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Please find us a hobby we'll both enjoy
January 20, 2010 4:34 AM   Subscribe

He's extroverted, a bit macho ("ballroom dancing is for sissies!"), adrenaline junkie, but also lazy. She's introverted, nerdy, does NOT like adrenaline rushes (especially not of the "there's a rather real possibility I might injure myself or die doing this" type). Please suggest hobbies and activities they might both enjoy!

Extra data points:

- we're both in early 30s and reasonably mentally and physically fit
- we enjoy physical activity, but of different types
- he likes building stuff and doing the adrenaline thing but dislikes having to work for it: his preferred hobbies are all gravity-fueled, like downhill biking (he drives a car to the top of the trail and rides the bike from there), paragliding (driving a car to the top of the mountain), canoeing and kayaking (the river does most of the work)...
- she's not into much sweating, but can live with it, if it's more of the endurance type (walking, jogging, hiking) and doesn't require much strength (although she's working on becoming stronger)
- we enjoy learning new things of the TED.com/National Geographic/Discovery Channel type
- she hates cold weather, he hates hot weather
- she loves reading and books, he doesn't like to read unless he has to
- probably many more that I forgot but will be happy to provide if you ask

Phew, when I write it like this, it seems we don't have much in common, but trust me, we get along well. :) We'd just like to spend more time doing stuff together.
posted by gakiko to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (40 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, your boyfriend sounds an awful lot like my boyfriend, who LOVES snowboarding - he should at least try it out, if he hasn't yet. I share your "I'd really rather not die today" philosophy (and hatred of the cold), but I've been learning to downhill ski so I can go along with him, and I quite like it. I take it pretty slow and haven't attempted anything fancy yet, and have not come anywhere near injuring myself. And flying down the hill is pretty addicting after awhile.
posted by Fifi Firefox at 4:53 AM on January 20, 2010


Cycling. You can live with sweating, it doesn't need much strength, it's physical activity, you won't die, he can indulge his need for speed where you can find your own pace. You needn't be side by side and nor he speeding ahead with you behind, you can tailor your rides so that you both enjoy it in each others company.
posted by fire&wings at 4:59 AM on January 20, 2010


A magic course?

There's enough adrenalin and showmanship on the one hand, and it's sufficiently nerdy, technical and non-physical on the other.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:01 AM on January 20, 2010


Gaming? He can get his adrenaline rush, you can remember that it's "just a game."
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:22 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ambitious cooking. You do the research and recipe-finding. He gets to play with knives and manage things that are on fire.
posted by jon1270 at 5:23 AM on January 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wii workout games?
posted by motsque at 5:29 AM on January 20, 2010


Geocaching? He might not like it at first because it does require hiking. But it's fun enough that you sort of forget.
posted by pazazygeek at 5:50 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


It doesn't have to be one hobby. You could take a series of classes, learning new things; you could do one more geared toward your interests followed by one more geared toward his interests. Some ideas (links just for reference, since I don't know where you live):
-Cheese course
-glass blowing
- Rock climbing
- Sailing
- get CPR certified
- Art class or pottery
- Shooting range
- cooking (find something more exciting like a hibachi class)
posted by melissasaurus at 5:53 AM on January 20, 2010


Remote control planes/helicopters/cars? You get to put together neat toys and then wreck them at a safe distance.
posted by magicbus at 5:53 AM on January 20, 2010


You mentioned canoeing already - go with that. Jump in his canoe. He paddles upriver, you paddle downriver. Whoever isn't paddling does something else like, I don't know, play ukelele or pour drinks.
posted by carlh at 5:56 AM on January 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sex.
posted by Paris Hilton at 6:01 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Archery?
posted by jzed at 6:05 AM on January 20, 2010


Rock climbing? Indoor rock climbing is great fun, physical yet not dangerous, and doesn't require much strength (height/reach and balance matter more).
posted by Xany at 6:08 AM on January 20, 2010


Go to a climbing gym! It's safe, fun, a workout, and great for couples since you'll be belaying each other. My partner and I started it a few years ago and quickly became hooked.
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 6:09 AM on January 20, 2010


