We Both Eat the Same Salad – Finding a Neutral Activity

Are you and your mate competitive with each other? If not, I am 100 % jealous and suggest you read a different blog today. However, if you are like me and my husband, everything can become a competition if we allow it.

For some background, my husband and I met when we were both competitive athletes, racing almost every weekend. The year we decided to marry, the wedding had to be on the one weekend that both of us were free from races.

Riding our bikes together meant Jimmy sprinting to the top of a hill without even breaking a sweat. For Jimmy, swimming with me meant struggling to catch a quick breath while I glided by him not even needing a breath every stroke, but only every third stroke.

Let’s face it. We each had our own strengths that we worked hard for. The sad thing is, often I felt just a bit too much satisfaction beating him at Scrabble. He would seem just a bit too smug kicking my rear at Labyrinth, the game where you must take a metal ball through a moving maze. I could win 3 out of 4 games of pinball and he could always annihilate me at darts, and the list went on and on and on.

I wish I could tell you that close to thirty years later I am more mature, but I still like to show my prowess. Just being honest here. My solution? Try something neutral, or something that neither one of us has much experience in. I recently asked my husband to brainstorm with me, and here are some of the things that the two of us came up with.

1) Bird watching while hiking. No competition there unless we are keeping score of who identified more species.
2) Reading. We can read a book to each other, taking turns at the chapters, or we can just bask in the physical presence of each other reading our own books. When we do this, I also enjoy distracting him when I think we have read enough!
3) Canoeing. This can be horrible if you are in separate boats, as there will always be a winner. Same boat, no problem.
4) Gardening. Unless you are childish enough to say “My tomato plant grew taller than yours”, then you are fairly safe here too. This is a fantastic way to spend time together, and I do not mind doing more of the weeding when I know that Jimmy is doing more of the heavy tilling. The end result is….we are both eating the same salad.



I would love to hear what other couples are doing to stay sane in a competitive relationship. Please comment.

One thought on “We Both Eat the Same Salad – Finding a Neutral Activity

  1. Ha! When we met, my theory was that it’s best to find someone with whom you have nothing in common, so that there is no chance of being in competition. Every time I found some way we were different, I’d cheer: “There’s something else we don’t have in common!” Of course, after 30 years together we have a shared history and have developed shared interests. And we are mildly competitive when we play games. But after all this time we still like to point out how different we are and claim that we have nothing in common.

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