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Between work and our personal lives, we all need to find ways to feel like we’re growing and keeping busy. In a partnership, or as a part of the single life, hobbies are a good way to create a sense of meaning, and break out of routines. Whether you’re with someone you love, or someone you’re dating, or on your own, being creative about the way you spend your free time is important.

 

  1. Be open to your partner’s interests

It is so validating to your partner when you to participate in something they love, especially if they know it isn’t your favorite thing, like it is for them. When you open yourself up wholly to a new experience, and commit, you are demonstrating love for your partner and joining them in something they enjoy. From swing dancing, to playing a role-playing game, to cooking up obscure regional delicacies in the kitchen, your partner probably loves something you’re not as into. Their knowledge and passion can also be a huge turn-on for you as you watch them shine in their area of expertise. Your willingness to let them lead and teach is also a big boost of confidence for them! The story you’re creating as you share in their passion is one of mutual respect and flexibility – it’s contagious, too..

 

  1. Don’t be shy about your dorky obsession

As open as you’re willing to be with your partner’s favorite hobbies, this plan should be reciprocal. After you make space and time for them to show off for you, make room to let them in on your favorite things. Your collections, your artistic, creative choices, your crafty pastime — letting your partner see you in your element is inspiring. You are creating intimacy with them, and building trust, which radiates out into other parts of your relationship together. Plus, now you have a buddy to shop, practice, or plan with!

 

  1. Make room for a new hobby you start together

Okay so you’ve let each other in on your personal hobbies — or maybe neither of you have one — yet. Either way, starting up a brand-new thing together gives you chance to have something all your own. Plus you get to practice your communication, empathy, delegation, respect, and trust! Beyond being aspirational adjectives you read about on a blog, they’re good goals to keep in mind as you go about your day. With a special place and time to work on your shared hobby, you have a lovely crucible to blend your styles, hear and speak to each other, or work side-by-side.

 

  1. It’s more than a hobby, it’s time spent on your relationship

If it wasn’t obvious so far, part of why sharing and creating hobbies with your partner is worthwhile is because you are doing it with each other. In so many ways, you are prioritizing your relationship alongside your work and home responsibilities. The act of making it matter communicates to your partner that your relationship matters. You get to spend time with each other in a fun way, rather than under stress. You’re creating novel patterns for communication and negotiation that will repeat in the other parts of your lives together. It is an investment in your present.

 

  1. It’s okay to do your own thing too

Yes, absolutely open yourself to sharing each other’s hobbies, start new ones, and build new patterns for how you are together. But at some point, it is also healthy for a little downtime on your own. Maybe it’s time you spend preparing to be together, planning out how you’re going to be gardening or shopping for records the next day as a couple. Maybe it’s time you spend thinking about nothing else – just reading a graphic novel from cover to cover, or writing a graphic novel from cover to cover. What matters is that you have time to recharge, so you can be engaged and present with your partner later. Investing in your partnership means investing in yourself, too! You’re so worth it.