Whether you're just dating or already married, learning about this relationship mistake to avoid is a big deal. Better than just avoiding this mistake is knowing what to focus on instead.
I think there's a common myth of sorts that having common interests with your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse is a THE BIG WIN. If you like the same foods, hobbies, movie genres, music, etc - then somehow you've hit the relationship jackpot. While these things are nice and provide some avenues to grow together as a couple, people generally overvalue common interests.
COMMON INTERESTS ARE NOT ENOUGH
I would even go so far as to say common interests are not enough to create a dynamic relationship. They can be a part of one, certainly, but they don't guarantee the success of a relationship. Interests change. People lose interest in different things, and if the strongest bond you have with a person is your common interests, he or she might lose interest in you when his or her interests change.
Every day there are relationships that break down and people break up. Some people end relationships because they don't feel fulfilled. Others break up when they are not growing. Some break up when they are challenged to grow and don't want to change. Others meet someone else who at that moment seems more appealing to them for any number of reasons. Some people end relationships simply because they're bored.
Too often we spend too much time asking or wondering why it didn't work out. Why do friendships end? Why do people break up? These are great questions, but surely the more important question is, 'What keeps people together?' And not just together, but together in wonderful dynamic relationships. The goal isn't simply to stay together. Many people succeed in staying together but have failed relationships - In other words their relationships are surviving but not thriving.
Common interests are not enough to build a great relationship on. You may enjoy hiking or traveling together, biking together, or listening to concerts together. You may share a love of movies, art, animals, museums, or any number of interests that can draw people together. But it is a big mistake to think that these common interests can provide a solid foundation for a long-term relationship. In fact, common interests very often turn out to be a false foundation that only creates an illusion of a deeper relationship than was actually there.
Common interests quite simply are not enough to build a dynamic long-term relationship upon.
YOU NEED A COMMON PURPOSE.
What keeps people together in healthy, growing relationships over the long haul? A common purpose. Why do people break up? Because they have no sense of common purpose, or they lose sight of their common purpose, or their common purpose becomes unimportant to them.
For example, imagine two people who both enjoy hiking. They may bond over their shared love of nature and the outdoors, but if they have vastly different values and goals, their relationship may not be very intimate. On the other hand, imagine two people who may not share the same hobby, but who have similar values and goals. They may not have an immediate connection based on their hobbies, but they are more likely to build a deeper connection over time.
It's also hard to underestimate the importance of personal growth in building intimate relationships. We suggest that you should seek out people who challenge you to grow and become better versions of yourself. This means that we should not only look for people who share our values and goals, but also those who inspire us to be better.
Personal growth is an ongoing journey, and it can be difficult to find people who are willing to support you along the way. However, when we do find these people, the relationships we build with them are often some of the most intimate and rewarding.
So, how can you apply some of this advice to your own life? Here are a few suggestions:
Look beyond shared interests: While it's important to find people who share our interests, we should also seek out those who share our values and goals. This means being open to meeting people in different contexts, such as at work or through mutual friends, rather than just through hobby groups.
Embrace personal growth: Seek out people who challenge you to be your best self. This may mean finding a mentor or joining a mastermind group. Be open to feedback and willing to make changes to improve yourself.
Be patient: Building intimate relationships takes time. Don't rush into relationships based on shared interests alone. Take the time to get to know people on a deeper level before deciding if they are a good fit for you.
Be authentic: When building relationships, it's important to be authentic and vulnerable. Share your own experiences and struggles, and be open to hearing about others as well. This creates a space for empathy and understanding to grow, which is essential for building intimacy.
In conclusion, while shared interests can bring people together, they are not enough to sustain a truly intimate relationship. To build meaningful connections with others, we must look beyond our interests and seek out people who share our values, goals, and life experiences. We must also be willing to embrace personal growth and challenge ourselves to be our best selves. By doing so, we can build relationships that are truly intimate and rewarding.