How important are shared interests when dating?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2008 3:23 PM GMT
    A lack of shared interests sank my last two relationships, so I've moved it to the top of my list of priorities when searching for a potential partner. But in a small city, this has severely limited (or maybe eliminated) my dating options.

    Do I give in and date someone who shares none of my interests? Accept that stubbornly sticking to my standards may mean being single indefinitely? Quit my job (which I love) and move to a larger city?

    How important are shared interests for you?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2008 5:49 PM GMT
    Well I would think that a successful relationship requires that 2 people have SOME of the same interests. But I could be wrong on that...

    Personally I like the person I'm with to have similar interests - but not necessarily love everything I love. Too much similarity can be suffocating.

    What interests are you talking about?
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    Jul 03, 2008 6:18 PM GMT
    More physical pursuits, hobbies, recreation, etc. I've found differences in religion, politics, personal philosophy, personality and so forth can, for the most part, be worked out or are easy to spot at the start. Heck, my first was a priest and I was an atheist; we never argued about religion over the course of four and a half years. It was a lack of things to do together for fun and fitness that became a problem.
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    Jul 03, 2008 6:45 PM GMT
    Very important. If you rarely do things together that you enjoy then the relationship is not going to go very far. I don't care how good the sex is!
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    Jul 03, 2008 6:49 PM GMT
    i guess it's important ...

    me & my boyfriend share the same interest ...

    in food ...

    in working out ...

    in being romantic with each other ...

    in going to the movies ...

    in going to gay bars ...

    in sending love letters to each other ...

    and of course, the same interest in "gay porn" ...

    or "hot wild sex" ...

    cheers !!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 03, 2008 7:00 PM GMT
    i think more important than specific shared interests are shared preferences and the open minds to want to explore each other's interests. if you're an out-going clubby type, you probably shouldn't date a homebody, and vice versa; that would be an example illustrating clashing preferences. but if you like camping and he prefers shopping, but you both want to try out the other's interests together; well, that's ideal. i'd rather NOT have everything in common with a bf- it'd best i think if both parties have different interests and can find pleasure in learning about the each other's. gives something to talk about. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 03, 2008 7:04 PM GMT
    To me it's a matter of degree of interest and variety. I find it rare to meet someone who has no shared interests at all. The problem I find is when someone has a very narrow range of interests or is extremely devoted to one interest.
    I like music, but I don't spend every spare minute of my spare time practicing.
    I like gardening, but I don't focus my attention so much on it that every weekend my garden was going to be on a local tour.
    I like sci-fi on TV, but I don't watch it 16 hours a day.


    I think if I'm dating someone, and they have something they're passionate about, I'll certainly join them their quest and try to learn about it. I may or may not grow to like it, but I can learn to appreciate it. If that passion gets in the way of the relationship, then there's a problem.
    My area's of interest are one's that are mostly about personal growth and development on some level. They're not simply ways to escape.
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    Jul 03, 2008 7:07 PM GMT
    czarodziej saidi think more important than specific shared interests are shared preferences and the open minds to want to explore each other's interests. if you're an out-going clubby type, you probably shouldn't date a homebody, and vice versa; that would be an example illustrating clashing preferences. but if you like camping and he prefers shopping, but you both want to try out the other's interests together; well, that's ideal. i'd rather NOT have everything in common with a bf- it'd best i think if both parties have different interests and can find pleasure in learning about the each other's. gives something to talk about. icon_smile.gif


    Very well stated!

    My BF and I would KILL each other if we had the exact same interests. The time you spend apart from the one you love can sometimes be the reason that brings you together. Hell, I love going to see Broadway Shows/Musicals and he could really care less. I'm not much of a hip-hop reggae lover, but he is. We're both obvisouly open to what the other wants to do and try to venture into each other's interests, but we don't make it a huge issue.
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    Jul 03, 2008 7:13 PM GMT
    czarodziej saidi think more important than specific shared interests are shared preferences and the open minds to want to explore each other's interests. if you're an out-going clubby type, you probably shouldn't date a homebody, and vice versa; that would be an example illustrating clashing preferences. but if you like camping and he prefers shopping, but you both want to try out the other's interests together; well, that's ideal. i'd rather NOT have everything in common with a bf- it'd best i think if both parties have different interests and can find pleasure in learning about the each other's. gives something to talk about. icon_smile.gif


    So, why don't you live in Boston again? Grrrrrrrrrrr. hahaha. icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 03, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidTo me it's a matter of degree of interest and variety. I find it rare to meet someone who has no shared interests at all. The problem I find is when someone has a very narrow range of interests or is extremely devoted to one interest.
    I like music, but I don't spend every spare minute of my spare time practicing.
    I like gardening, but I don't focus my attention so much on it that every weekend my garden was going to be on a local tour.
    I like sci-fi on TV, but I don't watch it 16 hours a day.