Horseback riding!
posted by Sassyfras at 6:10 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Target shooting (paper or clay pigeons)
Paintball / LazerTag
Golf
Rock climbing / abseilling (indoor or outdoor)
water skiiing
ice / roller skating
judo
posted by K.P. at 6:13 AM on January 20, 2010


I just started a capoeira class with my wife. You can both do it simultaneously for different reasons - you can look at it like a martial art (manly), aerobic exercise (which it definitely is if you go hard enough, but doesn't have to be fall-down gasping tough), a fun group activity (you learn the chants/drums/instruments and get to play along. It can be indoors or outdoors, and you can drive the car there and back. It's totally fun.
posted by ctmf at 6:13 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah... another vote for rock climbing. It's an awesome couples activity, since it's physical, but also really requires collaboration and active thinking. Plus, all the other folks who hang out at the rock gym are super cool...
posted by ph00dz at 6:21 AM on January 20, 2010


Another vote for geocaching or orienteering.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:33 AM on January 20, 2010


Diving? There's a bit of risk, but in less than 30' of water, it's pretty manageable. In the time before children, we got certified together and had a lot of fun doing it.
posted by jquinby at 6:38 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


You might be surprised how interesting bowling can be if you ignore most of the people to your left and right. There's a fair amount of skill involved and a big, heavy ball for Mr. Macho to lift and hold with just the tips of his fingers!
posted by Pragmatica at 6:44 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Poker.
posted by WeekendJen at 6:55 AM on January 20, 2010


Orienteering. My husband and I, at very different fitness and outdoor-liking levels, both enjoy it. The mapreading appeals to nerdiness, the adventure/seeking aspect to, um, adventurousness. We can even take the baby with us on the easy courses.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:03 AM on January 20, 2010


Fishing. There are different kinds, like fly fishing, or drop bait fishing. Or ocean or lake fishing on a boat. Mr. TC and I do this together.
posted by chocolatetiara at 8:26 AM on January 20, 2010


Surfing. Although it's more work than it looks like, there are wonderful periods of floating around, observing and being one with the ocean punctuated by brief intervals of crazy excitement. You can grab a boogie board instead if the whole standing-up thing seems like a needless complication or the waves are getting the better of you.

Also Nthing target sports like archery and shooting. They're satisfyingly physical yet intensely mental.
posted by itstheclamsname at 8:39 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another vote for target shooting and/or archery.
posted by scody at 8:53 AM on January 20, 2010


2nding fishing and surfing, or at least activities in that vein. Many couples I know (including us) are like this. Try to think of activities where the adrenaline rush comes but it has a contrasting underlayment of satisfying calm. Baseball, maybe? Or, you could have him build a tandem kayak.
posted by surfgator at 9:17 AM on January 20, 2010


Ms. Alterscape is working on teaching me to fence. Since she was ranked, this consists of me getting stabbed a lot, but it's fun. Yes, it involves swords, but the safety gear (masks, blade tips, jackets, etc) is well developed and reliable if maintained.
Ms. Alterscape is also trying to convince me that I should get into horseback riding. This is higher-risk in my mind, but it might work for you.
I'm trying to get Ms. Alterscape into soaring (sailplanes/gliders), which might meet your requirements -- again, there's some risk, but the whole point of training is to learn how to fly in such a way that that risk is minimized.
Another vote for target shooting and/or archery.
Another vote for a membership in a climbing gym.
Another vote for diving -- there is actual risk, but good training and good equipment minimize it.
If you're around a body of water, consider small-boat sailing. It's both physical and mental, and not likely to hurt you.
posted by Alterscape at 9:20 AM on January 20, 2010


Rollercoasters Very rare that somebody gets hurt. Has the adrenaline rush without the risk of injury.
posted by majortom1981 at 10:24 AM on January 20, 2010


Take wine courses together, and go visit vineyards in your area (if you have some). There's nothing "sissy" about knowing how to recognize and select good wines, and the nerd in you will appreciate the chemistry aspect of it. And if you both don't mind walking, it's lots of fun to go tour a vineyard.

