Let’s face it, you aren’t interested in some of the stuff your partner is. Maybe you think it’s dumb or you just can’t understand how someone could be into it. You may have all kinds of things in common, but there’s at least one thing that they love that you couldn’t care less about. That’s totally normal!
However, just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause issues. You may be sick of hearing about how awesome the book or show or sport they’re reading/watching/playing is going and you’d rather just tune them out completely and move on with your life, right? They probably feel exactly the same way about something you love, too.
A Good Example
When it comes to my taste in books, it’s either Harry Potter, LOTR-type fantastical or super girly, super cheesy “chick-lit” (as in chick literature…clever, right?). There really is no in between.
So, when I was recently in the library and found myself in the love story section, I had to stop for a look around. I came across an author that I like, Sophie Kinsella, and found a book of hers that I had never read, called I’ve Got Your Number. Of course, I had to get it!
I started reading it while sitting on my recliner. My husband was on the couch watching football or soccer or something. Occasionally, I would tell him about the book and what was happening. While some men might roll their eyes or give a few noncommittal “oh, wow’s” or “oh, really?s” while keeping their focus on the television, he actually turned to look at me.
And when I say, “So she’s engaged to a guy, but you know that’s not going to work out, because she’s just met a new dude”, he says “well, of course.” And when I say, “Oh, and another way you can tell is the fiancé’s name is ‘Magnus’ and the new dude’s name is ‘Sam’, a nice, normal name”, he says “Ugh. Magnus. What a douche.” And, as it turns out, he was right.
Think about something you really like to do. Now think about how it would make you feel if your partner made you feel dumb for liking it. Pretty shitty, right? Right. Now, imagine how you would feel if they took the time to at least pretend to be interested in it. Even if you know they aren’t as into it as you are, the fact that they will listen to you talk about it would mean a lot.
I know he couldn’t care less about my girly love stories, but he does a great job of pretending. And when it boils down to it, that’s how relationships work. I do the same thing when he talks to me about football. I may not understand it or be very interested in it, but I know it means a lot to him for me to at least pretend I do.
You may not care about or be interested in the same things as your partner, but you’ve got to give them the feeling that you do. Sure, you can poke fun of them at times, but the moment you make them feel dumb about their interests, or that their interests are unimportant, you’ve cut off a vital part of the relationship: Communication.