Hobbies, “friends” and emotional affairs.

Erin: Lisa, how the hell are you?
Lisa: I’m very sleepy today, so I will groggily answer these questions. But, I’m excited to be back. 
Erin: Well, sometimes the best thoughts come to brains that are only half-awake…or something. Let’s do this. 
How important are common interests / hobbies and how many do you both have to enjoy to make a relationship work?
I’ve never gone out with a man for longer than 4 months and it’s usually broken up because he decided that we didn’t have enough in common to make things more serious.
For me as long as we have a few hobbies in common that we both enjoy like the outdoors or travel that is enough for me. I’m not expecting a guy to want to do everything that I do for instance dancing, and in fact I like meeting people with different hobbies as it gives me the opportunity to learn about something new.

I’m currently single and starting to try some new adventurous activities as I want to get fitter but also thought it might make me more appealing like cycling, kayaking, hiking. 

Just wondered what your thoughts were.
Lisa: I don’t think common interests have very much to do with being compatible with another person. Think about it: You probably have a lot of friends who like sewing or some shit, but you don’t, and you’re still friends with that person because you like them, they make you feel good, and you respect each other’s passions. To me, compatibility is the key, not hobbies. 
Erin: I mostly agree with you, Lisa. The most important aspects of compatibility are shared values and goals. I’m just wondering if the issue of shared hobbies is really what is ending your relationships. 
Lisa: Keep doing what you want to do to make yourself happy. And remember, it always happens when you ain’t looking. 
Erin: Lastly, I will say that these guys sound really co-dependant, which makes me thing the hobbies thing is a beard for something else. In general, you shouldn’t treat your boyfriend like your best friend. He doesn’t need to do everything with you, nor does he need to process all of your stuff with you. Do that with your girlfriends. You both should be enjoying most of your hobbies with your friends. It’s my opinion that people who have some level of independence within their relationships are the people who have the longest lasting/healthiest relationships. My money is on there being something else that’s stopping your relationships from moving forward.
So I’m head over heals in love with my best friend. We have known each other for just about 4 years. We’ve been through hell and back between each of us having jealous ex g/f’s and b/f’s, rumors at work (we used to work together), friends trying to sabotage our friendship…it’s been tough but we always seem to bounce back. She’s known for about 2 years now my feelings and with in the past few months it’s been getting to the point where I just can’t wait to talk to her or see her or whatever. It came to a head about 2 months ago when I was a date at her friends wedding and we made out on the dance floor. Halfway thru the night, I can sense something was wrong and she admitted that she was scared “this” wouldn’t turn out the way I had always hoped and that she would lose me again if it didn’t work out. I told her we’ve weathered too many storms for me to turn back now and we kissed a bit after that but for the most part it was done for that night. Since then we try and hang out when we can but lately things have been getting weird. Where we used to talk 3 or 4 times a day, we can just barely get to talk to each other twice all week. Where she used to return my txts or calls within minutes, it will take her a day or so. She has been mentioning “friends” which leads me to believe she is dating someone and doesn’t want to hurt me by telling me. But at the same time, it does hurt that she’s not open with me about that. I want to confront her but I’m worried I might come off as jealous. I want to make plans with her valentines day and send her flowers but I don’t want to knowing that there’s someone else. What should I do?
Erin: On a really picky side note, if you write her a love letter, make sure you don’t change tense, mid-sentence. I know, I’m an asshole. 
Lisa: Way to be a bitch about grammar, Erin. 
Erin: Move on. The biggest problem I see most single people face is that they do not see what is plainly in front of them. If she is playing some game, then fuck her. If she is not playing a game, then she is showing and telling you that she is not interested. Trust me, these types of unrequited love situations/friendships are only appealing because they are unrequited. 
Lisa: YOU’RE IN THE FREIND ZONE, DUDE. If you express how you feel, and she’s not taking the bait, and instead acting all weirdo-like, let it go. No Valentine’s Day plans, no flowers. If she wanted to be with you, she would. It really is that simple. 
This is probably the 6th or 7th time i have been at this stage with my husband. We met at work and were friends before we dated, after i split with my ex. He was my first ‘one night stand’ which turned out not to be as we went out with each other after and then got married. Basically, he is a lovely bloke, very clever, well presented, kind – all the things you could want on paper.
But something is wrong and I spend alot of my time unhappy. When we got together, I loved the fact that he was driven and such a sweet person but I wonder if it’s just that although he is a good man, he’s just not right for me. I have never felt like i wanted to rip his clothes off and never initiate sex. We have sex but it is not emotional for me. I feel unconnected somehow. I have left numerous times in the past – last time was last year – because of the way i feel. I haven’t been able to put my finger on whats wrong and I look at my life and think ‘what have i got to complain about – whats wrong with me?’ So here I am again, in a spot where I feel very little.
We have a beautiful little girl but our relationship seems very platonic in my eyes. Should i shut up and get on with it? I’m terrified I am just postponing the inevitable. Am i just unrealistic about what a relationship should be? I know i am in danger area – i have had an emotional affair in the past and i am embarking on one currently. I don’t want to become the person i see evolving.
Lisa: Emotional affairs are just as bad as real affairs. I beg of you to cease and desist this vile behavior immediately. How would you feel if your husband was doing this to you? If you don’t want to be with him, let him go, it’s so much kinder. 
Erin: See, this is why people should not get back together after they’ve broken up. It always ends the same way. I have never broken up with my husband, which is probably why he is my husband and not another ex-boyfriend. You sound like you might need some therapy, if for no other reason than to get clear about what the problem is. The problem might be your marriage, but the problem may also just be you. Because you have a child, it is worth pursuing some sort of counseling. But, if you are unwilling to do that, then you should absolutely let him go and make the process as painless as possible for all parties.
And that’s all we wrote….If you have a question for us about love, sex, friendship, salt water taffy, otters, or anything at all, use the box on the top right of Erin’s page. All questions will be answered (eventually) and with (some) care. xoxo

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