When you love someone, you don’t have to have all of the same interests and hobbies and personality traits. But if your person cares about something, you should care about it too.
When you love someone, you don’t drown out what they’re saying when they’re talking about a topic you don’t particularly care for. You don’t nod along to their stories without actually paying any attention. You don’t look like you’re bored out of your mind, like you wish they would stop speaking, like you couldn’t care less about what they have to say. Even if you know absolutely nothing about a certain topic, you should still give a shit about what they have to say, because they give a shit.
When you love someone, you don’t poke fun at their career or hobbies or music taste. You don’t act like your interests are superior to their interests. You don’t make them feel insecure about the things that mean the most to them. You don’t set out to embarrass them, to one-up them, to make them feel like their opinions aren’t important enough to be taken seriously. You don’t make your person feel bad about being themselves.
You don’t have to enjoy their passions or even understand their passions in order to respect their passions and encourage them to continue pursuing their passions. You can still be their cheerleader, their biggest supporter, their shoulder to lean on, even if your tastes are completely different.
When you love someone, you shouldn’t flat out refuse to give their interests a chance. If they have their heart set on going to a specific concert or movie or musical that isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse, and it’s important to them that you tag along, you shouldn’t hesitate to go. You should consider their happiness important enough to sit through a night that might not be your exact cup of tea — and while you’re there, you shouldn’t complain. You shouldn’t act like you’re doing them a massive favor and now they owe you something. You should try to enjoy the evening so you don’t ruin their fun. After all, seeing them happy is contagious. Their smile makes you smile.
When you love someone, you don’t ask them to close off a piece of themselves. You don’t ask them to change. You accept them exactly as they are. You love them exactly as they are.
When you love someone, you understand that your interests aren’t always going to align. You aren’t always going to agree on everything. And that’s not a bad thing. You’re not supposed to be carbon copies of the same person. You’re supposed to have your differences — but those differences are supposed to make you stronger as a couple, not weaker. They’re supposed to bring you closer together, not further.
Caring about your person means caring about their hobbies, their passions, their dreams, their milestones. It means paying close attention when they’re excited about telling you something. It means being happy when they’re happy.