Friday, June 5, 2015

Finding Common Interests as a Couple

Zach and I met at a game night with mutual friends. (Read his version of our story here.) We knew right away that we both had an intense love of board/card games. We also knew we shared a fiercely competetive nature. Things seemed perfect on paper--similar life goals, same religious background, similar values, mutual friends, and a shared interest--it's perfect, right?

Yes, it was perfect. Zach and I found that we just worked and we fell hard and fast for each other. For quite a while we shared one similar interest: making out. All kidding aside, we just really enjoyed being together and we didn't think much beyond that moment. 

After we were married and things settled down, it became a bit more obvious that we were two very different people with very different interests. Our schedules were opposite and so it became a priority for us to maximize our time together. Over the years, we've really grown to share some interests. Some are awesome and some not so much--our shared love of late night snacking has not been good for either one of us. 

How We've Discovered Common Interests:

Conversation is really important to me--I like to know what is on Zach's mind. Zach will listen to me talk all day, seriously-he has unending patience with me, but he's not much for sharing. I've found that when Zach is reading a book--especially if it's non-fiction, he will talk to me. He will start by talking about the book (sometimes I have to ask and sometimes I don't) and it will turn into other topics that resonate on a more personal level. I recently gave Zach American Sniper as a gift and I loved hearing about the book from his perspective and seeing what he took away from the story. It made for some car rides where Zach talked most of the time--a rare treat for me!

I have found that when either one of us is reading a book, it gives us a great conversation starter. We become interested in the other person's book and we relate parts/pieces/thoughts to our own lives and values. We don't read the same books--not even the same kinds of books, but we really do enjoy sharing about our books with each other. 

Take Turns Sharing a Hobby
When I met Zach I had shot a gun one time at Girl's Camp and I hated it. Zach loves shooting and I decided to plan a date at the shooting range when we were married early on. It was/still is fun to have Zach help teach me something that he knows about and is good at. I've grown to enjoy shooting. 

I don't have a lot of hobbies that I can really teach Zach, but I often bring him math problems or teaching situations and have him work through them with me. It's fun to share that part of my world with him and it's really nice to have that feedback.

Surely if you start sharing hobbies with your spouse, you won't share the same love of everything, but you're bound to find something you both enjoy. And if nothing else, you both will walk away with a greater understanding of the other person's hobby and find more common ground. 

Television Shows
It might seem silly, but "our shows" are definitely a way we've found common interests. Not only do we enjoy watching a show together, but we enjoy discussing it. It makes for fun conversation and we've had so much fun making predictions and drawing comparisons to our own life/situations/beliefs to those portrayed in the shows we've watched. To find a show you both like, consider this Couch Potato Date Night

Set Goals Together
A while back we completed a Whole30 together. That made for some dinner preparations and family outings that we both enjoyed as we worked toward a common goal. Whether we are working toward better health, increasing our spirituality, or doing more service--when we set a goal to make an improvement somewhere it naturally lends itself to us finding something to enjoy together. 

How do you find common interests with your spouse?

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