Jump to content

Do you have to share the same passions to make a relationship work?


JFizzle

Recommended Posts

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 1 year now. She is kind, caring, supportive, driven and beautiful. Despite all this I've got this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that something is missing. For example... I am a bit of a foodie. I love to cook and love going out to restaurants to eat. She on the other hand is an extremely picky eater. Trying to decide on what to eat for dinner or what restaurant to go to when we are on vacation is extremely difficult and can often make me feel a bit frustrated.  She is 5 years older than me, has 2 daughters whilst I have 0 children. Whilst I do not think much of the age gap as we are both in our 30's there are certain things that I have experienced growing up which she has not as she was being a devoted mother. For example certain albums, films, festivals or concerts.

These are all things that I am passionate about but she has not had the time to experience them because she was bringing up her kids. This with the issue with the food sometimes make me feel like there is a lack of connection in certain areas of our life. That being said there are other things which we do have in common but maybe not the things which get me really excited to talk about. I do think that her being older and having children has been a good influence on me, I am enjoying being a bit more responsible and  spending time with her family and in the grand scheme of things things such as music, food and film are quite minor. The relationship is good but not perfect. At my age am I expecting too much? I know in all relationships there has to be compromise and she is a wonderful girlfriend who is loving, supportive and hard working.

My previous relationship was extremely toxic but we did have a lot more in common and but that alone wasn't enough to make the relationship work. This relationship is the complete opposite of my previous one which in some ways is fantastic but sometimes I feel like I'm missing out or potentially selling myself short? As i get older and have my own children I am aware that I probably wouldn't have the same amount of time or money to invest in things like cooking and concerts etc? I know that we make a really good team and would probably make a solid family unit as time progresses, I am completely in love and devoted to her and am not sure if I'm just overthinking things?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, JFizzle said:

in some ways is fantastic but sometimes I feel like I'm missing out or potentially selling myself short?

I'll make it short and simple, OP.  When in doubt, don't.  I don't like the sound of this, at all.  You need to think things through, very thoroughly, even beyond common interests, or lack thereof

Just an aside, what makes you think that she will want to have more children (with you) given that she already has two?  However, that is just one aspect.

4 minutes ago, JFizzle said:

I do think that her being older and having children has been a good influence on me,

You do not need an older women to be a "good influence" on you.  You need to be a good influence on yourself.  And there's this

9 minutes ago, JFizzle said:

there are certain things that I have experienced growing up which she has not as she was being a devoted mother. For example certain albums, films, festivals or concerts.

There are plenty of devoted mothers who also enjoy the things you mention. Being a mother does not preclude music (of one's preferred genre of course) or going to a concert (in the preferred genre). 

Did she have her children in her teens or something, since you mention "growing up". 

All in all, I feel that down the road you will only clash over so many things OP. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reminds me of the Goldilocks story. Her first tries with the porridge were that one was too hot and one was too cold before she ate the third one which was just right. First chair was too hard, second was too soft, third was totally comfortable.

You're having learning experiences with dating that you shouldn't ignore. It's great that you didn't repeat the pattern and are dating someone who isn't toxic. But because it's not toxic, your brain is telling you she should be your lifetime partner, but your heart and soul is saying something is missing.

As LaHermes said, people with children can and do enjoy concerts and purchasing CDs and albums. Since my children were born, I attended at least 25 concerts, and brought them to a few of them like Jimmy Buffett and the Dave Matthews Band.

Since bands and music is something my husband and I like to discuss, and my husband is a foodie as well and enjoys my compliments about his cooking, I can see that there's probably not much for you and your gf to discuss besides the news, etc., which is mostly negative.

Yeah, I think you're probably settling and that you should continue the search for that perfect-temperature porridge and a chair that will make you ooh and ahh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do I think you have to share all the same passions ? No. My husband’s two biggest passions are sports and war history. I have literally ZERO ZERO ZERO interest in either . He doesn’t share some of my key interests either. As in won’t even feign interest . 

