I recently received a piece of relationship advice from a woman who has been married to her husband for over 20 years.
The one thing I wish I'd done differently was learn to do things together, instead of having separate hobbies.
She was distant when she told me this, almost as if she was no longer talking to me but lost in her own thoughts. I didn't think much about this advice at the time, but I'm slowly starting to realize she was right.
He watches football and drinks beer; you have wine nights with the girls. He plays pool on Thursday nights; you go for runs on Friday mornings. He likes to sleep late; you're an early riser.
Your significant other has his hobbies and you have yours. These separate interests never seem to cross paths because couples usually don't do their separate hobbies together. You might not know it yet, but this could eventually become the driving factor that eats away at your treasured relationship.
What this woman meant by telling me this, was that relationships are about doing things together and having fun with your significant other. Relationships are about sacrifices and compromise.
Asking the final score of a football game or who sang what at karaoke night is not the same as being there and experiencing it with the other person.
This can be hard if you genuinely have no interest in your partner's hobbies, and I'm not suggesting you to do every last thing together. It's about finding a happy medium, acknowledging your partner's passions and at least giving it a shot.
Who knows, he could end up loving Yankee Candle just as much as you.
Witness each other's passions
One of the most attractive qualities in a person is the passion he or she has for the important things in life. Passion is what drives and motivates us to carry out our hobbies.
Seeing your partner in his natural element allows you to gain a deeper insight into who he is as a person.
Break down the wall
Whether you realize it or not, having separate hobbies creates an invisible wall between the two of you. Your partner may tell you about his family parties, but you won't get to see how much they mean to him unless you experience one with him.
Having too many separate hobbies can be dangerous in that you and your partner might start to loathe the things that keep separating the both of you. A sense of jealousy becomes the foundation of the invisible wall.
New hobbies can come from combining the old
Try combining your hobbies. If he watches football all day Sunday, try it out rather than writing it off as boring.
Instead of bumming around on the couch, find a fun appetizer on Pinterest and make it together during halftime.
You deserve a lazy Sunday with each other. If he boards and you ski, that doesn't mean you can't share the mountain, right? Combining your hobbies could end up being the start of new traditions.
Spontaneous outings create incredible memories
It's a beautiful Saturday afternoon and you have no idea what to do with yourself. How about you call up your partner and ask him to go apple picking or to a local wine tasting?
Maybe there's a yard sale going on down the street you could scan for vintage apartment décor. Mixing it up and being spontaneous will give you some of the best memories you could ask for. Who knows, you might discover a new hobby the two of you can do together.
Compromise for each other
I'll admit it: The thought of going to an all-you-can-eat wing buffet on a Wednesday night is something I would never volunteer to do. But, a relationship without compromise isn't much of a relationship at all.
Vice versa, your partner may not particularly enjoy the "Grey's Anatomy" marathon you had planned a week in advance, but relationships are not one-way streets.
Learning to compromise early on in a relationship will be extremely beneficial in the long run, and you'll probably pick up some new hobbies along the way. In the wise words of Jack Johnson, "It's always better when we're together."