Research shows that modern people who are either in or ISO relationships want partners who make their lives more interesting. How do you become interesting? It's very easy: Just do things.
A New York Times article refers to this doing-stuff process as "self-expansion," which involves learning and growing and changing. Like how butterflies do? Yes, sort of, except in the warm cocoon of a committed relationship. If you do something cool that you have passion for, then your partner might become inspired to do something cool that they have a passion for, and then you both have subjects to talk about over dinner. You can bounce ideas back and forth, and expose each other to new ideas, and grow together while growing individually. You can support each other's self-expansion! Then it's not selfish, but like a cyclical support network of two.
"If you're seeking self-growth and obtain it from your partner, then that puts your partner in a pretty important position," says Mountmouth University psych professor Dr. Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., who's developed a quiz for your to measure your own self-expansion. "[B]eing able to help your partner's self-expansion would be pretty pleasing to yourself."
This is all so obvious, that you might think, "duh! Why does this need a NYT article?" Probably because many couples seem to quickly forget it—either ending up bored in their marriages, or getting so lost in their relationships that they individually disappear. Can't do that! So sign up for those welding classes, and encourage your partner to resume their yoga practice, and see what becomes of it. Learn, grow, change.
The Happy Marriage Is the ‘Me' Marriage [New York Times]
Image www.photographybyjoelle.com/via Flickr.