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How Energizer bunnies, cat people find common ground
Scripps Howard News Service


June 12, 2005

Say that your partner is an Energizer bunny - someone who just keeps going and going - and you're more of a cat-person who likes to take naps and hang out around the house.

How can the two of you live in harmony and give each other the space and companionship you need to be happy and content in your relationship?

I believe that differences make for good relationships, however certain behaviors can cause imbalance and create distress.

To make this particular difference work for you instead of against you, take a good look at your energy level and see how that affects your connection.

Once you understand your individual behavior preferences, you can then find ways to balance things out.

If you're the bunny, try not to think of your cat-person partner as lazy, or feel that he or she doesn't want to play with you. And, cat people need to understand that "going" is the way bunnies relax.

Both of you need to recognize that we all have different rhythms and that these can change over time. Encouraging your partner to go with your flow will be much easier once you have a mutual understanding.

Recognize that some people get more energy by resting and others increase energy through activity.

This will help you plan your lives so you are both at your best. If your partner runs out of energy in the evening, and you have plans for dinner and a movie, suggest that he or she take a nap in the afternoon.

Realize that you don't have to do everything together to be a successful couple. If you support your partner in his or her desires, the favor will be returned.

If your partner is a hiker, you could make sure he or she has a protein bar and some water. If your loved one is making a pilgrimage to the outlet mall or the hardware store, you can have lunch or dinner ready when he or she returns home.

Participating doesn't mean that you have to be attached at the hip. It's more a matter of sharing the experience in some way instead of feeling left out or being pushed in a direction that's uncomfortable for you.

It also helps to let your mate know what you want. If your partner falls asleep as soon as his or her head hits the pillow and you want to kiss and cuddle, make sure you say you've got some romantic intentions before the lights go out.

Believing that eventually both of you will get what you want and need is key to helping you enjoy your life together. Differences in activity levels will usually shift over the years. I know people who took up marathon running late in life and others who left careers as professional athletes to write.

So the next time your cat-person wants to take a snooze in the sun and you want to do some running around, show how you appreciate your differences by picking up something special... like extra batteries.


Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. has resided and practiced in Westlake Village, Calif., for a decade.
Contact him at Barton(at)
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

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