Third Culture Kid Dating; adults who have spent their developmental years outside their parent's culture

To make a relationship work, do we need similar interests?


There are so many articles out there telling you that you should have similar interests to those of the person you’re dating!  That similar interests are crucial for something to work out. What do you think?

When I was younger I used to think that being opposites and liking completely different things was really important. I thought it meant you would find the other person exciting and interesting. I thought that having different hobbies and activities would mean you would always have things to talk about when you would meet up.

But the more time goes on, I’ve been thinking that might not be the case. And that maybe having similar hobbies (and perhaps a few different ones) is essential. So for instance, I think sport is a good example of this. My parents have been together for almost 30 years now. Looking back, as a kid, I perceived them as being happy and in love, but also had no issues with arguing often in front of us! But they always forgave each other afterwards. Which, by the way, seems to be a good way to keep a relationship going smoothly…for 30 years! So they’re definitely not perfect. No relationship is. I think every relationship has its problems and its merits. That’s what makes each relationship so unique.  But, basically, what I’ve observed in my parents’ relationship is the following. In every city we moved to and lived in (as third culture kids), my parents have loved playing sport together.

Ages ago, when we lived in Tokyo, they used to run races together. We still have photos of them wearing their numbered jerseys. Then when we lived in Johannesburg, I have plenty of memories of them playing tennis together on the weekends.

When we moved to Vienna, I have memories of them going to the fitness center together on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Now that they live in Hamburg, they often go to the gym together at lunch once a week and almost every weekend. And they’ve both taken up golf again. They play almost every Sunday and sometimes both days on the weekend! By the way, they’re in their late fifties! I’ve always been impressed by how much sport they do! It’s interesting to me that even whilst we were moving from country to country, that passion for sport and the desire to work out together remained.

My mom always used to say when we were kids how important it was to have things to do together as a couple. So it’s made me think that finding something that can keep you close and connected as a couple is really important. No matter what changes in your life. From moving cities and countries. To changing jobs and friends. Doing something together that you love. For some couples it might be cooking together, for others it might be listening to Jazz in bustling clubs in the city, and for others it might be all about playing Crosswords. I know it’s something my sister and her boyfriend do all the time, and they’ve been going strong for 3 years now ! Ok, I’m not saying that a game or an activity together is what keeps you together. Of course not, there are so many things that you have to do in terms of keeping a relationship strong. But can it help? And can it mean spending quality time together? I think so! My grandparents play Scrabble together with a cup of tea every afternoon. And they’ve been together…well, since they were 16 years old! So there you go. I think it’s an interesting case. And I’d love to hear what you all think about similar interests in relationships! Is it important to have different hobbies? Or have a hobby you can do together?


2 thoughts on “To make a relationship work, do we need similar interests?

  1. Having different hobbies and interests ensures that one person can live with the other and have their distinct life and identity, something that is so easy to lose in a relationship. But having similar interests creates opportunities for bonding and closeness which is equally important.

    • I agree; I think it’s a balance. Having activities that you can share together, but then also making sure not to lose yourself in the relationship. Still making time for those things you love doing, which means spending time with your friends and focusing on your own goals.

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