We all get busy with work, school, children, and errands. Sometimes, it feels like there’s not enough time in the day. But in a relationship, you must find ways to carve time out for your partner. The key is to be intentional. You can’t just expect extra free time to pop up out of the blue. You need to create it.
So, unless you can find a way to add another hour or two to your already busy 24 hours in the day, here are some suggestions to make time for your lover purposely.
Establish Device-Free Time
In today’s society, the obsession with our phones is apparent and has damaged our relationships with family and friends.
“Phubbing” (phone snubbing) is a term used to describe the time we allow distractions from a device while hanging out with our partner.
For example, you’re phubbing if you have a movie night with your partner, but at the same time, you’re taking calls or surfing the net.
This is why it makes perfect sense to designate a time to put down those devices as a vital step in creating a romantic connection. Experts advise turning off your phone for at least an hour or two each day to find opportunities for a bit of romance more easily.
Activities for Couples (No Cell Phones Needed)
When you decide to make time for each other, turn off the phone and do just that. Take part in fun and engaging activities together.
Studies indicate that couples who spend at least four hours a week together are happier in their long-term relationship. So here are some fun ideas you and your partner can do.
Have a new dining experience
If you’re bored of local restaurants, plan an excursion to explore restaurants and cafes outside your city. Then, make it exciting by booking an overnight stay at a nearby hotel in the next town. Getting away doesn’t always need to be big. The smaller ideas can be just as exciting.
You called your job and scheduled time off. Now all you have to do is pack your bags and get away for a romantic weekend, or if you don’t have that much time, a night will do. Romantic getaways recharge you and allow quality time away from your everyday routine.
Suppose the budget is tight. No worries. Go for a single-night excursion that’s close to home. Check VRBO and Airbnb for a booking near you.
Take a class together
No, we don’t mean sign up for a mechanical engineering course at the downtown university. While an interesting idea, instead, sign up for a cooking/baking class together. You can try your newly created recipes on your next date night.
If you’re looking for something more sensual, why not sign up for a salsa class? Dancing is a great way to be closer together as you shake and grind your bodies against one another.
Another recent trend is sommelier classes, a course that teaches you about various wines. So what are your common interests? Pole dancing? Square dancing? We guarantee they have a class for that, so open your mind and don’t hesitate to sign up.
You have been trying to redecorate your bedroom forever. Now is the time to do it. Whatever room you pick to redecorate, make it a joint effort.
Decorating isn’t about being an expert interior designer. It’s about time you spend with your partner while repurposing and reorganizing a joint or separate space.
Listen to an audiobook together
This doesn’t sound like a bells and whistle idea, but it’s surprisingly a relaxing way to chill with your partner and doesn’t involve a television. So which genre are you both interested in? Pick an online book, grab some popcorn, chill, and listen.
Renew your vows
Here’s an elaborate idea! Renew your marriage vows before your family and friends. Or decide on a private ceremony in your backyard with just the two of you.
To renew your vows, you’ll need to do some planning, and that is a separate activity that’ll get the excitement going before the event.
But, whether you go big or opt for a private ceremony, renewing your vows is an excellent way to bring couples together.
Connect with Each Other Regardless of Schedules and Distance
Yes, we get that life can get hectic. You travel for work every week, and your partner has social events to attend when you aren’t traveling. As a result, it sometimes feels like you’re simply passing each other in and out the door every day.
Cluttered calendars are standard in life; sometimes, there’s no end in sight regarding the chaos. Because of this, you must work around those limitations rather than give in to them. Learn how to connect with your significant other to re-ignite that romantic spark that’s fallen dormant for the past few months.
For example, if your partner is away, use the devices as your friend and not your foe. Send your partner a detailed email (or text) explaining why you love them.
Or, you can put the phone down, pick up a book, and take turns reading each other chapters over the phone every night. Doing so helps build a nighttime routine around a non-sexual intimate act. This beats watching television alone every evening.
The good news is that passion and romance don’t rely on continuous physical contact. Instead, they can thrive on the gaps between a connection, but you need to keep that bond well-oiled.
Try leaving your lover a note tucked in a suit pocket or a lunch bag so they find it later in the day. A simple “Hello” text doesn’t say much, yet, it says everything. It shows that you miss them and are thinking about them.
Pick a Time to Talk about Life’s Management
It’d be nice if we could all just happily float around and not have to think about the logistics of life. But we can’t because life is full of essential details we must deal with. Throughout a relationship, those details only increase as you add kids, pets, a home, and finances into the mix.
The “life details” conversation will need to happen, but it doesn’t have to occur now. Nothing kills a romantic date night dinner more than discussing refinancing your home.
Instead, pick a set time to hash out all these important circumstances. Carve out an hour or two and make one night a week the time to have your “weekly spousal meeting.”
This is the time to discuss any life logistics, plus any other date night buzzkill topics like unreconciled past conflicts. Agree that, unless there is an emergency, that one chosen night a week is the time to bring all these topics to the table.
Tips on How to Actively Listen
Listening is a skill that, unfortunately, not everyone does properly. Yes, you hear what they say, but are you listening? Here are some tips on how to listen effectively.
- Face the speaker and have eye contact. Do not be distracted by people walking by.
- Don’t interrupt. Show that you are more interested in what they have to say than what you plan to say when they stop talking.
