Having things in common with your partner can be really fun 鈥 but having too much in common would just be downright boring. Differences are important, but they can also be points of friction when your partner doesn鈥檛 understand your love for your activities and interests. Maybe they can鈥檛 quite wrap their head around your obsession with makeup, or maybe you don鈥檛 share their love for travel. No matter what differences you two have in terms of interests, Dr. Venessa Perry, founder of thelovewrite.com, has four tips to help you navigate them.

1. Accept that opposites attract. You didn鈥檛 decide to date this person because they鈥檙e exactly like you, right? Dr. Perry explains, 鈥淲e are often drawn to people with different interests and values because they are interesting and exciting.鈥 If you start by appreciating the fact that you and your partner are different (and they do the same), you鈥檒l have more success at helping each other appreciate those differences.

2. Explore new things together. Just because you both have hobbies and interests that you love doesn鈥檛 mean you can鈥檛 find new ones to bond over together. For example, if neither of you are particularly outdoorsy, try hiking or biking together. By taking the time to find something you both love, you鈥檒l have a common bonding point. Dr. Perry says that if you鈥檙e both open to trying new things together, you鈥檒l be able to be that much more understanding when each of you puts time and energy into the things you love individually.

3. Tell them why you love your interests. 鈥淐ommunicate with your partner why you enjoy the things you enjoy,鈥 Dr. Perry said. 鈥淏ut understand that they might not enjoy these things.鈥 For example, if your partner thinks that your love of makeup is frivolous, you might say that you love it because it allows you to explore different versions of yourself. By articulating the underlying reasons behind your love of sports, baking, canoeing 鈥 whatever it is that you love 鈥 you鈥檒l allow your partner to gain a new level of understanding for it.

4. Compromise. 鈥淐ompromise is necessary in all relationships, and participating in an activity that your mate enjoys (that you may not) shows them that you care for them and respect their interests,鈥 Perry said. It might sound simple, but if you extend your compromise beyond just talking about it and take the time to participate in activities your partner likes, you鈥檒l show them that you support their interests. If your partner loves reading but you never have time to crack open a book, listen to an audiobook on your way to work so you guys can talk about it together.

How do you and your partner navigate your different interests? Let us know @BritandCo!

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