 

We have developed interests together that both people like . 

 

Mind you we we met young and grew up together and built our family together. But we have built a life together for  almost 33 years . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the short term it's plausible. For the long haul like being together for 30 years, it's a crap shoot. If you two can find other passions to share then yes that is a step in the right direction.

On the bad side: I know a couple where she love dining and trying new things, her husband will only eat hotdogs and burgers that's it...no salads, nothing else. And yes it is affecting his health. She is frustrated as hell. I guess I may have made it worse by showing them me and my husband are trying out those box dinners. We love trying new things together. They don't share any interests. They fight quite a bit as of late, even threats of splitting up. They are empty nesters, retired. This happens a lot of couples. So keep that in mind. If you feel that your life wouldn't feel complete if you didn't have someone to share your foodie interest then yes it would be best to move on. Just like me and my husband, we have a passions for cars, and music. If none of us shared that we wouldn't be together for over 30 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, what do you think, OP?

Aside from the food and music aspect, what exactly do you have in common?  There are heavy deal-breakers out there: political views, religious tendencies (if any),  ethics, and so forth.

My husband and I are pretty much on the same page about these matters.  And we both like much the same (good) food, and eat healthily. Our tastes in music don't differ that much.  If the music is good, and the singer can actually sing (lol, so many can't these days) well what's not to like. 

He wouldn't be much of a cook, but I am a competent cook.  I do prefer to cook for say a dinner party, heh heh, to display my skills. He will help though with preparations.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Differences are normal & acceptable.. to a point.

Obviously, you are showing some concern, after one year. BUT, can you truly see this being fine after another 5?

I feel you will lose interest in this relationship after a while, because these differences can matter.

You said you are frustrated a little because she is so picky... yet, food is big to you.

Is great if she is not like your previous ex .. I am sure many are.. But, are you selling yourself short here?

Do YOU truly feel you can continue with this?  Get deeper in this involvement and have success & true happiness?

And she has kids, you don't.  I have heard some concerns for other's in this situation. ( that the one that has kids seems to have disagreements with the partner who does not - as they are lacking in any knowledge on raising kids- plus differences, etc).

You Q, Do you have to share same passions?  Not always..

BUT, if they are big, yes.  Is called not being 'compatible'.

If you wish, give it more time, but I suggest you sit on this a while more... ( not another year). And consider IF there are just too many differences and if things are holding you back.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JFizzle said:

She is 5 years older than me, has 2 daughters whilst I have 0 children...I feel like I'm missing out or potentially selling myself short? 

You're just not compatible. Disney land and Barbie dolls are not for you. It's that simple.

That doesn't make her boring or defective and there's nothing wrong with you doing what you want and having a bit of FOMO.

Set yourselves free. You would do better with someone childless and in your life stage who shares your life style and she would do better with a more settled family-man type.

 You are already resenting it and that will just grow.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JFizzle said:

As i get older and have my own children

I wonder about this OP. I asked before, did you contemplate having children with your current GF, and what did she think of that?  Maybe she doesn't WANT any more children. And that sure is a very very important factor to keep in mind. 

As Wise has said, I honestly believe you would do better with someone who has no children.

It is not her fault that she (you say) grew up without experiencing certain things which you did. Again, I find it rather odd that being a devoted mother is at odds with an interest in music or even hearing music.  Music is all around us.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband I have some different interests and I've actually done my best to show more interest (baseball and Star Trek for example!) and it works fine because we have enough of the same interests, shared values and compatible sense of humor (literally he can say one word to me and we both laugh as it references an inside joke from the 1990s we had).

But I'll share this bit of wisdom.  A few weeks before our wedding day (married over ten years, together on and off since 1995 - with a 7-8 year gap when we were not!) - we were required to do a short premarital counseling session with our religious marriage officiant (he did this with all couples).  He said to us "I'm not going to ask you if you love each other because I know you do.  I want to know if you like each other.  What do you like to do together when you're just hanging out?"  We were sitting on his living room couch and we looked at each other and one of us said "well we like to watch Seinfeld together!"  He smiled and said "that works!!"  

