I was married to Pete for a long time and we were not much alike at all lol. People who met us separately were always stunned when they saw us together and realized I was who he talked about and he was who I talked about. And then after they saw us they got it. We just worked. We had very different backgrounds, he converted after we'd been married ten years. He was bold and ornery and had a laugh that just made you feel warm inside and a grin that melted you. He had deep and surprising compassion, incredible gentleness, a quick temper and you wouldn't want to tangle with him. He could do anything, knew all sorts of things, worked super hard and was well loved by lots of people. He could be a complete handful lol. I was the soft spoken quiet proper little nerdette. We complemented each other. We like Marge says created our own mutual likes and goals. We enjoyed getting together with friends, going out to dinner, trying new foods, having long conversations about everything on the front porch. What we had in common were a deep respect, even deeper admiration for the others talents, really strong love for each other and on the whole we liked each other -- although there were days LOL.
So, no matter what else we have in common if I respect you, admire and appreciate your gifts and my love for you (the hypothetical potential mate) makes me worry more about your well being than my own and you feel the same, I'd say we have a pretty good chance of creating a beautiful life.
This is a good contribution to the thread, Lauren, thank-you. You mention RESPECTING EACH OTHER. That, I think is important! Or perhaps another way of putting it is that you APPRECIATED EACH OTHER.
I don't want to use the word friends, but really, the couple must enjoy each other's company in general. This doesn't translate to entertaining each other, but simply that being with the other person is a comfort zone.