One of the most enriching parts of sharing your life with someone is just that: sharing.
If you and your partner had exactly the same likes and dislikes, life would get pretty boring after a while. Or, at the very least, all your friends would stop talking to you because you’d become that annoyingly homogenous couple that makes everyone want to barf.
So, let’s say our partner likes golf. Before we roll our eyes and gag (Apologies to any elephant journal reader/golf fans out there.), it’s helpful to ask him/her why. Listen to the answer. Really listen. Deeply listen. Not just to the functional elements of the activity, because chances are we’ll be subconsciously (or consciously) judging them and comparing them to our own favorite—and clearly far superior!—activities.
Listen for the overarching elements about things that thrill your partner: what can this tell you about the way his or her mind works?
Consider the answers you receive as Sherlockian clues to answer the mystery of who this human being you love truly really is.
As we perform this basic but powerful act of lovemaking (yes, I said lovemaking because listening deeply is sexy), we may find similarities to a few of our own favorite pursuits.
For example, if my partner is a golf fan, my deep listening can uncover that his attraction could be to being outdoors, the one-pointed meditational attention, the physical challenge… I may find that all these are in common to, say, my love of mountain hiking.
If we’re really feeling magnanimous, we may suggest that our partner take us along on his or her favorite activity, whatever it is, and introduce it to us.
Sure, you may suck at paintball or your legs may fall asleep during the three-hour lecture on “The Glorious History of 18th Century Windsor Chairs,” but you tried. And that goes a long way toward keeping a relationship happy and healthy.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Rachel Astarte
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Wikimedia Commons