Would You Date Someone if You Really Dislike Their Style?

Plenty of happy couples I know differ in very fundamental ways. Religion, politics and money management spring to mind, but in this design-centric community, I wonder: would you enter into a relationship if you knew you were signing up for a design disaster?

This is not about living together, apartment hunting and merging furniture, but rather the early days of a relationship when you're just discovering what the other person is all about. Extenuating circumstances aside, what if you like the person but hate their home?

This idea was inspired by my boyfriend, but not in the way you think — he has great taste. It's actually about a particularly large and very floral chair I happen to own. It's my most comfortable reading chair and, because of this, I accept and embrace its rather shabby, faded state. My boyfriend hates it. Ours isn't an overwhelming or incompatible style dispute, but we did get to talking about couples who truly have opposite tastes.

Of course, we all have different ideas about how to live in our spaces, and that's wonderful. I've been forced out of my comfort zone in the name of compromise and been pleasantly surprised. Established couples, no doubt, have learned to negotiate these differences and compromise when it's necessary to live in peace. But they have a stake, a history, a bank of good times to draw upon when problems arise.

I often joke that dating is little more than a job interview with cocktails. But it's true that, especially in the beginning, the purpose of a date is to gauge compatibility with a potential partner. If you're not stylistically compatible, is it worth it to continue?

And does it even matter? I can't help but wonder if my grandmother would've worried about my grandfather's design sensibilities before accepting a date. Are we so over-saturated with design images that we prioritize it over love? Or perhaps it's smart to consider compatibility in things you're truly passionate about to prevent fundamental problems in the future.

There are differences of opinion, and then there are deal breakers. Where do you fit in?

(Image: IKEA)