When You and Your Partner Share Few Common Interests

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Couples Counseling, Couples Counseling For One | Comments Off on When You and Your Partner Share Few Common Interests

Maintaining connection despite your differences

Early on, some couples greatly enjoy the fact that their partner’s interests are nothing like their own. It seems to keep their relationship fresh and exciting. They enjoy the idea that their opposite interests attract. Other couples are drawn together because they actually do share common interests but, as time goes on, their interests diverge.

Either way, you and your partner may find that you no longer like the same things, or enjoy the same activities. Having little in common can drive a wedge between you that may create loneliness, distance, and detachment. Soon, you may feel less attracted to each other, or that your relationship isn’t as strong as it once was.

So, what can couples do when this happens?

  1. Ask yourself whether a lack of common interests is essential to your relationship.

Perhaps your partner is interested in music or travel. His or her primary pastime may be connected to a set of values or faith. Is it essential to the future of your relationship that your partner shares your interest? If so, then you need to consider whether the relationship is viable. Sometimes, the interest is such a big part of your life that you need a partner who will share it with you.

  1. If differing interests are okay, accept that your partner’s interests are an important part of his or her life.

Do what you can to come to terms with the fact that your partner’s interests and hobbies are positive, and valuable to them. Give your partner room to participate and explore those activities and hobbies. Avoid giving ultimatums that require your partner to choose time with you, over time with their chosen interest. Cornering your partner rarely turns out well.

Strive to be confident in your relationship, and trusting enough in your partner that you feel comfortable when they are doing their own thing without you. There is no relationship rule that requires you to be constantly involved in your partner’s pursuits.

Graciously give your partner a reasonable amount of time and space, to navigate their interests individually.

  1. Develop a basic, working knowledge of your partner’s interests.

You don’t have to be intimately knowledgeable of his or her hobby to discuss it with your partner. Knowing your partner’s likes, dislikes, preferences, and goals concerning his or her interests can foster conversation and connection. This practice allows your partner to share excitement, trials, and accomplishments, with the assurance that you understand what they are talking about, and willingly share in it with them.

  1. Be there for your partner; offer your physical presence and support.

Meet your marathon runner at the finish line. Sit in the front row of your band performer’s next gig. Send your traveler off well by driving him or her to the airport. Provide as much physical support and encouragement as you are able. It’s an unmistakable way to preserve your connection, and maintain the feeling that the relationship is mutually satisfying and balanced.

It’s often very meaningful to know that your partner is present, regardless of his or her own interest.

  1. Find ways to develop shared interests with your partner.

Long- term relationships rarely survive on physical attraction alone. Having nothing at all in common does not bode well for most couples. Maintain your connection by balancing individual interests, and valuing time spent together. The key idea is to focus on shared activities that provide common ground. Laughing together and strengthening your friendship in ways that are meaningful to both of you will keep your relationship healthy and supportive.


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