The tale of the country mouse and the city mouse might be just a children’s story, but its message is still pretty true today: For tons of different reasons, people can attribute part of who they are to where they come from (not to mention how it affects their marital status). While not all small-town girls are quiet and not all city boys are boisterous, there are still strong correlations between geography and personality. Samantha Daniels, relationship expert and founder of The Dating Lounge app, believes that where you’re from also has an impact on your romantic relationships — especially if you’re dating someone from a different hometown from yours. Daniels tells us that your hometown affects your connection to your S.O. in two major ways.

A couple kisses on a crowded city street at night

1. It highlights differences in tradition. Traditions play a huge role in our habits, opinions, and social lives. Since region and religion play so much into the beliefs and practices we hold dear, it makes sense that these rituals say a lot about who we are — and can be points of contention in relationships. “For instance, the ceremony of a sit-down family dinner in the South may be a foreign concept for a New Yorker who is used to moving 50 miles a minute,” Samantha offers. “Lifestyle differences are not insurmountable, but it is important to be aware of them going into a relationship where the two of you are from very different places.”

Two women walking bikes kiss in a park

2. It promotes friendly competition. You might think that competition will only manifest itself through sports, but there are tons of comparisons you can make between your respective homes. “One of the best parts of dating someone from a different area is pitting your hometowns against each other in a friendly way,” Samantha suggests. “Challenging your partner on which city has the best ice cream or bar scene will allow you both to learn more about each other’s past and maybe even prompt a visit home.” By using this competition as a means to learn about your S.O.’s hometown, you’ll also learn about them as a result.

A man kisses a woman's shoulder as she sips espresso

Tradition and competition aren’t the only ways that geography affects your relationship; religion, family life, and even your career are all factors that are somehow touched by where you came from. Even though these variations can sometimes clash, meeting and dating someone from a different place allows you to learn from and appreciate their upbringing *almost* as much as you appreciate your own.

How has a difference in hometown affected YOUR relationship? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)