They say opposites attract, and while there are some things you’ll want to have in common with your partner, there are plenty of things that it’s okay not to share. My partner, for instance, is really into music and, more specifically, metal music. I’m more into pop myself, and I still love music and listen to it constantly, but I don’t listen to it the same way my SO does. They research the best bands in the scene and watch YouTube videos analyzing lyrics and reviews of new EPs and I’d be lying if I didn’t say a lot of it goes over my head. I don’t get why they love music as deeply as they do, but that’s okay. It’s important to understand the difference between being interested in what your partner is passionate about and actually sharing those passions.

Just listen

First off, let me be clear that you don’t have to be passionate about the same things. You don’t even have to know that much about whatever they’re passionate about. Over time you’ll probably pick up a lot of things, and hopefully, you do. It means they’re sharing those things with you and you’re listening enough to remember them. If they’re into video games, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be able to take them out in a round of COD. It’s enough to let them rant about a bad round or explain in-game lore. 

Showing interest is what is important, listening to them when they talk about the newest game or song that came out, or getting them something related to it for their birthday is what will mean the most to them. You might find something you’re passionate about, too and be able to share that passion with them! If not, hey, that’s okay. At least you tried something new.

You don’t have to “get it” either

If you don’t get why they (or anyone) is passionate about whatever it is, that’s totally fine! Just don’t be dismissive or discourage them from spending time interacting with the things they love. That isn’t healthy and it’s honestly manipulative. They are their own person with their own tastes and intrigues. Taking an interest in their passions is an easy way to show them you care and do something for them. The effort you put into listening to them and trying to hold a conversation won’t go unappreciated. 

Even if their interests and yours don’t intersect, you can at least be happy that they’re happy about it. Watching them light up as they explain something definitely makes me feel all warm and fuzzy even if the technical aspects of lighting and camera work in The Shining otherwise goes in one ear and out the other. Listening to them is what matters the most in any relationship. It goes a long way to remember people or things that come up a lot when they talk and makes them feel heard when they’re geeking out over something. 

As long as you love each other and are willing to put in the effort to encourage your partner to talk to you about the things they love you’ll have a stronger and more interesting relationship.

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