Also as part of a married couple -and we became parents shortly after marriage - I saw it as one of my roles to not be all about the baby.  Even though well I was all about the baby.  So was he but - well, I was over the top.  So I made sure to read up on current events daily, and to read novels and higher level magazines so I'd have something to talk about except The Baby. 

I'd had a 15-20 year career before having a baby but I was now home full time, loving it, but I knew that part of making a marriage work is to be able to talk with your spouse and have interesting conversations even when life is now revolving around a brand new adorable human. 

So yes your girlfriend is a mom.  So what.  I know of many parents who have varied interests and even if their schedules now don't permit doing everything they are interested in they do their best to work around that, to stay current, and if they are with a spouse or partner, to also show an interest in what their partner is interested in within reason (for example I do not do rollercoasters ,the end). 

My sense is this person is a good person who is not a good fit for you and especially since she's a mom/has a full plate let her go and find someone she has more in common with both interests and values.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there, thank you for your reply. I will break down my response below.

4 hours ago, LaHermes said:

I'll make it short and simple, OP.  When in doubt, don't.  I don't like the sound of this, at all.  You need to think things through, very thoroughly, even beyond common interests, or lack thereof

Just an aside, what makes you think that she will want to have more children (with you) given that she already has two?  However, that is just one aspect.

We had a conversation at the very beginning of the relationship and I made it clear that I wanted children. She said that she would be open to having more with the right person.

4 hours ago, LaHermes said:

You do not need an older women to be a "good influence" on you.  You need to be a good influence on yourself.

Yes, you are right. It's not about her being older though. I have doing the 'party scene' for so long now and most of my friends are still living for the weekends, getting drunk then spending the week hungover before starting it all again. Now I am going hiking and having nice days out. I feel much more healthy and happy being with someone who's life doesn't revolve around drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and partying. I could have done this on my own of course but having a partner to do this with has made it much more enjoyable and an easier transition.

4 hours ago, LaHermes said:

There are plenty of devoted mothers who also enjoy the things you mention. Being a mother does not preclude music (of one's preferred genre of course) or going to a concert (in the preferred genre). 

Did she have her children in her teens or something, since you mention "growing up". 

All in all, I feel that down the road you will only clash over so many things OP. 

Yes, I agree, plenty of mothers do. Maybe as a single mother it has just been a bit more difficult for her and it could be something we develop as a couple? When I mention growing up I mean that I am a 33 year old man child who has been living for the weekend since I was 18. Since getting with her I am being much more productive, am drinking less and am spending my free time having nice out and doing things such as hiking. She had her children in her late 20's/early 30's which was when I was still out living the single life etc.

I am very happy being in this relationship its just these couple of things which have been weighing on my mind. My life is definitely better for having her as my girlfriend, we have had a great year together but I am starting to think about how things might be in 5 years etc. I am 33 years old and don't want to waste either of our time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, LaHermes said:

So, what do you think, OP?

Aside from the food and music aspect, what exactly do you have in common?  There are heavy deal-breakers out there: political views, religious tendencies (if any),  ethics, and so forth.

My husband and I are pretty much on the same page about these matters.  And we both like much the same (good) food, and eat healthily. Our tastes in music don't differ that much.  If the music is good, and the singer can actually sing (lol, so many can't these days) well what's not to like. 

He wouldn't be much of a cook, but I am a competent cook.  I do prefer to cook for say a dinner party, heh heh, to display my skills. He will help though with preparations.

