My fiance and I have been together for a year. We both work in nonprofits and certain times of the year are really busy for us. It is hard to keep a relationship healthy, when you barely have time for each other. When we first started dating, it was right before the holidays and my work got really nuts causing me to work nights and weekends on top of my usual schedule. We rarely saw each other. It was difficult to say the least. Then in May, his work became crazy and I wouldn’t see him for days at a time. At that time, we didn’t live together and it was extra hard to carve out enough time to visit each other between our busy schedules.
Now we live together and we sometimes see each other even less. The first week I moved in, we both were busy every evening of the week. We only saw each other when we crawled into bed at night. I became really bummed that we lived together, but never spent quality time together anymore. We are slowly starting to develop a plan to make sure this doesn’t happen. A lot of people have to juggle their work schedules and their personal relationships and even family. When you are on opposite schedules it is challenging to keep the passion alive in your relationship. Here are some things I’ve learned that help at those times when it feels like you never see each other.
- Set up one date night per week. Look at your calendars and figure out if you have one night you will both be home and plan to make dinner together and watch your favorite tv show on netflix. Or make plans to go out and enjoy a dinner and movie outside the house.
- Plan a fun getaway together. It doesn’t have to be a long vacation, but just a long weekend for the two of you to enjoy each other’s company without the stress of work. My partner and I went on a 6 day road trip to Eastern Oregon before things got crazy at work again and it was really wonderful.
- Make sure to always say good morning and good night to each other. This little gesture acknowledges that you care about each other. Whether it is by text or in person, it helps to start and end the day speaking to each other.
- If you have a free second during the day, shoot your partner a sweet text telling them you miss them or love them. It will cheer them up and keep you connected.
- Make time for intimacy and sex. If you aren’t in the mood at the end of a long day, cuddle. Just be close to each other and show affection. Don’t neglect to have sex though. Maybe plan to surprise them on a Saturday morning, when you both sleep in, by seducing them. Sex is important to a healthy relationship. Send them a flirty text at the end of the day and when they get home drag them to the bedroom.
- Leave each other sweet notes on the kitchen table.
- Don’t forget important dates, even if you are busy. Make time to celebrate each other’s birthdays and anniversary.
- If you know your partner will be home later than you, start making dinner so that when they arrive there is a meal ready for them. This means men or women.
- Get into a show together and watch it from beginning to end, so you have a ritual of watching that show together and can chat about it afterwards.
- Always communicate!! Communication is key. If you don’t communicate or have expectations that the other doesn’t know about it can ruin your relationship. Tell them your plans, schedule, and what you would like out of the relationship. Couples that don’t communicate fail. This is the most important point. Also, don’t do all your communicating via text or you will leave yourselves open to misinterpretation. Be straightforward and don’t expect anything that you haven’t already communicated to the other person.
Best of luck! Relationships are challenging and a lot of work to keep afloat when you are both busy, but you can make it work if you put in the effort. They are very much worth it if you do.