It happens to the best of us, and this time of year can be particularly difficult. If you have kids, year-end activities at school start stacking up. You’re planning trips for memorial day. Workloads might increase at the office as you attempt to prep for upcoming vacations.
No matter what the reason, we all can fall into the trap of busy-ness. One thing after another, and before you know it, you haven’t even seen your partner for breakfast, let alone a date. How can you mitigate this problem? We can’t always just ‘be less busy‘ (although if you can, that’s always a good option). So how can we moderate our lives and schedules in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes romance?
Here are just a few ideas.
1. Choose a time to prioritize each other. Days passing without seeing your partner should not become the norm. Sometimes busy seasons of our lives come to pass, and we can’t necessarily guarantee we’ll be spending hours together every day — but what can you guarantee? Is there an hour, or even a half-hour, that you can commit to your partner every day? What works best for each couple will vary. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning, before the kids wake up, you commit to 30 minutes of coffee together. Maybe it’s lunch, if you both work from home. Or maybe you commit to hitting the hay at the same time and having a little pillow talk every night. Whatever it is, commit to it, and protect it. Those check ins will provide a lifeblood for your connection.
2. Use a shared calendar. Whether this is an app on your phone or a paper hanging on your wall, have a calendar you both use, that you both commit to filling in with everything you plan. This will help you both to be aware of where the other is at, and protect you from double-booking yourselves. If you’re hoping for a date Friday night, write it on the calendar before anything else takes that spot! If you’ve got a class Tuesday morning and are assuming your partner will watch the kids, a shared calendar will make sure there’s no last-minute argument when you find out they’ve been scheduled to work that morning.
3. Practice a weekly State of the Union. No, we don’t mean the USA — we mean the union of your partnership. Every week, make sure you plan at least an hour where you can discuss everything that’s on the table. This means looking over that shared calendar and discussing events for the week, it means connecting about groceries and other household tasks to make sure you’re on the same page with who’s doing what, and it means checking in with each other emotionally and asking if there’s anything in particular you can do this week to support each other. This is not a date — this is a ‘business’ discussion where you give each other the opportunity to connect, get on the same page, and face the week ahead hand-in-hand — rather than racing neck-and-neck.