- Pay attention and listen to non-verbal cues. Watch your facial expression, gestures, and tone of voice. This says a lot without actually speaking.
- Listen without passing judgment, and don’t jump to conclusions. Even if you disagree with what they tell you, this is not the time or place to judge. Only offer an opinion when they ask for it. If they don’t, keep it to yourself.
- SHOW that you’re listening. Every so often, nod your head or give an “uh-huh” to show that you hear and understand what they’re telling you.
- Remain focused. You may not be interested in what they’re telling you, but that doesn’t matter. Stay focused by shutting out distractions such as other discussions in the room.
- Ask questions. When they pause, ask relevant questions to show that you’ve been listening to what they’re saying. If you’re unsure, ask them to clarify.
Show Some Gratitude
Try this: each of you find three or four things you are grateful for each day about your partner and tell them. For example, you could say some of the following examples:
- I am thankful for how hard you work
- I love and appreciate the respect you show me daily
- I appreciate you cooking dinner
Showing gratitude goes a long way to increasing positivity in a relationship. Once positivity is prevalent in your union, appreciation, love, and romance will naturally follow.
Many couples decide not to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, claiming they prefer to love and appreciate their partner all year round and not rely on manufactured holidays. To that, we say, what a crock of sh**!
Hear us out on this. While the sentiment is nice, most times, that’s just an excuse to forego buying gifts for the designated holiday.
Many claim they prefer to demonstrate their love all year instead of purchasing gifts. Sounds good, right? However, the problem is while they say that, they don’t actually show their love all year round. Instead, they fall back into the same old patterns of family, career, children, and other life obligations.
Use the designated holidays to make a grand gesture. Celebrate your anniversary by taking your partner on a weekend getaway. Creating an occasion around a special date for you and your lover will help keep the romantic flame burning, so don’t miss the opportunity.
Go to Bed Together
If your partner is an early bird, but you prefer to stay up until the wee hours of the morning, you’ll need to compromise. Going to bed at different times causes you to miss intimate one-on-one time between you and your lover.
It’s challenging to be intimate with each other if you aren’t in the same place at the same time.
Even if you don’t have sexual intercourse, there are other ways to be intimate, like cuddling and touching. If you can, for at least 15 minutes each night, make a habit of meaningful sex talk. Your discussions can range anywhere from innocent to downright filthy. Who cares? Just make the time.
Coordinate Your Schedules
If you don’t make it a top priority to put something on your calendar, it probably won’t happen. Instead, you’ll forget about it, or you were never into it in the first place. Unfortunately, the same goes for romance.
Since you both have schedules, we suggest that couples work to create a joint calendar together. Your mutual calendar should include “business” things like:
- school drop-offs
- house hunting
- car maintenance
- paying bills
Your joint calendar should also include personal activities like:
- family events (vacations, recreation time)
- date nights
- couple time (yes, including sex)
Don’t view scheduling sex as a problem. It’s the opposite. When you schedule sex, you understand both parties are busy but still want to be together, so you “pencil in” a time for that to happen.
Too often, couples would instead go weeks and months without having sex rather than take the time to schedule it. They feel ashamed that private time needs to be scheduled. However, when you do take the time to plan for intimacy, the end result is a healthier and more stimulating sex life.
Welcome Your Partner to Your Routine
We often have an inflexible routine, so how do we create extra time for our partners? That’s easy. Invite them into your routine. Rather than mess up a successful system, consider doing things together.
For instance, take your partner along with you when grocery shopping. If you’re cooking dinner for the family, ask them to help you.
You wash, dry, and fold the clothes; your partner can put them away. It may not sound sexy, but doing mundane chores together makes it more fun. This way, you get the housework done and spend quality time together. It’s a win-win!
Go to the Gym
We mentioned a few ways to spend time together, but let’s dive into one specifically: the gym. You might not be the biggest fan of going to the gym to sweat it out, but don’t look at it like that. If your partner is a gym rat and works out 5-6 days out of the week, join them for 1 or 2 days.
Not a fan of weights or the Yoga class? Take advantage of the bikes or the treadmill. Not only do you get to spend time with your partner, but you also get healthy and drop a few pounds.
If you have an at-home gym, you can join them for their workout. Then, you can take a break and chat between squats and bench presses. Look at it this way; you save money on a gym and trainer, plus your partner can give you tips to tighten your core.
Typically, we keep trudging through life, not realizing the amount of time we don’t spend with our partners. Then, when we realize, we put our heads down and continue down the road to only look up again when something detrimental happens in our relationship (infidelity, sickness.)
Please don’t wait until it’s too late. When you start heading down the wrong path, it’s time to communicate. Talk to your partner about how you feel and what you both can do to fix it.
However, sometimes, we want to fix it, but it may not be the right time. For example, when you’re buried in your job and your mind is overloaded, give your partner a heads up and let them know what’s happening. You may need some space, so tell your partner. Say, “I need a little time to myself, but we can reconnect soon.”
When the storm has calmed, that’s when you should be intentional with fixing the relationship. However, don’t let too much time pass before it’s too late.
Life can be challenging. Your relationship is there to provide you with a place of comfort and understanding. However, relationships sometimes fall apart because we lose focus on our partner.
When this happens, reorganize your priorities. Doing so will help put your relationship back on track so it can continue to be a refuge from your hectic lifestyle.