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Not sharing each others' passions: deal breaker?


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Old 14th July 2014, 8:41 AM   #1
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Not sharing each others' passions: deal breaker?

I know there are several schools of thought when it comes to marriage and common interests. Some relationships are built around a focal shared passion. For others, spending tome together is a priority, and they compromise by getting interested in the others' hobbies.

Then there are relationships like mine. We have a few general interests in common: our taste in movies, working out. But our primary passions, we dont share.

Is this kind of setup sustainable? I think we are both mature enough to recognize one person does not need to fulfill all our needs, but are we settling by being with a partner who does not share our passions? I am sure it's a subjective question, but I am curious what others' experience have been over the long run.

This weekend opened my eyes to the fact that this might be a problem in my relationship. My long-term bfis a musician and lives for music. I accompanied him to a camping music festival this weekend which he was PSYCHED about... And I am disappointed to report, it was decidedly NOT my scene. Don't get me wrong, I like good music, drinking beer, and smoking weed, but in my opinion, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and for me, this point occurs somewhere around the 4th hour.

The round the clock jams and overfridndly, fcvked ip hippies annoyed me, not to mention, this festival made me uncomfortable in other ways. People doing drugs in front of children, people getting fcvked up to the point of oblivion on god k ows what, a general lack of teeth amongst the attendees. Someone even od-ed to the point of a coma. I was decidedly NOT enjoying myself, yet this is exactly his scene. He doesnt do drugs but after years of being around people who do, seems desensitized to it, and loves the nonstop music and the (drug induced) friendliness. He was excited telling me about future gigs at similar venues with his band.

Am I lame for holding this against him?mIt's ironic that most chicks dig musicians, but I wish he'd focus on his (primary boring) career instead. Is my lack of interest in his music a deal breaker? I feel pretty insecure abiut it. There are a ton of young hot free hippie chicks who would think my bf is amazing for being in a band. I know all things being equal, he would want me to be one of them. Is it going to be an issue that I'm not?

On the flip side, of course, there are interests I have that he doesn't share. It bugged me at first, but I don't think its a deal breaker, tho i am frequently irritated that i don't have enough time to pursue my interests, due to spending time supporting his. Another difference is my interests generally don't involve consuming large quantities of alcohol amongst topless women.

Last edited by lucy_in_disguise; 14th July 2014 at 8:45 AM..
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Old 14th July 2014, 9:11 AM   #2
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I don't think your difference in tastes is a deal breaker, by you are starting to sound pretty scary towards the end of your post. You start saying " I wish he would focus on his career instead " .


So you want him to stop caring about his passion and care about what you tell him to care about ? That sounds an awful lot like you want to take away something he loves so you can change him.



Just don't go to music festivals.
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Old 14th July 2014, 9:26 AM   #3
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If he wants to go to music festivals and you don't then let him go on his own. IMO most couples in a healthy relationship enjoy some separate interests.

Couple of points though...

Do you think he will have little flings when he goes, are you only going because you don't trust him. So is this as much about trust.

Also going to a music festival or having a hobby as a way of de-stressing or getting a way from a boring job seems fine to me. However, if the whole festival thing is affecting his job negatively then you are probably right to flag it with him.
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Old 14th July 2014, 9:41 AM   #4
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Not sharing the exact same passions and interests often isn't a deal breaker.

Having different lifestyles, values and mores is.

There is a big difference between one person liking one band or type of music and the other one liking something else, vs one person delving into a lifestyle of drugs and weekend music and drugfests and the other person wanting a life of 9 to 5 responsibility and sobriety.

IMHO your situation is more about lifestyle preferences and values and mores than simply passions and interests.

I think you have very just cause to question your compatibility and whether this relationship should continue.

Having different tastes in music isn't a big deal. You seeing him as irresponsible because he's into a lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock and roll with hippies and groupies while you are heading for the stability of a sober 9 to 5er working on his home and family is a pretty big deal.

Those groupies that you are looking down your nose at may dig him for a weekend and would be glad to blow him backstage for some free weed or tickets for the next show, but even 95% of them would not want him for a LTR if they were wanting a stable and secure future. They would dump him too once they wanted a traditional relationship.
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Old 14th July 2014, 10:22 AM   #5
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I don't think it's necessarily a deal breaker for everyone... plus there are various levels of 'sharing'. My SO and I have a good overlap of hobbies/passions, but we don't share every single one of them. However the ones we do share are pretty big things for both of us, so it is kinda cool to have a 'buddy' in your SO whom you can enjoy such things with aside from standard couple/romantic/sexual stuff. But it really does depend on the person.

