Do you share many common interests with your spouse, or does he or she have completely different passions, hobbies, and beliefs than yours? Compatibility has nothing to do with common interests. In fact, most couples find their difference in tastes, styles, and thoughts about life quite intriguing and that is what makes them very compatible. Compatibility, in a nutshell, has a lot to do with the fulfillment and joy you feel in your romantic relationship. When two people are compatible, they enjoy each other's company, they find it easy to talk to one another, and their respect for each other's views and opinions comes fairly easy. You are compatible with your better half if:
You respect your partner, and you don’t want to completely change them as an individual
There is no doubt in your mind that you love each other
You know intimate things about each other, and you're forgiving of their flaws
You can be yourself around them
They make you want to be the best version of yourself
You are on the same page regarding your future expectations
On the other hand, having common interests is important, but not the end of the world if you do not have similar ones in your relationship. People spend years looking for a male or a female version of themselves while forgetting to account for the compatibility aspect of it. You may both be highly opinionated, liberal, artistic, or passionate, but are you compatible?
It is possible to have an out-of-this-world chemistry with someone who has nothing in common with you. What is important is how much time you are willing to invest in learning all about your husband’s or wife’s interests without necessarily trying to change them or conform them to your own ideologies.
Finding and building common interests in a marriage takes true altruism. While it is important to have your own hobbies and interests, it takes love to make an effort to spend time together doing things you both enjoy without always feeling that you are compromising. Consider the following;
Try New Things Together
Finding new and exciting activities to do together each week or once a month like hiking, camping, rock climbing, bungee jumping, water rafting, skiing, pottery, photography, or simply taking a class together not only alleviates boredom in a loving relationship, but it has been proven that couples who do this keep the relationship fresh and they have an increasingly satisfying sexual bond.
If your better half enjoys pounding the pavement, doing yoga, or cycling and you don’t, here is why taking an interest and joining them may help. Did you know that the endorphins released from exercising gives you an adrenaline rush that boosts arousal? Aside from helping you achieve your fitness goals, couples who exercise together feel emotionally attuned to one another, and it is a sure way of building on common interests. So why not share this aspect of your lives? It may just give your relationship a new dimension and increase your emotional bond.
Find New Fun Challenges
Learning a new skill once in a while as a couple keeps a relationship fresh. It could be anything from learning a new sex position or how to give a sensual massage, to practicing martial arts, or learning the moves of dances like tango or salsa. You can also learn a new language, take on a DIY project together, learn yoga, or go mountain climbing. These are just a few things couples can try to do together, and by so doing, they might end up falling in love with them and make them their “thing.”
Support Your Spouse’s Interests
Finding value in your partner's pursuits ranks pretty high when it comes to building a strong and loving relationship. It is all about stringing all your partner's and your own interests together to make an intricate web of common interest. You are already in a loving and compatible relationship, so why not be in it for the whole nine yards? Unless it is a destructive hobby, sitting with your hubby through a game and cheering for his team once in a while may just be what he needs. Or supporting your wife’s blogging passion or joining her pottery classes may just interest you enough to actually enjoy doing it together.
Gaining some perspective outside of your personal interests and preferences will broaden your horizons, open your mind's eye, and help you appreciate what makes your partner happy. Only when their interests are questionable or dangerous can you help them identify the problem, explain your rationale and offer some meaningful solutions or compromises that you both can work with and won’t leave your better half feeling left out.
Support a Worthy Cause
Outside of both your hobbies, giving back to the community or paying it forward can help a couple find and build on their common interest. After all, aren’t you meant to bring out the best in each other? Therefore, get behind a common cause that you are both passionate about and simply have fun doing it together. Are you animal lovers? Maybe you can diligently support organizations that help endangered species. You can also support talented up and coming artists or bands. The list is endless, but whatever you decide to support, it will be for a worthy cause, and you will feel good about it.
It is important to understand that while it is fun to learn and explore new things together as a couple, you should also be free to pursue your interests without always feeling pressured to do things together. What matters most is that both of you can learn to respect each other’s preference without trying to change each other or without forcing the other person to compromise their interests for your contentment.
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With our Couples Advent Calendar we'll give you a great marriage tip for each of the 25 days leading up to Christmas. This fun activity will help you focus on your relationship. Make it your next holiday tradition!