Childfree couples: what do you do together?

By Victoria Fryer 

I know I’ve written before about how having children is a way that couples end up with common goals. These common goals often sustain a relationship through tough times, because they always know they’re working toward a greater purpose.

So—goals, I’ve talked about. Financial goals, career plans, dreams for the future. But what about the day-to-day? You can’t spend your entire life dreaming, planning, or even executing. There has to be down time. And it’s in that down time where, personally, my spouse and I tend to find much of our conflict.

I have a lot of hobbies. I’m a creative writer. I’m a voracious reader. I work out—if not for fun, then at least for the health benefits. And, I’m not going to lie, I watch a lot of television, too. My husband has some hobbies too… but we don’t really overlap in very many places.

We’ve had to put in a little extra work to find things to do together, so we’re not always going to our separate corners of the house to pursue our own interests. Here’s some of the things we did to make sure that we identified and cultivated our common interests—keeping ourselves feeling like we’re a couple and not just (very) friendly roommates.

• Go the extra mile for interests in common. A couple of summers ago, we realized we both really enjoyed kayaking and biking. We live right on a river and very close to hiking and biking trails, so these were convenient things for us to pursue—but we had no way to haul our boats or bikes. After a few months, we decided to trade in his car for a truck so we could have a bit more freedom to boat and bike when we wanted.

• Capitalize on shared interests, even if you have to give a little in content. We both love watching TV. After long, stressful days—I know, I’m going to sound a little lazy—we both enjoy some mindless TV-time. While my tastes veer toward documentaries (anything on the History Channel), well-produced series with great storytelling (think Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones), or cheesy reality shows, he’s more of a sports and action kind of guy: sports networks and Cops reruns. But we’ve managed to find some shows in the middle that we both like. We’re currently binging our way through The Sopranos!

• Learn to like something. When I was in high school, I hated football with a passion. I grew up in the southern United States, so it was akin to religion, and I was a bit of a rebel. But once I started watching football with my husband, learning about the actually very complicated rules and getting into the drama of each season, I began to enjoy it. I still won’t, say, stay home from a party to watch a game, but we’re able to share that interest, at least to a point. (Go Broncos.)

Other childfree or childless couples: how have you made this work for you?

Victoria Fryer is a 31-year-old writer and content strategist. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two pit bulls. You can find her on Twitter @extoria.


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