What It Means If Your Partner Has A Hobby Mistress (& How To Speak Up About It)

Everyone has a hobby. Even if your hobby is spending every night watching your favorite episodes of "The White Lotus" over and over again, it's something you enjoy doing, so it's technically your hobby. Hobbies are important things to have. According to WebMD, having a hobby that's enjoyed regularly improves mental health, increases problem-solving skills, makes you better at relationships, lowers stress, and can even make you more empathetic. If your hobby is a physical activity, then there are lots of physical benefits there too.


But sometimes when we find something we really love, we can become a wee bit obsessive about it. In fact, obsessive hobby disorder (OHD) is something from which people can actually suffer. Although it's not an accredited psychological term, it's still a term that people use when one's hobby has become an obsession. If you're in a relationship, your obsession with your hobby has its own term too: hobby mistress. According to TikTok creator @YourBestFaceForward, a hobby mistress is when one partner becomes so obsessed with their hobby that they begin to put their relationship on the back burner and neglect their partner. Of course, this is harmful to the relationship, but it affects your physical appearance too.


"If your emotional needs aren't getting met in a relationship over a prolonged period of time, it can impact your face structure," relationship expert Jessica Alderson tells Popsugar. "When you are constantly carrying around this emotional pain, your body can start to reflect it in the form of physical changes, such as a tense jaw and frown lines." A relationship is supposed to be between two people, but if one is too obsessed with their hobby, the issue can't be ignored. You need to speak up about that hobby mistress your partner has on the side.

Address the hobby mistress

Since this term is relatively new and not everyone is on TikTok, you may want to start by explaining to your partner what a hobby mistress is — then call them out on it. Point out all the hours upon hours they spend on their hobby and even allow yourself to go so far as to ask them why. Why are they so obsessed? Are they trying to run away from something? Is that something you? You may find that your partner might not even be aware of just how obsessed they are with their hobby. Instead, they just might be happy that they love something so much that they just want to keep doing it, and the mere thought that they might be overdoing it hasn't even crossed their mind.


But while addressing the hobby mistress issue, be sure to keep in mind that just because they're obsessed with something, it doesn't mean they suffer from a mental health issue like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). According to the American Psychiatric Association, 2% to 3% of people in the U.S. are diagnosed as having OCD and it is absolutely not the same as being obsessed with a hobby. So don't try to diagnose your partner with something they don't have.

Explain how it makes you feel

If your partner is unaware that they're obsessed, then they're probably also unaware that they're neglecting you, both physically and emotionally. Explain what it feels like every time they run off to their hobby by using "I" statements. For example, "I feel left out when basketball is prioritized every night of the week," or "I fear I'm starting to resent the situation with the hobby mistress." 


When we use "I" statements, we clarify our emotional and mental response to someone else's behavior without sounding accusatory. If we broach the subject that's bothering us with "you do this" or "you do that," it's not only going to sound accusatory, but hostile in its delivery. You want to keep the tone of the conversation as calm as possible. You want your partner to empathize with what you're experiencing and not have them feel like you're trying to drive a wedge between them and their beloved hobby mistress.

Talk about how it impacts the relationship

Relationships take work and if one partner isn't around much, then you can't expect the other partner to pick up the slack and do all the work. That's not what makes a healthy and strong relationship. So, explain to your partner how important it is, for the sake of your partnership and future together, that you spend quality time together.


"Partners who don't make space for play and 'couple time' rob their relationships of vital emotional connection," clinical psychologist Dr. Carla Marie Manly tells Bustle. "When partners play and spend mindful time together, they create a body-mind-spirit connection that keeps the relationship fresh and alive. Without this important connective time, feelings of emotional neglect often arise."

Remind them that being in a relationship is a full-time job and you only get out of it what you put into it — and if they're only putting in 30%, it's just not going to cut it. 

Suggest creating a schedule

As much as we think of schedules as something that pertains mostly to our professional lives, relationships can use some scheduling too. (Some couples schedule sex, after all.) But the best way to create a schedule is knowing how to schedule. For example, professor and management expert Stephen Covey said, "The key is not to prioritize your schedule but to schedule your priorities." In other words, before you even sit down to draw up your schedule, you want to know what's most important and put them on the schedule, then stick to it. 


With a schedule, you and your partner can decide on times that are best for you two to be together doing activities you love, and your partner can schedule when they'll indulge in their hobby. Having it all written down, you'll be able to build a schedule that works for both of you and one where the hobby mistress gets less attention.

Find a hobby you both love

Even if you and your partner don't share a hobby, it doesn't mean you can't find one that you can both love and love doing together. In fact, just the adventure of trying to find a hobby that excites both of you can become a hobby in itself. Once you do find a hobby that's a fit for you both to enjoy together, you can also keep each other in check as far as becoming obsessed is concerned. Having a shared hobby leads to more quality time together and that's something every partnership needs to stay connected.


"The quality time, laughter, and intimacy you create... can reignite conversations and make you feel closer together," founder and CEO of Crated with Love Tyler Turk tells Elite Daily, who also suggests trying and experiencing new things together, and prioritizing laughter while experiencing these new hobbies. "Laughter is so powerful when it comes to feeling connected to your partner," says Turk. "Laughter can help your body stimulate endorphins, which makes you feel happier, reduces your stress levels, and can promote creativity."

However, if you've talked to your partner, tried to make them understand the negative effects of their hobby mistress and they still can't see it, then it might be time to bring in a therapist. Some obsessions run deep and only a professional can remedy those types of situations.