There are two kinds of spouses in the world. (Ugh. I can’t stand statements like this.

  1. Those who think it’s not important to share some common interests with their spouse.
  2. Those who think not having common interests is the end of the world. (Or marriage.)

They’re both wrong.

“I don’t think our marriage can work. I just think we have nothing in common.” Keep thinking. You probably have more in common than you think. It’s easier to develop some common interests than you think. Your differing interests are probably healthier than you think.

Developing some common interests reinforces that you are a team and keeps you connected. It builds one of the most overlooked areas in marriage—friendship. (Newlyweds: “We’re soooo in love!” 10 Years Later And Beyond: “We’re best friends.”)

For those two kinds of spouses (and everyone in between) here’s how you find those common interests.

Each of you get out a piece of paper and thoroughly answer these three questions:

  • When you were a kid, what were you interested in?
  • What were you interested in when you were in high school?
  • What are you interested in lately?

Now compare your answers. One of you was interested in exploring as a kid. One of you was interested in camping out. Reconnect with those childhood interests as you connect with each other on a camping adventure. Be curious. Keep comparing lists. Make connections. Find the overlap. 

(Can’t find a single interest that connects, overlaps, or is in common? Really? I wanna know… Email pictures of your lists to [email protected] and if I can’t find some commonality, I’ll personally mail you a shiny new nickel.)

Get your pieces of paper back. List causes or issues, big and small, that you are concerned or passionate about.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Find something you can do about it together. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Get creative. It might be litter. Pick a local park and get some gloves and trash bags and chit-chat as you pick up trash. Nothing brings people together like a common cause. Your marriage might spark a movement. 

Take your problem to the internet like all rational people do. Try Random Thing Picker.

Let the universe intervene. Each of you puts in two or three ideas for date night. I put in: Dance Class, Cooking Class, Painting Class, Movie Night, Game Night, and to live on the edge, I put in Housework. Then click “Pick One!” Boom! Cooking Class. Sign up for a class or find one on the internet. (Spice it up by inputting things neither of you has tried before. Who knows where this will lead?)

Having problems finding common interests with your spouse? Yes, I think you can solve them with a piece of paper or a few clicks. And some time and thought. Oh, and the commitment to work on your friendship and to love your spouse because of your differences, not in spite of them. You got this!

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