Post # 1
Hoping for some advice from those of you in successful relationships. How do you make it work with someone you don’t have a lot in common with? I’ve been dating this guy for about a month and a half, and we just made things official. I’m REALLY into him. My ex treated me like crap and this guy is just so nice and funny and not at all what I’m used to. I really want this to work. The trouble is, I just don’t think we have that much in common. He’s into playing sports, I’ve never been very good or interested in that, he plays in a band, I’m not musically telanted, he’s very extroverted and funny, where as I’m a shy wall flower. I often feel like I have no idea what to talk to him about, and it’s made getting to know him difficult. Like when I’m with him we will talk about nothing really, just day to day life, sharing past stories, the basic stuff. It’s been tough to get close to him because I’m pursuing my CFA designation and spend much of my time studying, while he is very occuped with the sports he plays and his band, So we only see eachother 1-2 times a week and he’s not much of a phone guy.
How do I improve this? I really like him, he’s told me many times that he really likes me too. But I feel like I hardly know him and have no idea how to get closer when don’t have much to talk about. My previous relationship it was so easy because we had all the same interests and spent almost all of our time together. He was also better at getting the conversation going than my new guy, IE he would ask lots of questions and could carry the conversation, and would text and call me all the time. The new guy is about as bad at doing that as I am, and it makes conversations difficult, especially over text message. Throughout the day I have no idea what to say to him besides “how is your day?” and a few follow ups from there. It stresses me out to not have anything else that I can really think of to talk to him over text, mainly because I don’t have the time to see him non-stop to build a bond like I have in previous relationships. Is this normal? Should I be worried this early in or is this something that takes more time?
I think part of my problem is that my prior relationship left me with some bruises to my self esteem (lots of cheating and manipulation), combined with the fact that I have always had a bit of sociel anxiety, so the thought of being with such a nice guy like this is like a dream come true, but I’m so nervous of saying or doing anything that will scare him off.
Post # 2
There must be something that you do have in common. If you like the same music you could go to gigs or festivals together for example. I find that over time in relationships you do tend to pick up hobbies together so I wouldnt fear the worst yet. My husband was into music when we met and I went to a festival with him. It wasnt for me but he appreciated that I tried and we had a great weekend together anyway. The things we dont have in common we just do with friends/family.
As for other things you could ask about, try or have in common:
Travel- where have you both been, where do you want to go, what type of travel do you enjoy etc..
Food- make it a habit to try new restaurants or plan meals to cook together
Hiking/Exploring- have you explored your local area? you could do a short hike together if you wanted to see scenery or if thats not your thing, you could try exploring your city or shopping
Tv/movies- do you share an interest in tv and movies? find a show you both love and binge it together, or get a cinema card.
Post # 3
I don’t think you have to have everything in common but there are certain things that could make it easier. Just because you aren’t musically talented doesn’t mean you cant listen to tje same type of music. You also don’t have to play sports to watch them with him or support him if he plays. Sometimes I think you might find that you DO actually like certain things you just haven’t been exposed to them, or you have been exposed but you haven’t had the desire to divulge because it didn’t matter. For instance I LOVE country music and Darling Husband never listened to it. After being with me he sings the words to every song and loves when I update pur iPods with new music. He likes rock and I only listened to certain artists more mainstream and he knows like way more artists. I dont lile all of his music but I listen with him because I know he enjoys it and its not the worst music. Other things you guys can do like PP mentioned is hiking, movies, and food. Darling Husband and I are also big on theme parks. We’ve been to several and there’s also a lot to tall about when you’re standing in line. I think part of the problem is you guys don’t see each other enough. If you spend more time together you might actually find you have more in common the more you talk.
Post # 4
Personally I don’t think having superficial things in common is very important. It IS important that you have compatible core values and life plans, though. My fiancee and I have very different interests in terms of hobbies, but that stuff doesn’t really matter because we get along, have great chemistry, enjoy each other’s company, respect each other, and agree on all the big stuff – core values, religion, politics, wanting marriage and family, etc. I think you need to stop stressing – it sounds to me like you’re creating a problem where one doesn’t exist.
Post # 5
You guys don’t think I need to be worried about the conversation not being easy to maintain? I’ve only really seriously dated one person, and he always kept it going. Is this just a phase that is normal early in the relationship? Like I think there is definite chemestry and similar life values, but its hard for me to find a topic to initiate conversation with besides the regular small talk. Maybe I’m just too accustomed to being in a really long term comfortable relationship?
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2017 - backyard
This is advice from a fellow introvert who married an extrovert, and my first boyfriend told me I was closed off and hard to get to know! Lol!
1) Be willing to try new sports/hobbies together and then you’ll have those things in common! Learn tennis together, go to a pottery class together, etc.
2) Don’t be afraid to scare him off! Being open and vulnerable can be scary, but that’s how you get to know each other! Just say whatever comes to mind. Talk about why you like car shows, why you hate country music, things that scared you as a kid, how your parents met each other, summer camp songs you remember from 3rd grade, ANYTHING that comes to mind! There are books that have questions to ask each other, but I would just skim through the books before your date so you’ll have a few topics to discuss if conversation slows down. I’m sure like most introverts, you have very active thoughts that don’t always come out of your mouth. Seriously, talk about whatever pops into your head!
Post # 7
I understand. This sounds a bit my like how my current relationship began. Yours is still very new; don’t stress on not having much in common. Solid relationships take time. Positive intimacy takes time to develop. Often the hottest fires burn out fastest.
