Being in a relationship doesn't mean doing everything with your partner, but similar interests are a must if you want to grow as a couple. Three years ago my boyfriend – an avid camper – tried to convince me to camp with him. Being a city girl through and through (who had proudly never slept under the stars), the thought of sleeping outdoors made my skin crawl. "But there are bugs outside," I stated as proof of why this was such a poor idea. There were arguments, there were heated debates about the merits of fresh air but eventually I relented. "Fine. I'll try it once, but if I hate it, I am NEVER going again."
So off we went, sleeping bags and tents and stoves with which to cook food in the woods. Not only was there outdoor sleeping involved in this excursion, but we also had to canoe and hike to get to the spot on which we would set up camp. What?! But I persevered and to his credit, the boyfriend was a pillar of patience with my lack of outdoor-type knowledge and ability to "steer" a canoe. Seriously, shouldn't all boats have a motor just in case you get tired?
What I learned
Despite my initial fears about getting eaten alive by bears, bugs or whatever else was lurking in the shadows, once my anxiety wore off I found myself actually (dare I say) having a good time. The spot was gorgeous, we had a whole lake to ourselves and it turned out I can make a pretty mean camping meal using a stove no bigger than a baseball. My point? That if the boyfriend hadn't insisted I go, I would have missed out on experiencing something that's such a huge part of his life. Sure, I could have hated it, but I didn't.
Let's go camping!
After all that, now I look forward to camping. Seriously! It's an activity we both love and can enjoy together. There are definitely things he does that I won't ever do, such as winter camping (I would rather fend off a bear than sleep in a tent in the snow), and there are things I like that he will never do, even under duress (shopping for pleasure, facials, etc.) but we have camping and we love doing it together. So if there's something your partner loves doing (golf, sailing, scuba diving) that you have yet to try, I suggest giving it one shot. Who knows, you might just fall in love!
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