Dear Harlan: My girlfriend lives by her scheduled life. Everything has to be done when she schedules it. I, on the other hand, like to keep things loose. I’m more spontaneous. This has become a problem in our relationship. She is so structured and committed to checking every single box that there’s no room for adventure. One time I tried to get her to vary from a recipe she was making and she freaked out. I added extra chocolate, and it’s as if I had committed a crime. This led to a big fight. It’s also made me question if this will work out. It’s the one thing about our relationship that worries me. She is unwilling to break from her routine. How can someone like me date someone like her and make this work?
— First Scheduled Out
Dear Scheduled Out: The world can be a scary place. As author Michael A. Singer puts it in “The Untethered Soul”: “You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience.” Schedules make your girlfriend feel in control. You, on the other hand, like to go with the flow. Some of the best relationships are with people who can teach each other something about life. Opposites can attract. Instead of fighting her scheduled life, learn from it. Come at it from a place of interest instead of irritation. See what it would feel like to have a routine. Get a taste of it . Then see if she’s willing to try your way of life in some capacity. The more comfortable and stable you can be inside the relationship, the less her schedule or your lack of schedule will matter. It all starts with you being willing to grow.