 

 

We have the same job which has its pros and cons. We also have both like to travel, are non religious and have very similar political views. I am very much into a healthy(ish) diet and enjoy exercise, mindfulness etc. These things do not interest her as much but she puts a lot of time into her family so probably doesn't have the time for this as compared to when she was younger. For me... sitting down and having a meal should be an enjoyable experience whether at home or going out. Its kind of a big deal for me were as for her its more of something which has to be done. Our eating habbits are very different and she would say 90% of the stuff I eat is weird haha. I feel like in order for me to eat the way I like and for her to eat her way would mean cooking twice which feels strange to me? Also I like to go to bed early (10/11pm) Where as she is more of a night owl (1/2am) but again this comes from being a busy mum. I am quite domesticated and with an extra pair of hands would help her get all the chores done so she could get to bed at a normal time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Andrina said:

Reminds me of the Goldilocks story. Her first tries with the porridge were that one was too hot and one was too cold before she ate the third one which was just right. First chair was too hard, second was too soft, third was totally comfortable.

You're having learning experiences with dating that you shouldn't ignore. It's great that you didn't repeat the pattern and are dating someone who isn't toxic. But because it's not toxic, your brain is telling you she should be your lifetime partner, but your heart and soul is saying something is missing.

As LaHermes said, people with children can and do enjoy concerts and purchasing CDs and albums. Since my children were born, I attended at least 25 concerts, and brought them to a few of them like Jimmy Buffett and the Dave Matthews Band.

Since bands and music is something my husband and I like to discuss, and my husband is a foodie as well and enjoys my compliments about his cooking, I can see that there's probably not much for you and your gf to discuss besides the news, etc., which is mostly negative.

Yeah, I think you're probably settling and that you should continue the search for that perfect-temperature porridge and a chair that will make you ooh and ahh.

Thank you for your response. I never looked at it that way before! I will give it some serious thought. We get on really well, have great chemistry and enjoy spending time together..Its just that nagging thought in the back of my head. I previously ignored it for many years in my previous relationship. I dont want to waste any time this time around. Thank you again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right OP. So she is now 38 years old. Therefore her daughters are quite young. That said, you mentioned she was a single mother. Is the children's father involved in their life?  Pays child maintenance? Supportive?

17 minutes ago, JFizzle said:

She said that she would be open to having more with the right person.

Could I remark that at 33 you are still very young. As an aside, two of my nephews married at age 32 and 33 respectively.  Mind you, though still single they had stopped living for the week-end well before that, as they had met their future wives, were working flat out, and looking at homes. Not that they didn't enjoy themselves as and when. 

You can't futurize OP to five years, or 10 or more down the line. What you have to consider is today.  The possible obstacles to the TODAY.

You say, and I wholly agree:

"sitting down and having a meal should be an enjoyable experience whether at home or going out"

If she finds healthy food "weird" that is truly an odd attitude to have. Is she into fast-food junk? 

Sleeping habits. Well, I don't think you can train her into becoming a morning "lark". I am a night person, always have been.   Nothing to do with an excess of chores, or not.  And there is no such thing as a "normal" bed-time. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

My husband I have some different interests and I've actually done my best to show more interest (baseball and Star Trek for example!) and it works fine because we have enough of the same interests, shared values and compatible sense of humor (literally he can say one word to me and we both laugh as it references an inside joke from the 1990s we had).

But I'll share this bit of wisdom.  A few weeks before our wedding day (married over ten years, together on and off since 1995 - with a 7-8 year gap when we were not!) - we were required to do a short premarital counseling session with our religious marriage officiant (he did this with all couples).  He said to us "I'm not going to ask you if you love each other because I know you do.  I want to know if you like each other.  What do you like to do together when you're just hanging out?"  We were sitting on his living room couch and we looked at each other and one of us said "well we like to watch Seinfeld together!"  He smiled and said "that works!!"  

Also as part of a married couple -and we became parents shortly after marriage - I saw it as one of my roles to not be all about the baby.  Even though well I was all about the baby.  So was he but - well, I was over the top.  So I made sure to read up on current events daily, and to read novels and higher level magazines so I'd have something to talk about except The Baby. 

