On Growing Together

April 25, 2014

Have you ever adopted a hobby or pastime because of a significant other? With my first boyfriend I ended up watching a lot of hockey, consuming red meat, going mini-putting, and listening to country music when we were together. And once we had broken up, I quickly abandoned all traces of our shared hobbies, because, well, they just weren't me. And, I wonder, if we had stayed together, would they have become me eventually.

I've written before about the overlap of interests that develops in a long-term relationship. There's a balance of still being your own person, but also allowing yourself to grow along with another person. Sometimes you simply climb onboard for your partner's happiness - a happy compromise of some kind - and other times, their love for something opens the door to your own love for that same thing (i.e. Patricio developing a man crush on Colin Firth after repeated exposure to Pride & Prejudice).

Ten or so years ago, when I was still in the youth program at church, our leaders asked me and the other girls my age, to make a list of attributes we wanted in a future husband. I sort of rolled my eyes at the time, because I was fifteen, and that's what fifteen-year-olds do sometimes. But I made the list, and it went a little something like this: "Kind. Honest. Righteous." and then "Has good taste in music. Has good fashion sense. Is artistic. Can Cook. Good tastes in movies. Funny." And, sure, they were mostly a little shallow and specific and unimportant in comparison to "Kind. Honest. Righteous." But they seem meaningful to me now, because it was all of our many mutual interests - art, God, movies, music, animal rights - that lead me to befriend Patricio, and then to fall madly in love with him (because it also turned out he is one of the kindest and most honest people I know, with a great love for God - and I might as well add: A fantastic cook).

Anyway. We have spent our lives together so far honing those shared interests, inviting in something new the other has to share, becoming involved in the other's passions - and then sometimes disagreeing and standing our ground and knowing that sometimes it's okay to not agree on everything - growing and learning together.

And, I've found, within this safe environment - where I've been able to freely pursue my interests, to speak my mind, and be inspired by his passions - that I've never felt more like myself, or like I am becoming the person I was meant to be; that I always wanted to be. And I can only hope that I've made him feel the same way, too.

P.S. These photographs were from a quick trip to a local skatepark on a blissfully sunny day. After a long, hard winter, it was nice to see Patricio out on his board again. This is one of those aforementioned pastimes that I've learned to love through him.


  1. I love this post Robin! It is such a special thing to have similar interests and hobbies, and also, to be open to what your spouse loves too, even if it isn't something you'd have thought you liked. That is how I feel about video games now being married to Stephen lol. But I love being interested in something he enjoys, and he does the same for me...although, I can't think of any interests of mine right now besides watching TV. But even then he will talk to me about the shows I watch and what I like about them etc. and before I know it he is just as into it as I am! :-) thanks again for sharing this!

  2. Thank you, Joelle! I'm glad that you feel the same way too in your marriage - it's been such a great experience to learn and grow with the person I love!