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Originally Posted by lucy_in_disguise View Post

On the flip side, of course, there are interests I have that he doesn't share. It bugged me at first, but I don't think its a deal breaker, tho i am frequently irritated that i don't have enough time to pursue my interests, due to spending time supporting his. Another difference is my interests generally don't involve consuming large quantities of alcohol amongst topless women.
IMO the bolded is the real crux of the issue here. If you are growing to resent this, have you spoken to him about it?
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Old 14th July 2014, 10:57 AM   #6
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My H is a musician. It can be a challenging life, but rewarding as well. There are lots of questions here to consider. You don't have to answer these here, just things to think about.

First off, is he participating in this lifestyle, or is he going to the show to play or watch the music? Musicians have a lot of opportunities for bad behavior, so he has to have the kind of character you can trust. My H is a resoundingly upstanding guy, but he is repeatedly offered all kinds of drugs and sex, often with very tempting women. This is part of the music culture, so you've got to figure out whether he's a guy who can handle it, and whether you can too.

Next, what type of music job does he have? A gigging musician may face a challenging career, and many work as waiters or in retail, or get a day job to make up the difference. Many rely on a spouse with a steady income. Many work late nights and spend long unsupervised (by the SO) months on tour. On the other hand, there are a few stable music jobs out there that don't require this, and that is a completely different ball game.

You're stuck with the constant rehearsals. Learn to love them and invest in good soundproofing. DO NOT be the SO that expects a musician to make money without rehearsals. This always hurts both the relationship AND the career. If you can't live with this, yes, it's a deal breaker.

Also, does he have what it takes to make it? This industry requires time, effort, determination, connections, skill, and a little luck. Many people try to do this as a career and are really only cut out to be a "weekend warrior." As an SO, you get to pick up the slack if he works for the rest of his life as a waiter. So take a step back and evaluate.

I had one more question, but forgot. I'll post it later if I remember.

As far as gigs and festivals. If you trust your guy, don't go to all of them. The worst band wives are the ones that have to attend every gig. Go to the ones you enjoy, have a bite to eat or a couple drinks, then go home.

Remember that being a musician is an entire life, and if it's not, he probably won't be able to make a career out of it.

YOU don't have to be passionate about music, just supportive and patient. But make sure you two develop some other shared interests. It's easy to get lonely as a musician's SO. Make sure he makes time for you outside of music, but don't require him to give up his Friday and Saturday nights if he gigs.

Last edited by compulsivedancer; 14th July 2014 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 14th July 2014, 11:03 AM   #7
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I don't think sharing passions is a necessity. Sometimes those passions provide a nice distraction & a way to get away from your SO. Doing different things makes you more interesting when you come back together.

Sometimes you can blend them. One of my EXs was an avid fisherman. I hate fish. But I like to read in the sun so I'd go fishing with him. It was a compromise.
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Old 14th July 2014, 11:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Keenly View Post
I don't think your difference in tastes is a deal breaker, by you are starting to sound pretty scary towards the end of your post. You start saying " I wish he would focus on his career instead " .


So you want him to stop caring about his passion and care about what you tell him to care about ? That sounds an awful lot like you want to take away something he loves so you can change him.



Just don't go to music festivals.
No, I don't want to change him. I recognize that this is his passion and am not dumb enough to pressure him into letting it go. I just question whether my desires are compatible with the lifestyle.

For those who have touched on this, it is a lifestyle. He was much more into it before we met, having spent most of his teens and twenties going to these festivals. When we met he had recently moved to a new town and was out of touch with his music friends. Now he is in a band again and is psyched to be getting back into the scene. Until this weekend I guess I didn't realize what that meant.

I am supportive of him playing music as a hobby but, IMO, this goes beyond. For all his bandmates, music is the primary focus, not just a weekend interest (he is the only one who also has a "real" job). They practice 2-3 times a week and have gigs every weekend. Although I trust him not to cheat, I guess I fear I will lose him to a lack of connection if I don't make an attempt to get involved. And yet, as I said, I am not sure I have much interest in spending what little free time I have this way.