I'd had a 15-20 year career before having a baby but I was now home full time, loving it, but I knew that part of making a marriage work is to be able to talk with your spouse and have interesting conversations even when life is now revolving around a brand new adorable human. 

So yes your girlfriend is a mom.  So what.  I know of many parents who have varied interests and even if their schedules now don't permit doing everything they are interested in they do their best to work around that, to stay current, and if they are with a spouse or partner, to also show an interest in what their partner is interested in within reason (for example I do not do rollercoasters ,the end). 

My sense is this person is a good person who is not a good fit for you and especially since she's a mom/has a full plate let her go and find someone she has more in common with both interests and values.

Thank you for your response and sharing your experiences with me. I will give it serious thought. I don't want it to come across like she has 0 interests outside of being a mom because she does. We actually really enjoy eachothers company its just a couple things nagging in the back of my mind. Thank you again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, JFizzle said:

My life is definitely better for having her as my girlfriend, we have had a great year together but I am starting to think about how things might be in 5 years etc. I am 33 years old and don't want to waste either of our time.

Then don't waste either of your time. Because you've matured, you've been able to enjoy the benefits if being in a relationship with this woman. But that doesn't mean that this is the right relationship for you. It's not realistic to expect her to develop into a foodie or a music festival enthusiast "as a couple" if she has no natural interest in these things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Right OP. So she is now 38 years old. Therefore her daughters are quite young. That said, you mentioned she was a single mother. Is the children's father involved in their life?  Pays child maintenance? Supportive?

Could I remark that at 33 you are still very young. As an aside, two of my nephews married at age 32 and 33 respectively.  Mind you, though still single they had stopped living for the week-end well before that, as they had met their future wives, were working flat out, and looking at homes. Not that they didn't enjoy themselves as and when. 

You can't futurize OP to five years, or 10 or more down the line. What you have to consider is today.  The possible obstacles to the TODAY.

 

Yes he is in there life. She does not need me to play dad. She was/is still very self sufficient even without me.  Thanks again 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP.  We must now ask what SHE wants. She said she was "open" to having children with you, which is sort of a non-committal remark.

  Does she wish to marry you? Would you want to marry her? 

Have you met her family, socialise with them too? It is amazing what you discover about people when you meet their immediate family. 

When you first met her (through whatever medium) did she specify any requirements where relationships are concerned. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it important to you for her to be "a foodie" or enjoying music you listen with you as in going on festivals? If it is, then by all mean cut your loses now and try to find somebody who will enjoy those stuff with you. For example, I like football(or as Americans would say "soccer"). But wouldnt expect my SO to like that also because its more of a man thing as in bunch of guys get together to watch Champions League game and drink a few beer. But as an avid movie watcher would certanly like somebody who would do that with me. So if you think its important to you that she shares an interests like food or music with you, then it is important and dont settle for somebody who doesnt. There are plenty people out there who would enjoy those kind of things with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If she’s 38 then I strongly suggest deciding soon.  We started trying to conceive when I was almost 41 and it took over a year and - kind of unusual- happened naturally.  Are you willing to adopt or use a surrogate or so expensive fertility treatments ? Is she?  My sense is she won’t be if she’s only lukewarm about having more children.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a mother, my foodie-isms waxes and wanes, my husband and sons enjoy great food whereas I'm a very picky eater yet I enjoy cooking for my family.  We do not dine out nor take out frequently due to our preference to feast on home cooked meals and subsist on leftovers.  For us, it's also more economical and convenient. 

However, my in-laws dine out or take out meals 7 days a week throughout the year with the exception of major holidays and even then they still refuse to cook due to their debilitating arthritis.  My extended in-laws dine out frequently because they don't know how to cook worth a darn.  Hence, I provide the majority of entrees and side dishes at traditional holiday gatherings.  This year, I will do the bulk of the menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking for holiday meals.  However, they'll cleanup while I deserve to relax!  🙂

Even though you would like to have children someday, you're not a parent yet.  Your girlfriend is most likely in full parent mode with young children.  I remember when I was a mother of small children.  I fed my sons quite well with homemade food.  However, I wasn't immersed into gourmet cooking as I was prior to motherhood and after my children grew up some more because I finally had more time, energy and brain space for cooking or dining or take out from favorite local restaurants. 

