When I read this I laughed out loud (LOL) because when I met my husband he said watching sports was boring, he loved long walks, and that he did not like junk food. Hmm… Twelve years later he cannot last longer than a few days without watching sports, and nothing makes him happier than watching nightly sports on TV with a bag of chips!
Then again when we first met, I liked going on long hikes in tough terrain, I enjoyed long car rides because they were the best time to hang together, and I actually got dressed first thing in the morning. Believe it or not, I would even prepare breakfast. Present day me? No hikes, no car rides because I get car sick, I sometimes stay in my pajamas all day, and cooking? Not a chance!
So the net/net is that we are all are a little better during the dating stage because we work hard to be seen in the best possible light. As time goes on, we slowly become the person we really are.
If you want him to spend some time with you and not watching sports, seduce him and he will quickly opt for you and not the game. Long walks? Get him a dog that needs walks! I have 3 dogs so it does get my hubbie out for walks now with me. Talking about life? That is a hard one. Al still prefers to not talk about anything that is not reality based or guaranteed to happen. That is one of the reasons that I love DiscoveryGames so much. I wanted a tool that would help encourage chats with Al where we talk through some tougher subjects as well explore fun and outlandish topics. You two should give it a try.
Karla is right about becoming who we really are over time with our partner. Once the love cocktail fades we naturally return to our baseline – that is, the person we really are day-to-day. It doesn’t mean you were duped. It just means when the hormones of love are raging we tend to act outside our comfort zone. When they settle down, we tend to drift back into our familiar.
To be fair, take a look at yourself just as Karla did with herself. What did you used to do for him that you didn’t necessarily love but you did it anyway? Do you still do it? There’s nothing wrong with trying to impress – we all do it everyday whether it’s trying to make a favorable impression or a radical statement. The trick is to tease out what’s typical and normal underneath. Perhaps when you discuss this with your partner, you two will learn things about each other’s respective interests that are wonderfully surprising. My point is not to try to “get back to the way it was” but rather to work together to create what it will be based on where you both are with your respective interests and needs now.
This means compromise. Take turns. Sit with him as he watches sports then ask him to do a quick walk with you. You’re not going to like doing the exact same things all the time because you’re different people. This is why we have a network of family, friends, and even pets to do the things we like to do. What you both can do is meet halfway. I’m sure he misses some things you used to do as well and would enjoy sharing some of his activities with you, but first you two have to create a new common ground.
The point is not to focus on the negative aspect of this (you not getting what you think you want), but instead consider where the opportunities are to find new ways of connecting that are mutually enjoyable to both. If you expect him to do the things he used to do knowing he doesn’t really enjoy them, how can you enjoy them when he’s miserable? Treat this like a journey or another chapter in your book of life. It could be another level of “dating” for you two. You’ll be in discovery mode again which I think makes your shared experience much more interesting.
When the rose-colored glasses fall off, the real opportunities begin. Instead of focusing on the past, take a dose of reality, consider the positives and negatives, and look for middle ground. Where couples fall down with situations like this is both people tend to not be clear on what they need, when they need it, and how long they need it. Once you’re clear on what you need, when you need, it and how long you need it, you can better assess what works currently (e.g., maybe his sports on TV time gives you some much needed personal time to read a favorite book, go for a run, or chat with friends on the phone) and what doesn’t work.
If you’re not sure how to get started, take Karla’s suggestion to play a few games to get the conversation rolling. A relationship is a work in progress. As Alison suggested, consider this to be just another exciting step in your journey together.
1. We’re all better during the dating stage. Difference now doesn’t mean you were duped.
2. Find a new common ground you both can enjoy.
3. Get clear on what you need first. Let go of what was and get excited about what can be.
Looking for more great advice from our experts? Check out the other Ask Tokii Articles.