I’m sure at one time or another you have felt that there just isn’t enough time in the day. Have you ever gone to bed on a Sunday night and wondered, “What happened to my week? It just flew by!” They say time flies when you’re having fun, but, unfortunately, time also flies when you are extremely busy. When there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, putting off time with your loved one may seem like the easiest solution, but, be warned, putting off time with your partner may leave a serious mark on your relationship.
As anyone who reads this column knows, keeping up consistent communication with your significant other is the best thing you can do to keep your relationship strong and growing. If you want to stay connected with your partner, you need to make time to reconnect often, through both conversation and physical closeness. Putting off relationship time too often can lead to a disconnection between a couple that only gets worse as more time is spent away from the relationship. Because “couple time” is so important to the development and bonding of a relationship, here are some tips that you can use to help you stay connected even when things get busy.
Eat Meals Together
No matter how preoccupied you and your partner get with day-to-day activities, there is one thing you both will have in common every day – you both need to eat! While it may feel good to catch up on with the world news while having breakfast, get in some extra work time during lunch, or watch a sitcom while eating dinner, you are missing out on three potential opportunities to connect with your partner.
It may not be possible to meet for lunch if you and your partner work in different parts of town, but distracting yourself with the newspaper or television during breakfast or dinner does nothing to help you strengthen your relationship. Make mealtime a time when you and your partner free yourselves from outside distractions and just focus on one-on-one conversation and interaction. Talk about your day, things on your mind, and the beauty of your relationship during dinner; don’t let the television be a further separator between the two of you. As an added bonus, you may even appreciate your food more when you aren’t distracted while eating.
Get on the Same Sleep Schedule
If you are finding it hard to make time for your partner, you may find it helpful to get on the same sleep schedule. If you are married or live together, going to bed and waking up together is an easy way to give you and your partner more time together. As you are getting ready for bed at night or getting ready for work in the morning you will be doing it together and will find several more minutes for conversation and closeness. Even when you are too tired to stay up and chat, just being close while sleeping can help you feel more connected to your partner as opposed to going to bed by yourself or waking up by yourself.
If you don’t live together or are not married, being on the same sleep schedule can still help your relationship during very busy times in your lives. You can schedule nightly phone calls for when you both go to bed at night if you are on the same schedule. By being on the same schedule you also make yourselves more approachable to each other. You can call your partner early in the morning on your way to work, the gym, or class and know that you aren’t waking him or her up. Being on the same sleep schedule is an added opportunity for further connectedness, which always helps to deepen relationships.
This may seem virtually impossible at first, but, if you have the schedule to make it work, driving together may be a great relationship builder. In this day and age having your own car seems like a necessity. The freeways are packed with cars full of busy commuters every weekday morning and evening as they go to and from work. Your daily commute can be a frustrating and isolating experience. Why not change your long commute into a positive experience by using it as an good excuse to spend more time with your partner?
If you and your partner have places that you drive to on a consistent basis that are near each other (or it isn’t too much of a hassle to drop one of you off on the way to the other’s job, school, or meeting) carpooling can be a great time to talk and share with one another. Carpooling can also distract you from the frustrating traffic or, if your commute has a carpool lane, can even get you to your destination quicker than if you had traveled there alone. If you and your partner get to work at different times, it may still be worth it to drive together, even if one of you has to spend an extra half hour at a coffee shop before work. Plus, by carpooling together, you are also becoming more energy efficient!
No matter how you fit the time in during the day, the important thing is that you make sure your lifestyle and schedule accommodate your relationship. If you are feeling stressed out, don’t make time with your partner the thing you give up, make it as high a priority as your job or school, maybe even higher priority. Continually giving up time with your partner will only make you more stressed and can wear on your relationship after a time. Even little bits of time here or there, during dinner, while getting ready for bed or work, or while sitting in traffic can add up to quite a bit of time to connect with your loved one.
Always remember, we are in a relationship because the people we love make us happy, help relieve our stress, and lighten our moods. If you always keep this in mind you will understand how important time with your partner truly is, especially when things get hectic. An hour of quality time with your partner can not only lift your spirits but also strengthen the love between you and further build the bond you have with one another. Don’t let your busy schedule come in the way of your relationship, use your relationship as a positive balance and calming influence on your busy life.