You’ve heard the saying before, and I really do think it’s true. Sharing common interests with your “boo” definitely adds fuel to the romantic fire. Whether you like to take cooking classes, go hiking, take piano lessons, or sing, finding someone with whom you can share your interests will enhance your life and will ensure you stay together as a couple. Personally, I think it’s sexy to get sweaty with the person with whom I spend the majority of my time. I need someone who can keep up with me, physically, and that’s really hard to find these days. I want someone who is interested in playing outside with me on the weekends: walking the dog, going to the beach or the pool, going to the park and kicking around a soccer ball – really anything will do. I’m pretty easy to please as long as I’m outside with the sun on my skin. Healthy eating is also a big part of my life. I can’t date someone who isn’t on board with clean eating. If I’m in contest prep and my significant other is eating pizza and doughnuts in front of my face, it’s not going to be pretty. I will either eat said pizza and doughnuts or I will slap someone; either way, the end result isn’t the greatest. I’m not maniacal about my nutrition when I’m not competing: I follow a macronutrient breakdown, which allows me to eat whatever I want, so long as I stay within those macro guidelines. Consequently, I end up eating different stuff every day, which makes my taste buds and my inner foodie quite happy. But, come mid-June, I’ll be back to chicken and sweet potatoes (meh), and anyone who wants to stay in my life will have to realize that I just can’t be around junk anymore. Love you, mean it. So, for me, it’s imperative that I spend my time with someone who is active, who takes care of himself, and who eats well. Relationships can’t succeed and blossom if you lead different lives. Trust me, I’ve tried it. Sharing a passion for living a healthy life gives me and my significant other something to talk about, to debate over, and to research together. It allows us to grow together, as a couple, and to form a deeper connection. Who doesn’t want that? Now, I’m not saying that being different doesn’t have its upside. I think having opposing beliefs can actually benefit a relationship a good deal, because it allows you to share your perspective and to appreciate the other person’s point of view. It fosters empathy and understanding, as well as the ability to be more open-minded. When I was studying Psychology at Tufts, I read many an article that discussed how attraction may be determined by perceptions of similarity. The research suggests that spending “fun time” (and no, that’s not code for something dirty – get your minds out of the gutter) with your significant other can improve your relationship. It can renew your bond by helping you relate to each other in new ways, improve positive communication, help you develop a stronger, deeper friendship, and can solidify your relationship at its core. And, ladies, did you know that this is more important for men than it is for women? True story: men are more likely than women to call their spouse their best friend – I think that’s awesome. Who wouldn’t want to marry the person who knows them the best, who makes them the happiest, and who supports them the most? Sound like a pretty sweet deal to me. You don’t have to be a health nut or a fitness enthusiast to enjoy time with your significant other. Whatever the two of you like to do, do it TOGETHER! The more you invest in fun and friendship and being there for your partner, the happier and stronger the relationship will be. The correlation between fun and happiness is high and significant, so go out and play! Beth is an NPC and OCB figure competitor and has been competing for 3 years. When she’s not rocking the stage in her stiletto heels, she’s either at work as Project Manager at a Pharmaceutical company in Durham, NC or she’s in the gym training clients or teaching spin classes. In her very minimal free time, Beth likes to sleep, eat, play with her dog, and spend time with her friends (who also like to sleep and eat).