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How important are similar interests?(39 Posts)
A while ago I dated someone for a bit - that kind of lead nowhere other than becoming friends - he’s lovely though.
We had some similar interests (nature, psychotherapy) and in some ways a similar personality, but other things were very different - eg. taste in music and sport (I have no taste in sport apart from the final of the World Cup, Wimbledon and sprinting / gymnastics during the Olympics ).
Do things like wildly differing tastes in music matter??
I guess what I am asking - how many interests do you and your partner share, and how much of a difference do you think that has made, if any?
My dh and I like some of the same stuff but mostly different things. We have enough tv that we both like to watch together but I like all the reality shows and he doesn't. He likes rugby and I like rugby players...not so interested in the game! We like opposite sorts of music. Doesn't matter really as long as you respect each other's opinions
My dh and I don't like many of the same things. Maybe some films and documentaries? He loves sport, I don't. We have some overlap in music but a lot that doesn't overlap. We have separate friendship groups etc... We have the same values though and agree on key things like finances. We still find things to talk about despite different interests so it's not been a problem in the 15+ years we've been together. So in my experience it doesn't matter much.
I read somewhere that you don't need similar interests, but you need similar values. Works for us. On paper, you wouldn't think so.
Shared interests are far less important than shared values.
That’s really interesting about the shared values and I guess that in a dating situation it would take a lot longer to find out it you were compatible in that way?
What kind of values? I can think of attitudes to money, family, re. kindness, faithfulness, that kind of thing.
On the other hand exh and I did share some values, but he was also moody (think silent treatments lasting one to two months ) and difficult, and we are now (horribly) divorced. But yes the (unspoken) values is maybe what drew us to each other in the first place.
On the face of it, me and DH have very little in common. He is massively into sports and I'm not. I'm an avid reader and he never reads fiction. I love gardening and bird watching, he doesn't know whether dandelions are flowers or weeds and can't tell the difference between a herring gull and a jackdaw.
That being said, we have been married for 30+ years now, he makes me laugh, we have fun, we share the same sense of humour, like the same kind of music, and we enjoy having time off work together.
However, I have continued working throughout the pandemic - it might have been a different story had we both been stuck at home 24/7
We have some shared interests, eg food, wine, walking, travel and we each have some interests of our own which gives us both an opportunity to do our own thing. For example, DP is into cycling in a big way and goes on cycling holidays with his mates. I’m a football fan, and I have a season ticket at a Championship club. The mixture works for us, but might not for other people.
I couldn’t be with someone who like different music to me as it’s part of my lifestyle . Very important .
Couldn't be with someone with no shared interests. That's part of the attraction for me. Ideally you'd have shared values and shared interests.
I read for pleasure; he will only read as research for work.
He loves MMA; I think it's shite.
I will rewatch a film over and over; he never watches anything twice (I wish I could change that about him!).
I love tv, especially getting lost in a long-running series, but he prefers real life programmes.
We both love crime documentaries and can find some common ground when it comes to music (his favourites are classical or heavy metal, both of which I cannot tolerate).
But, it works. I watch some of the bigger fights with him. He will watch some of my cheesy tv shows with me. He's working tonight and suggested I read my book in the study while he's working.
We don't have that many shared interests, but values yes! We tick along nicely though.
Day to day in the home, DH and I can be doing different things, watching different shows, going out separately, but still enjoying our time when together.
I find its when we go on holidays that our common interests are far more important. We both enjoy certain water and snow sports, and if 1 just wanted to sunbake, and the other wanted to do sports, it would be a very different and less enjoyable holiday. You are stuck in a hotel room, with 1 TV and no one else to go out with. If you get on well during a holiday spending every minute together, you will likely get on long term too.
My husband and I want the same things in life, we are always heading in the same direction and we share the same values. But we have nothing other in common at all! Food, drink, TV, hobbies etc. The values are more important to us and as a result we're very independent. I believe this is why we get on so well and rarely fight 💪
it has become more important in my mind as I get older. We don’t have too much in common and I worry about that a bit for the long term future.
Similarities to share
No two people will ever have the exact same interests, ever. Too many combinations to compute
My DH and I share some interests, like some TV, films, comedy, travelling, food/cooking, a shared dislike of a certain popular team sport (!), some (but I wouldn’t say a lot) of music. I agree with you (and thank goodness I don’t seem to be alone in this) it’s more about sharing values and enjoying good conversation. What about politics? I don’t mean necessarily always voting for the exact same party and having the same views on eveything - having healthy debate is also important - but caring about the similar issues and having common ground.
I don’t think similar interests matter. But similar values do.
Values definitely, similar moral compasses are essential.
Interests: we each have some different interests, but we have a lot of common ones. It is important to respect each other’s preferences and be open to appreciating each other’s enthusiasms.
I wouldn’t run if you paid me, but I can now enjoy a formula one race. He now is happy to traipse around a Greek or Roman ruin, but wouldn’t read a book on the Tudors. We’re both happy to eat and drink our way round France...
Myself and my partner have some similar interests but also some different ones. I wish he would have more of an interest in some things I enjoy like travel and just
Going to new places in general.
I think that shared values and compatible (not necessarily the same or similar) personalities matter more.
That being said, I always think when people ask this question that they have simplified it too much. Being interested in different things isn't the issue, the extent to which each differing interest impacts day to day life is what matters.
So, to take your example of music. If you mean that you would chose Radio One while he would pick and exclusively rock station while you potter around the house then that's not a massive deal. It doesn't really impact much. However, if your interest in a particular genre of music means you regularly go to gigs and festivals of that type, dress in a way that is specific to the music and dabble in an instrument/band related to it while he isn't particularly into music at all then that might matter.
It's the same for sports. I like running whereas my husband prefers the gym but our level of engagement in each is the same. So it works out. If I suddenly became obsessed with running, such as only wanting to go on running holidays, not longer being able to relate to non running friends etc then it could cause a problem because the lack of balance and the amount it impacts our day to day lives.
Anyway, I'm sure you get the point. So assuming values and personality match enough for you to be interested my checklist works like this:
1) Are any of their interests something I fundamentally disagree with? E.g directing amateur porn or dog racing.
2) Are any of their interests something that would just bore me to death and therefore I couldn't genuinely be supportive when they wanted to talk about/share it. E.g. Football or darts. Same for them, if I'm really into politics and it bored them then it could present an issue if I want to discuss political issues every evening.
3)If 1&2 were NO then it's on to working out compatibility with my own interests in terms of financial and time committments. So, compared to my own interests/ways I like to spend my time are theirs equal, more or less consuming? So long as they evenly match then I'd feel that was okay.
4) My final consideration point would be to think about the likelihood of both/either of us outgrowing the interest and if that would matter.
I realize that people can change their interests over time and so this checklist only works for the start of a relationship. So people could say that there is a risk that much later on you could find yourself with clashing interests but that's why I said the most important thing is matched values and personality...thoes should mean that by the time your in a committed relationship you'll take each other into consideration regarding new interests.
Argh. I did have spaces in, I promise.
I agree it's more about shared values and sharing the same way of life. For example, his sport is golf and everything that goes with it. Golf holidays, weekends away. I dont have a problem with. I like that he enjoys his hobby. Likewise he doesnt have a problem if I go away with friends. This coukd be a problem though if both partners didn't feel the same.
I don't think different taste in music and films is a big deal, you can do those things separately.
I do think you need some things that you can do together though, like travel, or weekend hobbies such as walking or cycling...and you need to have similar values. I think it helps if you have similar life goals too. E.g. If one of you wanted to spend all your money on travel and the other wanted to save hard and plough all your money into property, that could cause big problems.
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