On any given day, if you ask my husband what he would like to do on the weekend, he’ll tell you one or a combination of the following:
Search for vintage rock vinyl
Fix something around the house
Watch a documentary
My list of interests definitely don’t match up to his, and for many years I agonised over how we could stand the test of time given that we do not like to do the same things. By contrast, my social media feed shows no shortage of effortlessly happy couples who have all the same passions, and commit all of their free time in pursuit of their common interests.
We are not one of those couples. Not even close.
But over the years, and after many ‘no thanks, I think I’ll do [insert activity] instead,’ surprise! We've managed to have the best time together, and our connection has grown even stronger. And along the way, I realised that it was okay to have completely different interests and passions, because:
1. YOU GET TO LEARN NEW THINGS ALL THE TIME
It begins with taking turns planning dates, and not necessarily dates for each other (although yes, do that too), but dates where you can showcase your passions and interests to your partner. By experiencing what the other is passionate about, you can learn what makes the other person tick, and vice versa. (It is also seriously helpful come birthdays when you are racking your brain for gift ideas).
2. YOU'LL OVERCOME CHALLENGES
There is a feeling of accomplishment when you do something you have never done before, or thought you couldn’t do. He attends a lecture on political science, and he walks away knowing the pros and cons of a representative democracy. You go on a hunt for that classic rock record and after 34982493 stores - YOU FIND IT! Success! You climb mountains, bake cakes, run marathons, redesign your living room. There is so much success to be had in there! And success that you wouldn’t have even thought of if you hadn’t been introduced to it by your partner. Different interests for the win :-)
3. YOU ARE NOT DATING YOURSELF
We’ve all been there before. Days where you get bored, because you’ve already done everything you wanted to do. Now imagine if your partner had exactly the same interests… it would become boring twice as quickly. The magical part of being with someone who isn’t like you is that there is so much chemistry and excitement to be had while discovering who the other person is.
4. YOU WILL CREATE MEMORIES
Have you ever tried something and been totally awful at it? It can be embarrassing. But with a partner? It can be HILARIOUS and fun. Some of your best stories will come from unexpected moments. So meet him on his turf, and have him come over to yours - I promise memory-making will happen :-)
5. YOU WILL FIND THAT SPARK AGAIN
That moment, that delicious moment when you’re watching your partner talk about something he LOVES and he just comes alive in a way that makes you fall in love with him all over again. It’s even better when he’s waxing poetic about an interest that is unique and personal to him, because you’ll get to step back and really appreciate the fact that you’re with somebody who is one in a billion. There’s no one else quite like him, and that’s why you fell in love.