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When you’re first dating someone, you often learn something new about the other person each time you see them. You learn about their families, their job, where they grew up, what their core beliefs are.
You also learn about their interests and hobbies.
You might find that you share many common interests with your date. Other times, your interests might not match up at all. No matter what the case, you can consider these three points as you begin exploring each other’s interests.
Learn more about the other person’s hobbies.
Let’s say that a) you definitely want to keep dating someone but b) you don’t know much at all about one of their favorite hobbies. Don’t think of this situation as a problem: think of it as an opportunity for education and exploration.
Is the other person a fashion aficionado? Read a few web or print articles on style and see what you discover. Maybe get a subscription to a fashion and lifestyle magazine so you both compliment each other’s style when you hit the city on a date.
Are they avid skiers? Consider subscribing to a skiing magazine and learning more about the sport. Think of how interesting your next date will be when you actually understand what lights up your date. Conversely, if you ski and your date doesn’t, a skiing magazine might help them learn a few things and maybe even try out your sport!
Do they love animals? Ask them if they want to plan a date to a local zoo or animal sanctuary. Surprise them on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day with a subscription to a magazine such as National Geographic.
If anything, you’ll end up with plenty to talk about and learn from one another.
Show them that you’re listening
Good listening is a fundamental component of a healthy relationship. Besides demonstrating your focused attention in the obvious ways—nodding, asking and responding to questions, not checking your phone during conversations, etc.—you can also show the other person that you’re paying attention to their interests by selecting thoughtful gifts for them.
The gifts you choose don’t have to be enormous romantic gestures. Especially early on in a relationship, exceedingly romantic gifts can make it seem as if you’re coming on too strong. Instead, choose something simple, such as a cooking magazine subscription for your foodie-date or a skein of yarn for your date who loves to knit.
Remember that you don’t have to merge all your hobbies and interests together.
Having a successful and healthy relationship doesn’t mean that you do and enjoy every single activity together.
So do you have to jump out of a plane with your sky-diving date? Absolutely not! But you can visit the drop zone to watch them in action.
Do you need to learn to paint to forge a happy relationship with your artist-date? Not at all. But you can ask them about their work and tell them you’d love to join them at a gallery show.
Ultimately, what matters is that you match with the other person: not that your hobbies or interests match theirs.
Different interests and hobbies only help broaden your experiences and not change you. We all love to meet someone who intrigues us and makes us want to try new things. Why not make this valentine's day special and bring both of you closer by learning each other's interests? One way to do that is to subscribe to a magazine that has interests you both might love to learn more about!