IN THE back pages of the Herald, or in digital terms, in the Life and Style section, there's an amusing piece on the 10 most appealing hobbies to a potential partner.
What is interesting about them is they are all gentle, quaint and safe hobbies.
They include movies, music, fine dining and gardening.
I'm never really sure whether to believe these or not. If you read internet dating profiles, they will usually list their "likes", such as movies, long walks on beaches and reading novels.
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But in interviews I've done with members of the older generation, who have had an impressive 40 or 50 years (or more) of marriage, the inevitable question is asked: how did you meet, and what was it about him/her that you liked? I've never had a partner say: I liked his fine touch with the paintwork on his model Spitfire, or her flower arranging. Those don't come up in the conversation. Usually it's about the moment, the smile, the laughter, the confidence, the physical looks.
It is, perhaps, a classic on a first date to try and determine if you have things in common, such as movies or reading. But three-quarters of the world like going to movies or reading. In fact, when you think about it, reading, travel and going to movies aren't hobbies.
They are things you do to prove you don't spend your spare time lighting candles, sacrificing chickens to Satan and cleaning your rifle.
Thus the list, with travel at the top, followed by movies, music, fine dining and fitness, is all about being safe. Normality is what we naturally gravitate to. Being safe is a huge part of the dating and relationship game.
No one wants to be married to a psycho for the rest of their lives. It is okay that dangerous pursuits, or adventure, don't feature on the list of desirable hobbies. Dating, and relationships, is a colossal adventure - try moving in together, that's an expedition with more obstacles than the Himalayas.
If a relationship doesn't feel "safe" then it's probably not survivable.
And don't ever think you're boring as a couple. There would be plenty out there who would give anything to be so relaxed in a relationship you sit up in bed reading Harry Potter books for an hour. Adventure is overrated. Safe feels good.