If you spend more time together doing activities (rather than just talking on the phone or being entertained – watching movies, etc.) , you will get to know each other better. Try walks and hikes, volunteering, activities at your place of worship (if you have one), paint + wine, anything competitive (since he likes sports), cooking together, tennis, browsing the bookstore. Don’t worry if it’s something you’re not good at. You may end up liking it and even if you don’t, you will know him better (more to talk about!) and you’ll have a memory to share with him. All those memories will build on each other as part of the foundation for your relationship if you decide he’s the one for you.
Post # 8
waitingforstripes : Here’s a question….how does he make you feel? If you can answer that easily and honestly then I wouldn’t worry too much about what superficial things you have in common.
Post # 9
Honestly, even though my husband and I share so many interests, we’ve never really talked about any of them. And even if you had common interests to talk about, you’d eventually run out of things to say and you’d reach this stage of lacking conversation, regardless…so don’t focus on that. As long as you enjoy each other’s company, you don’t have to be having conversations all the time. If you’re looking for a serious, long term relationship, being comfortable in silence with each other is part of that…my husband and I had that from the beginning, and it was part of how we knew we were right for each other because neither of us felt like we had to keep the other person entertained with conversation or something. We just enjoy each other’s presence…having someone there who you could giggle with over the smallest things, or know you can go to when you need counsel. We’re each other’s companions, not just sources of socialization.
The last “real” conversation I had with my hubby was over a week ago and was some deep discussion about teen psychology and parenting styles…and it’s not like either of us have any interest in that or something, lol. Conversations usually happen on their own, you don’t always have to force them or make it about something you both like. Sometimes just sharing your opinions on random things can be a good conversation starter, and you may actually learn a lot more about the person that way.
Post # 10
I have to go against the grain here. It’s lovely that you’ve found yourself a nice guy & you’re no longer dating terrible abusers. Definitely keep that up! But I get the sense that that’s really the only thing that’s drawn you to this guy. You can’t build a relationship on niceness alone. I agree that all your hobbies don’t have to be the same, but you need to enjoy spending time with each other & talking to each other at the very least. There are certain people you just don’t naturally connect with & that’s fine, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with you. Sometimes you just don’t operate on the same wavelength; perhaps your sense of humor isn’t the same or you don’t find the same things interesting.
Why do you like this guy? What do you like about him if you say you barely know him & you don’t have any shared interests? If you don’t have an answer to that question beyond just “he seemed like a nice guy who was interested in me too,” then it’s difficult to see a long-term future for the relationship. That’s a fine reason to go on a first or second date with someone, but after that if you two still can’t think of anything else to say to each other besides “how was your day?” then I’m not sure this is the right relationship for either of you. There are definitely equally nice guys out there who also share your interests and that you’ll love talking to & spending time with!
Post # 11
What makes you attracted to him? There must be some chemistry if you guys decided to make it official! Like do you have good banter or anything?
In terms of not having a lot in common, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you’re both open to exploring each other’s interests to a degree. Darling Husband and I don’t really have a ton in common if you looked at us on paper…he’s a classical musician and I…know almost nothing about classical music lol. But I started going with him to concerts and learning about it, and though i’ll never be as passionate about it as he is, I do enjoy debriefing after a concert and sharing my opinion on how it went. It’s led to some very interesting convos between us.
Mostly though what binds us is our shared sense of humor, our shared values, and just general compatibility as humans. I think if you have those things, it doesn’t necessarily matter if your hobbies/interests are wildly different. You still have a lot in common.
Post # 12
You could start by trying some of the things he enjoys. You could go to see his band, for example. Then he could go see what you enjoy. I think the more time you spend together, the more you’ll have to talk about. There must be something you two have in common for you to want to make it official.
The relationship just started so try not to stress about things. People like to talk about themselves, so you could ask him to tell you about himself.
Post # 13
waitingforstripes : I think it’s important to have more than just core values in common. You need to have hobbies you can do together. What’s the point of being with someone who you can’t talk to easily and don’t have anything fun to do together?
My parents had the same core values, but nothing else in common really, and they got to where they spent almost zero time together. Same with other older couples I know. An old co-worker of mine just told me he has been married forever and that it’s boring, and they never do anything together because they don’t have the same passions and interests.
You might find some common ground with this guy and improve your communication, but if not, there are other nice, funny guys to date. He isn’t the only one.
Post # 14
I guess I have to agree that if conversation doesn’t flow and you two have little to talk about, why are with him? There are lots of “nice guys” who will have lots to talk about with you. If things are awkward, I say why go to great lengths to keep a six week old relationship going?
Post # 15
I just realized a few days ago that Dh and I have very little in common. This I notice after 15+ years.
Our common ground is politics and German Shepherds. We spent our first date ridiculing politicians and discussing current events.
Our core values resonate and I agree with the PP—that matters most.
Dh is very reserved, well, honestly, at times he’s a potted plant. He tends to go along with my interests rather than pursue his own.
I would not say it can’t work. He likes sports, you don’t—perfectly normal. He’s gregarious, you’re reserved, ok.
The potential weasel in the woodpile is that you are having problems keeping a conversation going. That *could* be your innate anxiety getting in your way. Or you may just be incompatible.
Fortunately, you don’t have to decide today.
Go out with him, let things develop in their own time. But, do be aware that the beginning of the relationship is the easiest it’s going to be. You’re both on your best behavior and your emotional investment is low.