Is this something worth bringing up? We've been together for a couple of years and besides this issue, the relationship is pretty solid. How do I bring it up in a manner that doesnt resemble an ultimatum? To reiterate, I really have no desire to "make" him give anything up, but at the same time, I'm not sure I can roll with this.

To put this in perspective, he has festivals lined up for the next 3 weekends.
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Old 14th July 2014, 11:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Elswyth View Post
I don't think it's necessarily a deal breaker for everyone... plus there are various levels of 'sharing'. My SO and I have a good overlap of hobbies/passions, but we don't share every single one of them. However the ones we do share are pretty big things for both of us, so it is kinda cool to have a 'buddy' in your SO whom you can enjoy such things with aside from standard couple/romantic/sexual stuff. But it really does depend on the person.



IMO the bolded is the real crux of the issue here. If you are growing to resent this, have you spoken to him about it?
We have discussed the time allocation issues but to no real satisfying conclusion. He just tells me I should do what I need to do. When I follow that advice it's easy not to see him for days tho since he doesn't make a ton of effort to join me (only when asked).
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Old 14th July 2014, 11:32 AM   #10
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Ultimately, this sounds like a deal-breaker as it is a lifestyle for him that you are not comfortable sharing.

For a long-term relationship, it would only serve in both of your self interests to have a shared activity that takes up this much time which you both enjoy.

Looking down the road several years, what would you see in this relationship if he is gone at festivals every weekend and you were home alone? Or - conversely - if you were off doing something you were passionate about that he has no interest in?
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Old 14th July 2014, 11:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by compulsivedancer View Post
My H is a musician. It can be a challenging life, but rewarding as well. There are lots of questions here to consider. You don't have to answer these here, just things to think about.

First off, is he participating in this lifestyle, or is he going to the show to play or watch the music? Musicians have a lot of opportunities for bad behavior, so he has to have the kind of character you can trust. My H is a resoundingly upstanding guy, but he is repeatedly offered all kinds of drugs and sex, often with very tempting women. This is part of the music culture, so you've got to figure out whether he's a guy who can handle it, and whether you can too.

Next, what type of music job does he have? A gigging musician may face a challenging career, and many work as waiters or in retail, or get a day job to make up the difference. Many rely on a spouse with a steady income. Many work late nights and spend long unsupervised (by the SO) months on tour. On the other hand, there are a few stable music jobs out there that don't require this, and that is a completely different ball game.

You're stuck with the constant rehearsals. Learn to love them and invest in good soundproofing. DO NOT be the SO that expects a musician to make money without rehearsals. This always hurts both the relationship AND the career. If you can't live with this, yes, it's a deal breaker.

Also, does he have what it takes to make it? This industry requires time, effort, determination, connections, skill, and a little luck. Many people try to do this as a career and are really only cut out to be a "weekend warrior." As an SO, you get to pick up the slack if he works for the rest of his life as a waiter. So take a step back and evaluate.

I had one more question, but forgot. I'll post it later if I remember.

As far as gigs and festivals. If you trust your guy, don't go to all of them. The worst band wives are the ones that have to attend every gig. Go to the ones you enjoy, have a bite to eat or a couple drinks, then go home.

Remember that being a musician is an entire life, and if it's not, he probably won't be able to make a career out of it.

YOU don't have to be passionate about music, just supportive and patient. But make sure you two develop some other shared interests. It's easy to get lonely as a musician's SO. Make sure he makes time for you outside of music, but don't require him to give up his Friday and Saturday nights if he gigs.


Thank you for the feedback! I was hoping to hear from someone with some experience dating musicians and I feel like you have touched on many of the important considerations. Do you have any regrets about marrying your husband related to his career choice?

To answer some of your questions.. My bf has a "real" job but seems to also have ambitions for his band. He wants to make it and frequently prioritizes music over his career, but can fall back on the job for financial security.

The other people in his band are full-time musicians (part time waiters).

I do not believe they have what it takes to ever make ends meet with the music, but honestly I am not sure if that is their goal. His goal appears to be gettin as many fans as possible. Even with a substantial following of high 20-yr olds I know it is tough to make any money in the business.

