Monday, November 7, 2011

Take an interest

I have always thought that an important part of relationships is taking an interest in activities and topics that your loved ones like.

People aren’t always interested in the same things, even if they are close, but I think we should all take the time to talk and learn about what other people enjoy.

For example, although they may share some interests, couples often have interests that don’t even remotely intersect — a woman loves dance, a man loves war video games. What does the woman know about killing the opponent with a few buttons on an Xbox handset? What does the man know about the kids tapping on stage?

If you haven’t guessed, this is one example from my own life. I love to dance, and last night Nate came with me to a dance show at a local theatre. I knew that tapping would be most likely the kind of dancing he would actually enjoy, and I appreciated that he came even though his friend asked if he could stay home and play video games.

Although he said it got long, he didn’t complain that he had to sit through 1.5 hours of people tap dancing — sounds that get a little repetitive if you have no dance background.

In another way, he also takes interest in my dance by mixing music for me to choreograph to — a way for him to connect his interests with mine.

As for the video games, I have played a variety of video games through the years. Some video games I enjoy playing — Rock Band, Wii sports. However, I have played games like HALO and Toy Soldiers just to spend a little time with Nate, doing something that he enjoys. It always ends up being fun too.

We have other interests that we don’t necessarily share, but we share with each other, educate each other on just to connect our lives. Some things we even learn to like just by trying it out because the other person loves it — like football for me.

I have seen a lot of couples completely separate themselves. The woman — I hate sports, so if you want to talk sports or watch it, go do it with someone else. However, that same woman will get jealous that her husband is off with other people instead of spending time with her — even though that’s what she said she wanted.

I think to improve relationships, it’s important to take an interest in each other and each other’s interests, even if those interests don’t initially interest you? Did you get all that?

When your spouse, or even your friend, starts talking about something you aren’t interested in, stop and take a moment to listen. Even ask some questions. Make them feel like they are important to you just because what you are taking an interest in what they enjoy.

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