ENGAGE IN EACH OTHER'S INTERESTS
In a relationship balance is essential, having your own interests but also engaging in each other's hobbies and interests.
Two years ago I began dating a man who loves golf. I have never been interested in golf and honestly find it boring. Throughout our dating he would ask me to go with him and many times I was really annoyed with the request. One day we were going through our love list exercise and he shared that he feels loved when I take interest in the things that are meaningful to him aka GOLF. Now as a therapist I felt the guilt of not following through on advice I constantly tell couples.
My partner and I came up with an agreement of me going with him to play a game every once in a while but I was still not interested and would do other things while he played. Then one day he asked me to go to the driving range with him. He got so excited teaching me how to hit the ball and the way to stand and such. It was in that moment that I realized the difference between GOING and ENGAGING.
Engaging in his interests showed him I care about him. Engaging made him feel loved. Engaging made him feel supported.
I realized that when I engaged in his interest our emotional and physical connection increased. Our day was more positive and the smiles lasted longer. On those days I got more hugs and kisses (my love language) because I had engaged in his love language (quality time) and showed interest in his passion.
So my tip for couples is this. How can you engage in each others passions. Are you willing to sacrifice for a moment to help your partner feel loved, supported, seen, and valued?