I would never want to be in a position where I am subsidizing someone's lifestyle because they can't be bothered to have a real job so they can pursue their passion. Don't get me wrong, I am all for others making that choice- I recognize people with passion add a lot more to society than corporate drones like me- but I don't want to pay for someone to live that dream. Id have too much resentment. However, since he has a real job, that's not the issue.

He absolutely does not partake in the sex and drugs aspect. If he did, that would absolutely be a dealbreaker for me.

Nevertheless, I am beginning to question his priorities. I feel like he's shortchanging his career with the late night gigs and rehearsals. I don't understand the bands goals (or lack thereof). The festivals/ shows aren't my thing, but I feel like I need to attend (and enjoy) them to some extent.
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Old 14th July 2014, 11:51 AM   #12
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Ultimately, this sounds like a deal-breaker as it is a lifestyle for him that you are not comfortable sharing.

For a long-term relationship, it would only serve in both of your self interests to have a shared activity that takes up this much time which you both enjoy.

Looking down the road several years, what would you see in this relationship if he is gone at festivals every weekend and you were home alone? Or - conversely - if you were off doing something you were passionate about that he has no interest in?


If we stay together, I see either him giving it up to a large extent once we have kids (perhaps resenting me in the process), or me compromising on my interests and finding a way to enjoy it with him. I don't see the separate lifestyles thing as sustainable (tobthis extent) once there are kids in the picture.
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Old 14th July 2014, 12:13 PM   #13
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They practice 2-3 times a week and have gigs every weekend.
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To put this in perspective, he has festivals lined up for the next 3 weekends.
As others have said, this is beyond a passion. It's a monopoly of his free time.

One of my passions, not shared by my wife, is exercise. So I go late evening or early morning 3-4 days a week, gone 1 1/2 to 2 hours and then home. My wife has her own interests which she pursues in the same time frames. We each do our own thing but leave plenty of open together time.

Music isn't the problem here. It's the degree - to the exclusion of your relationship - to which he's interesting in pursuing it. IMO, lots to think about here. He seems pretty willing to leave you behind ...

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Old 14th July 2014, 2:06 PM   #14
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Do you realize how many times you have used the term "real job" in your posts??

Does he and his bandmates also see this as a silly little past time that interfere with their 'real' jobs and family life or do you think they may see their music lifestyle as their real job and their career aspirations? Do you think that they will also view music interfering with family life and childrearing or will they see children as happering their music efforts?

The bottom line line here is you don't see the music aspirations as serious or legitimate and they do.

This is what I was talking about when I said that differing lifestyle preferences, values and mores is critical.
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Old 14th July 2014, 2:21 PM   #15
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No, I don't want to change him.

[B]but yet you want him to be something else.[/B



He was much more into it before we met, having spent most of his teens and twenties going to these festivals. When we met he had recently moved to a new town and was out of touch with his music friends. Now he is in a band again and is psyched to be getting back into the scene. Until this weekend I guess I didn't realize what that meant.



this is a very important piece to this puzzle. When you were initially becoming attracted to him and developing a relationship with him, he was a normal 9 to 5er and not living this lifestyle.

Music was a part of him already but you weren't experiencing it firsthand.


I am supportive of him playing music as a hobby but, IMO, this goes beyond.

again, you are not seeing this as a legitimate pursuit and don't take it seriously. You are having a hard time respecting him since you see him devoting so much time and energy and money into something you see as a 'hobby.'

Although I trust him not to cheat, I guess I fear I will lose him to a lack of connection if I don't make an attempt to get involved.

we all know the opportunities he has with stoned groupie chicks and women who are serious about musician s. Will you be able to stay connected to him enough for the next 40 years that he will never feel lonely, disrespected, unappreciated and undesired to where he'll never be tempted to take one up on it?

Is this something worth bringing up? We've been together for a couple of years and besides this issue, the relationship is pretty solid. How do I bring it up in a manner that doesnt resemble an ultimatum? To reiterate, I really have no desire to "make" him give anything up, but at the same time, I'm not sure I can roll with this.

is there really any way NOT to have this come up and be an issue that must be addressed????

To put this in perspective, he has festivals lined up for the next 3 weekends.

you realise their goal and life dream and the thing they are pursuing is to do this all the time, right???

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