    I think if I'm dating someone, and they have something they're passionate about, I'll certainly join them their quest and try to learn about it. I may or may not grow to like it, but I can learn to appreciate it. If that passion gets in the way of the relationship, then there's a problem.
    My area's of interest are one's that are mostly about personal growth and development on some level. They're not simply ways to escape.



    very true! i hate when i'm chatting with a guy his response to my asking after his interests is: 'watching sports, camping, hanging out...' and i'm like, what else? further elaboration is rarely encouraging. lol. i like guys who are passionate about life, more so than their specific interests- guys who recognize that there are things the haven't tried yet that they may love. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2008 7:46 PM GMT
    definitely. when in a relationship, u are spending the majority of your free time with that person. i think that it would be wise that u are spending it with someone who wants to do the same types of things u like to do. if you like to veg out on the couch and he wants to go out all the time, that might cause some problems. thats not to say u have to like all of the same things, then it gets boring, but u do need to share a lot of the same intersts for it to be successful in the long run. i think the proper term is to be equally yolk.
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    Jul 03, 2008 7:48 PM GMT
    I don't believe it's THAT important! What IS important is being open to what the other is in to and respect it and if you don't care for it, do not deter them from still participating.
  • swimbikerun

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    Jul 03, 2008 8:33 PM GMT
    czarodziej said
    very true! i hate when i'm chatting with a guy his response to my asking after his interests is: 'watching sports, camping, hanging out...' and i'm like, what else?


    Hey! What's wrong with camping?
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    Jul 03, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    Okay, before everyone points out he's my X....our split had NOTHING to do with a lack of shared interest.icon_wink.gif
    Ever heard the term "opposites attract"?
    My X and I had very little in common, we are pretty much night and day....but for the most part, we got along very well.
    To me, it was more about having common values and beliefs over whether we both liked to play baseball or both liked scary movies, etc...none of that mattered...All that mattered was trust and when we were together, we enjoyed our time...It was a great 17 years and we remain the best of friends.
    I mean, think about it....do all of your friends have the exact same characteristics as you? Well, there are alot of gay-zombies out there!icon_idea.gif


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    Jul 03, 2008 9:02 PM GMT
    I know plenty of people that have been in LTR's and do not have similar interests at all. But the one thing that separates the husband's from the ex's is that each partner at least tried the other's interests. Not having the same interests is bad if each person isn't at least willing to try the other's interests once. Otherwise, it really doesn't matter.
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    Jul 03, 2008 9:06 PM GMT
    I think obviously a couple should share some interests. Hopefully they will not have interest that annoy each other.

    But there are many reasons people fall in love, even though love should not hinge on looks, or interests, or things that fade away as we get older.

    As a partner, I would be interested in the other person's happiness. In that sense I would probably participate in the person's interests just to see the happiness in his face, even if it was not my particular thing.

    Liking and sharing everything your partner likes is not the point, loving his heart and sharing his life is.
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    Jul 03, 2008 9:44 PM GMT
    Hmm.. well, my boyfriend and I are like night and day. Me being day, or course. We have completely different tastes in friends, music, hobbies, and almost anything else you can imagine..
    But at the same time, we're like breaths of fresh air for one another. He takes me out of my comfort zone and introduces me to things I -never- would have found otherwise, and I... keep him relatively calm and out of trouble.

    While sometimes it's hard to find specific things to do that we BOTH will enjoy a lot, we just split up what we do, trying to show the other how we each like to have fun. We're both open minded so usually it works out. icon_smile.gif


    I think the most important thing for me to say FOR YOU. Is that you can't write someone off just because they're different than you. You just.. gotta try it. That's the only way you're ever going to know for sure.
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Jul 03, 2008 10:39 PM GMT
    Shared interests are definitely a plus but I think it's more important to be able to talk to someone. If you always have something to talk about, no matter what the topic then theres a good chance you'll be seeing more of each other.

    Great sex is great, but sooner or later you've got to talk to each other.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 03, 2008 11:09 PM GMT
    In the beginning VERY important...

    It cements the two of you together
    Things like working out
    taste in movies
    sense of humor......
    food

    then as you stay together less so
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    Jul 04, 2008 12:05 AM GMT
    GQjock saidIn the beginning VERY important...then as you stay together less so


    That's interesting; I found the opposite. It was exploring our differences and quirks that compelled me at first. Once that faded, I needed some of that common ground to kick in.

    I hear what people are saying about trying out each other's interests. Both guys did try, but I often felt I was dragging them through an activity they didn't enjoy at all. Each outing ended with "I'll never do that again" or "Thank God that's over."

    Did I just experience an extreme end of the spectrum? When you're trying your partner's interests, are you having fun? Looking forward to doing it again? Or is it something you're tolerating to make them happy?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 04, 2008 5:05 PM GMT
    Maybe you'll do best with someone who's... a middle ground of sorts. But, like I said. When it comes to falling in love with somebody, you really can't predict, or control it.
  • GQjock

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    Jul 05, 2008 10:00 AM GMT
    It's a mix

    You need the same interests that get you going as a couple
    but then you need some differences that are not so glaring to keep it interesting for later on
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    Jul 05, 2008 10:29 AM GMT
    These are all good posts..and i can relate to most, if not all of them. my boyfriend and i were first drawn together by mutual physical attraction and instant chemistry..both of which are still in place after 16 months together. and over that time, we have discovered shared interests in various things and differences in others. and we have always had communication, sharing our thoughts and feelings, openly and honestly. we have common-ground on many levels, with each of us willing to experience what the other might like or enjoy, and that includes preferences in sexual pleasure. it's all about give-and-take..and an on-going learning process. one should never think that they stop learning in life..and that especially goes for any form of relationship. the shared interests and differences are all a part of the grand adventure of getting to know another person so deeply that you can know what they are thinking and feeling at most times. and being able to adjust your own thoughts and feelings to any given situation, in order to support the one that you care for.

    one poster said it best, i think, when he said the main point was sharing another guy's heart and his life. with the heart, differing interests can be worked out, and you may discover you like something new. with shared life...well,life is like a roller-coaster...happiness, sadness, doubts, fears, confusion, love...but if you have that special man in your life, it is much easier to accept it all, even the differnces in interest-