The seven deadly sins of dating: how important are common interests really?

When it comes to relationships, it’s a misconception universally acknowledged that to find your happily ever after you need to be a mirror of your partner. From your music, TV and film tastes through to your hobbies and interests, single people often believe that the more common interests you have, the more successful your relationship is likely to be.

But research has shown that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yet, despite this it remains one of the most common reasons for declining a potential match, with both online and offline agencies alike. How often have you looked over someone’s profile and declined or skipped over it simply because they had the ‘wrong’ taste in music, or they were too active and outdoorsy for you? Our guess? Quite a lot.

Although shared interests offer a common platform for you both to be excited about something and a good starting point for those initial conversations, it doesn’t guarantee that your relationship will achieve long-term success. In fact, according to psychology, there are only two things that a couple really needs to make a relationship work: a shared meaning in the relationship and to show an interest in one another’s hobbies and passions.

What is shared meaning in a relationship?

Successful relationships are built on so much more than common interests. Values, aspirations, and lifestyle are just as important, if not more so. These are the foundations that build a shared meaning in a relationship; knowing who you both are, what you are both about and what values are important to you.

But it’s important to remember that having a shared meaning in a relationship doesn’t mean you are abandoning the values and goals that you had when you were single. Instead, the best couples focus on the dreams that you both had before the relationship and work out as a partnership how you can help each other achieve them, whilst also making new goals for your future together.

Different passions doesn’t mean you’re not compatible

Just because you’re into 80s pop and your partner is more of a heavy metal fan, doesn’t mean that you can’t work as a couple. The same can be said if your idea of fun is climbing up mountains and camping on the weekends, but your partner would prefer a luxury break at a spa. These differences in our passions and interest are what make us all unique.

Although common interests can give you something to enjoy together, the important part and the compatibility between you comes from understanding and respecting the interests that your partner has – even if they are completely different to your own.

The difference between the couples that make it and the couples that don’t, isn’t down to the number of differences that they have, it’s how they manage and talk about those differences. So, next time you’re about to decline somebody based on their interests, take a moment to stop and think about traits that do align. Because if the important things are there surely, it’s worth putting up with their love for Country music or whatever else they may be into!

Dating doesn’t have to be a guessing game. If you’re single and looking for a new way to date that will help you find the true meaning of a relationship and discover what’s really important to you then, then get in touch with our team of expert matchmakers today. With their expert knowledge and guidance you can find a relationship that will be fulfilling and long-lasting, even if you have different interests.

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