For that matter, consider taking up winemaking. My mother made fruit (pear, watermelon, elderberry, etc.) and vegetable (tomato, corn cob, etc.) wines for years, and trust me it's a physical process when you use actual fruit and veggies. If you really get enthused about it (and live in the right climate) you can even grow your own ingredients!
posted by magstheaxe at 11:03 AM on January 20, 2010


Yet another vote for target shooting and archery.

I also recommend board games. He'll probably have an initial macho dislike, but if you can get him over that, there are many games you can get from Fantasy Flight Games that might appeal to the pair of you. Arkham Horror is my personal choice; it's a complicated adventure game where players work together against the game, killing monsters and saving the world. Killing monsters ought to be suitably macho for him, the game itself is more than nerdy enough for you, and if you have the right sorts of friends, you can get them over to play it with you, allowing him to be extroverted and you to socialize in a controlled, not too overwhelming situation. But there's lots of other board games out there as well, and somewhere I bet there's one that will appeal to both of you. Plus, once you're past the initial investment, it's a pretty cheap past time.
posted by Caduceus at 11:04 AM on January 20, 2010


N-thing indoor rock climbing. It's a temperature-controlled, fairly safe environment that has both of you active and working with each other even when you're not the one climbing. For him, he'll get a thrill from feeling macho when overcoming obstacles and working with all the gear. For you, rock climbing is actually quite mental and doesn't emphasize strength; rather, it focuses on dexterity, balance/body control and figuring out just how you can shift your weight just right to make the next hold.
posted by ThatRandomGuy at 11:42 AM on January 20, 2010


Take a martial arts course. Jiu jitsu would be excellent for you. It doesn't require a whole lot of strength, but he can be as competitive with it as he wants.

Also, nth-ing rock climbing, especially at a rock gym. Great fun.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 1:26 PM on January 20, 2010


How about ... that kinda of role-playing activity where he can dress up as a solider from 18xx and run around field with a wooden sword and you can sit with the camp-followers and make coffee on a fire in a tin pan? And in the evenings you can work on historical research and make authentic clothing and making more wooden swords.

I know there are proper names for this sort of hobby and those that are into it have a great time.
posted by Xhris at 1:35 PM on January 20, 2010


Road rallying? Teamwork, navigation, excitement, done while sitting down yet moving. She can read the maps and do the calculations, he can do the driving. (Note: I've never even seen a road rally in real life, let alone been in one, and don't know if there's any oh-my-God-we're-going-to-die moments.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:37 PM on January 20, 2010


@The corpse in the library, that would be a time-speed-distance rally (TSD). They're done at or below the posted speed limit on public roads. Certainly worth trying, since all the equipment you need is a car and a clock/stopwatch, maybe a clipboard.

I'm going to recommend cycling, perhaps on a tandem bike. That way he can pedal as hard as he wants and won't leave you in the dust. See if you can rent or borrow one for a weekend to try it out. Hot weather isn't a problem because you have all that moving air cooling you down.

Also target shooting. .22LR is cheap to shoot with low recoil, perfect for a novice. There are plenty of bigger, manlier, guns too.
posted by dalesd at 3:24 PM on January 20, 2010


Yes -- dalesd is right, I meant TSD rally, not GO GO GO AS FAST AS YOU CAN WHOOPS SORRY ABOUT THAT, SPECTATORS rally.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2010


How about ... that kinda of role-playing activity where he can dress up as a solider from 18xx and run around field with a wooden sword and you can sit with the camp-followers and make coffee on a fire in a tin pan? And in the evenings you can work on historical research and make authentic clothing and making more wooden swords.

I know there are proper names for this sort of hobby and those that are into it have a great time.


You're probably thinking of the term LARPing (live action roleplaying), but what you're describing is more various types of historical reenactment, particularly the type done by the Society for Creative Anachronism.
posted by Caduceus at 12:35 AM on January 21, 2010


I was going to say that the SCA would actually seem like a good possibility.
posted by litlnemo at 2:28 AM on January 21, 2010


These are all great ideas! Thank you everyone - all the answers are best answers!
posted by gakiko at 12:58 AM on January 22, 2010


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