Since turning 30 years old, I’ve found this sudden need to seek out new experiences. I’m not sure if it will pass, but suddenly I have a laundry list of activities I want to attempt – when, at one time, hanging out with friends and watching movies was enough to previously satisfy me.
Sitting in the salon the other day, I told my stylist that I had this sudden urge to “change my hair style and jump off of things” (e.g., buildings, mountains, etc.). Her prognosis was that I am going through a mid-life crisis. Hmm… I’m not ready to say that I’m officially middle-aged, but I can’t deny this insatiable need to live!
Are you in a rut? Is your relationship in a rut? New relationships are so exciting because everything is new; but, after getting into routines, whether married or dating, a relationship can begin to feel stale. One way to fight against discontentment and boredom in your relationship is to keep trying new experiences together.
When choosing a marriage partner, don’t assume that it’s enough to have vocational or educational goals in common. Marry someone who shares some (though not necessarily all) of your interests and hobbies. If you can’t stand the great outdoors, don’t expect your camping, hiking, and ultimate Frisbee-playing boyfriend or girlfriend to suddenly want to stay indoors and play chess every night. If you like opera and art museums, don’t expect your bride-to-be or groom-to-be to suddenly give up his or her Friday nights at the tractor pull. Trying new adventures together will be less stressful and far more exciting if you and your honey have a decent amount of interests in common.
Relationship strengths can also be weaknesses. If you and your partner are too much alike, it is easy to fall into a rut. However, if you and your partner are too different, you will both live in constant frustration – or, you will grow apart as you (naturally) continue to focus your attention on your different areas of interest.
When Eric and I were dating, I didn’t know how to play any card games (other than UNO) – and the closest I’d ever come to “ethnic” food was Americanized Chinese food. I really didn’t know how to cook and I had an overall fear of trying anything new. Thankfully, Eric eased me into trying new food, he taught me how to play a number of games, and he encouraged me to experiment with new recipes. So many of my favorite pastimes came as a result of getting out of my comfort zone and trying something new (I know, playing cards doesn’t sound that scary ~smile~).
For you who are hesitant to change – remember, everything in your life was new at some point – including the things you love now. Aren’t you glad you allowed yourself to grow?
It’s great to have goals to pursue apart from your spouse so that you have room to grow and breathe, but it’s also important to continue to find new ways to enjoy each other. Over dinner, or on a road trip, decide on a few new experiences you would both like to try. Even if you are not thrilled to try some of them, give them a go anyway (just because your honey is excited). You may find that you end up loving some of them and then you will have a few new hobbies you can enjoy together.
Before getting married, get in the habit of not getting into recreational ruts. Have an old faithful plan for the nights you want to relax (e.g., dinner and a movie) and have a list of new places to go and adventures to try on the days you two are up for something out of the ordinary. Even the most scheduled, routine follower needs a change of pace every now and then. Don’t wait until you are desperate to jump off of buildings to try something new! ~smile~ Instead, try something new today!
What new activities would you like to try with your sweetheart?