk about many things, but… He is an extremely idealistic, save-the-world sort and I tend to be more pragmatic and easy going about things. I can see that this could most likely be a problem. My “green” credentials are OK, but just not in the same league, eventually I think I would be too mainstream for him.

    I feel that to make something work there I would have to hide away too much of myself, or adapt more than I really wish to and since my last relationship was several years of denying who I am just to keep the peace, I really don’t want to go there again.

    So if it will work with somebody it will be because I’m OK as I am, and them as well, and that would most likely mean a similar world view. Thanks for giving it a name!

  2. Bruce Daley Avatar

    Personally I think you are looking at this in the wrong way. People use social networks to create teams to solve problems. Pair bonding is a highly specialized kind of problem solving team historically applied to the problem of day-to-day survival and bearing children. Depending on the kind of problem you are trying to solve with your mate a world view may or may not matter a great deal. Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matlin are trying to accomplish the same goal – get their candidate elected so their world view does not seem to be all that important a factor in their relationship (although you can never tell judging from the outside). If the fictional Elaine and the Moving Man are planning on having children then their world view on abortion is relevant to the problem they are trying to solve.