Parents are at different stages in life.  Getting food on the table in a hurry is a must because it's a juggling act with work hours, commutes, errands, homework, school projects, hectic school schedules, organized sports, sometimes church life or various extracurricular activities.  There are only so many hours in a day.  This stage of parenthood is insanely busy! 😮  Sometimes there's less money for restaurants, take out meals and fancy cooking with children underfoot and children are picky eaters.  There are a gamut of reasons.  Or, if there is convenience food, many parents tend to be budget friendly and simple because raising a family is very expensive. 

My husband and I share some interests but not all interests yet we make our marriage successful.  You have to pick and choose your battles.  You have to compromise.  However,  if there are too many differences and too much lack of interests regarding personal preferences, then you're more compatible to be with a woman whom you can relate to.  Common interests include (in your case foodie hobbies, cooking, restaurants, festivals, films, music, concerts, etc), a woman within your age bracket and  CHILDLESS. 

You either have to accept how your girlfriend is or find a replacement.  You can't force relationships to work or will your way to make relationships work.  You're either happy with her or you're not.  There are no two ways about this.  Remain patient and tolerant with your girlfriend or be with a girlfriend whom you can relate to better.  The choice is yours and you will determine what your ultimate decision is. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A friend of mine, who's been married now for a while told me it's all about having similar lifestyles. So, my question to you is: What's your idea of a fun weekend away? What's her idea of a fun weekend away?

For example, my idea of a fun weekend away includes cultural stuff (like going to gigs, an art gallery, etc), walking and sipping a delicious cup of coffee at a local cafe whilst relaxing with a good book. At night, a comfortable bed is a must. I could care less if you're a car enthusiast or love soccer. But if your definition of exploring culture is to sleep at an ice hotel or get plastered every night at a dive bar, well, it's not going to work out.

How about digging a bit deeper? I'd rather spend my money on coffees than go binge drinking every weekend. Thus, if you like to binge drinking every weekend it shows me that we not only have different social values but financial ones as well.

Our lifestyle is a reflection of our values. And ideally we'd like to be with someone (I hope) who shares similar values.

Okay, but what happens when life gets difficult? I need to know that we're going to be able to weather the storms together and you're not just going to bolt at the first rain fall.

I realise it's not about finding someone who shares all your passions, but about finding someone with a lifestyle that meshes with yours (and vice versa) and is able to cope with changing seasons.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, greendots said:

I realise it's not about finding someone who shares all your passions, but about finding someone with a lifestyle that meshes with yours (and vice versa) and is able to cope with changing seasons.

 

Precisely.  A couple can have separate interests and leisure pursuits plus those they have in common. 

And there is nothing wrong with having a drink with friends now and then. 

However if the simple act of going out for a meal now and then or indeed catering at home turns into an obstacle course, and the "other" calling your healthy food choices "weird" well that is not conducive to harmony IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think all interests reflect a person's deep held values so it depends.  I dated a lot of guys in my teens and 20s who drank a lot and I did not at all.  I did like going out to clubs and dancing though and just being at those places.  But at some point it did affect our relationship because it went deeper than common interests - some of those guys just were too focused on getting drunk, acted inappropriately when drunk, and frankly it got boring too. 

On the other hand my husband is passionate about a certain sports team.  I always liked that sports team since we grew up near each other but not in a passionate way.  Sometimes it's annoying when I am low on the priority when a game is on but it doesn't reflect his values (and if it does, in a good way -it's good to be a loyal fan for decades especially for the underdog!).  So we don't have that in common and it's fine.  

(I also think taking separate vacations is  fine as long as it's not 100% of vacations/trips).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...