Our Best Tips For Getting Involved In Something Your Partner Loves

According to data from Pew Research Center, 64% of respondents said that having shared interests was important to having a lasting and successful marriage. But what do you do if you're in opposites attract, black cat-golden retriever pairing? The answer is simple — involvement and respect, even if their hobbies aren't exactly your cup of tea.


When you're in a partnership with someone, whether you've been together for two months or two decades, you'll constantly be learning about them and developing your relationship with them. There's no better way to glimpse their inner world than by discovering more and expressing curiosity toward the things they love, from playing basketball on the weekends to collecting rare Pokemon cards. Exploring something your partner is interested in is a surefire way to place you on more common ground and deepen your bond, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind before jumping headfirst into their interests.

Ask permission

Before starting your journey into your partner's hobby, respecting their boundaries and ensuring they want company is important. Sometimes, our hobbies are activities we use to get some alone time or as an opportunity to bond with friends outside of the relationship. This is completely valid, and you shouldn't see it as anything offensive if your partner would rather keep some activities for themselves. It's natural to feel hurt if your partner doesn't want you to join them, but it's necessary to remind yourself that both of you need time as individuals or a dedicated space to enjoy your friendships.


To avoid any awkwardness or passive aggression, ask them upfront if they would be comfortable with you trying out their hobby, especially if they haven't insinuated that you should join them before. A little communication goes a long way in this situation, especially as it can get touchy relatively quickly. You're good to go if they say yes and seem genuinely excited that you're expressing interest.

Do it for yourself — not just for your partner

When it comes to learning more about your partner's hobbies, there's obviously going to be a bit of unfamiliarity, but it shouldn't be something you absolutely cannot see yourself doing. You should be interested for two reasons — it seems like something you'll have fun doing, and because it could help strengthen your relationship. If you're just doing it for them and go in expecting to hate every second, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a terrible time.


Say, for example, your partner loves hunting, but you're squeamish to the point that cooking raw chicken grosses you out. Tagging along might give you some valuable bonding time, but it's also something that will leave you uncomfortable for hours on end. Instead, find another activity that they enjoy that's more your speed. That way, you might develop a new interest and reap all of the potential benefits on your mental health.

Do a bit of research beforehand

After you've clarified that your partner would like it if you learned more about their interest, do some research on your own to give yourself some footing. Having your partner teach you can be fun and gives them a chance to flex their knowledge, but it's still nice to have the basics covered before hopping in. By learning some of the simple information ahead of time, you can skip some of the more frustrating parts of learning a new skill.


What you should learn depends on the nature of your loved one's hobby, but terminology is always a good place to start. Sometimes, hobbies come with unique jargon, so nailing down the key points should save you much time on definitions. If they enjoy pottery, learn what throwing means. Golf, take a moment to familiarize yourself with different types of clubs. Even if you don't end up falling in love with their hobby, it'll still help you better understand the stories they share.

Start small

Even though your partner has already established an interest in their hobby, starting small and treating it like you're testing it out on your own is still important. Hobbies can get expensive, so avoid investing in a top-of-the-line sewing machine or expensive climbing shoes until you ensure it's something you genuinely enjoy. This way, if your interest wanes in a few weeks, you won't be throwing money away.


Thankfully, most hobbies are designed to allow people to have a bit of an introductory period before they start making major purchases, so it can be a good idea to try out a class or take advantage of a free trial before going all in. Look around for some offerings in your area, then schedule a date night for both of you. Once you've had some experience with their hobby, you'll be left with a more solid idea of it and know if you want to make a significant investment.

Keep a positive attitude

Going into learning more about your partner's interests, you might be a bit skeptical. This is natural, especially if you're trying something that's a bit out of your comfort zone, but it's still important to maintain a positive attitude and show interest. If you eventually decide that their hobby isn't for you, that's totally fine, but it doesn't give you the go-ahead to be rude or dismissive if you're bored.


Learning more about someone's hobbies and interests offers a glimpse into their world. This is something that they've likely spent years learning about and participating in, and they're sure to have a wealth of positive memories associated with it. It's important to honor and validate their connection to their hobby by being an enthusiastic participant. Ask questions, stay engaged, and enjoy watching their excitement, especially if you were the person who asked to be involved in the first place.

Expect the same in return

If you're taking an interest in your partner's hobby, it's only fair for you to get the same treatment in return. Unless you've directly expressed that you'd rather keep your interests to yourself or you know that your partner definitively wouldn't be comfortable tagging along, it's reasonable to expect them to honor your hobbies and give them the same respect you gave theirs — even if it's something slightly out of the ordinary for them.


This, of course, doesn't mean that they have to love the same things you love. If you have the option to try out their hobby and decide it isn't for you, they should have the option to do the same thing. The real issue arises when you've shown curiosity and genuinely tried to be more involved in their interests, but they're dismissive of yours. No one hobby is better or more valid than another. They're all something we do to enjoy ourselves and have fun, so we should all be respectful of what brings others joy.

Don't lose sight of your own hobbies

In any relationship, retaining your sense of self is crucial, regardless of how much time you spend with your partner. While learning more about your partner's interests, you should also maintain the things you enjoy. It's easy to get pulled into a life where your partner is your primary interest, and taking on their hobbies while disregarding your own is an easy way to get swept up into something more all-encompassing than healthy. If you hit a rough patch or split up, you still want to have passions you can turn to.


If you maintain a healthy balance, learning more about your partner's interests is a great way to deepen your connection, find new hobbies, and create more common ground in your relationship. Even if it's not something you would have previously explored, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much fun you'll have trying out something new with someone you love.