In Defense of Hobbies

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Do you find yourself giddy with anticipation every November, as you prepare to climb into a tree blind and wait for the right buck to appear? Perhaps it's the thought of hitting a little white ball into 18 holes with as few strokes as possible that gets you going. Maybe you prefer using a jigsaw to create an intricate shape in the piece of wood you've been working on.

Or maybe it's your partner who enjoys hunting, golfing, or woodworking, and his or her interest in (obsession with?) it drives you nuts. You'd much rather bounce around on a mountain bike or design a gorgeous family scrapbook.

If that's the case, you're not alone. Lots of couples have diverse interests that lead to different hobbies. Instead of it being a point of contention, studies show that when you support one another's pursuit of individual interests, your relationship benefits.

Rather than allowing life to grow stagnant, pursuing our own interests provides us with new and exciting experiences to discuss with our partners. Here's one strategy to help you embrace the pursuit of your partner's hobbies, adding depth to your relationship in the process.

Seek first to understand.
You were drawn to your partner for a reason—and it's likely that any outside interests contributed to what made him or her so captivating. There's something about pursuing that particular hobby that motivates and intrigues your partner. Maybe it sparks something positive in his soul or makes him feel more present in his day-to-day life—as your hobbies do for you. Talk to your partner and try to understand how that hobby feeds his needs. When you earnestly listen, learn, and respect his feelings, you're more likely to appreciate the time he spends in his woodshop, in the woods hunting, or on the golf course.

For more tips on pursuing your passion, and feeling good about your partner pursuing his or hers, click here to read this article in its entirety in the digital edition of West Michigan Woman magazine.


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