Research shows that couples experience greater happiness and less stress while spending quality time together. But if your schedules are jam-packed with travel, classes, work, or raising kids, how can couples maintain a happy, healthy relationship? There are ways to connect with your partner, so read on.
Travel is an amazing way to broaden your mind and experience new cultures and foods. But if your partner isn’t traveling with you, all that time spent apart can take a real toll on your relationship.
Ask any couple who is raising children, working full-time, or traveling on a regular basis and they’ll tell you: making time for your spouse isn’t always easy. Don’t sacrifice your love of travel or quality time with your partner – you can have it all!
Here are 10 ways you can connect with your partner, even when your crazy schedule is keeping you apart
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Communicating is a good way to connect with your partner. There is no secret that open, honest communication is the foundation of a great relationship.
You and your partner should be able to talk to each other about anything if you want your relationship to continue to grow. Of course, talking about current events, perspectives, your daily lives, and your goals is always a great way to connect, but don’t ignore the things that are difficult to discuss.
You can keep communication open by talking about the problems you’re having before they have the chance to spiral out of control. Being an open book regarding your personal schedule is another great way to keep tabs on one another and helps to connect with your partner.
Having a serious heart-to-heart conversation with your partner can be intimidating. No idea how to start? Head on over to Her Norm to learn more about deep conversation starters to naturally kickstart the habit.
You can never go wrong when it comes to trying to connect with your partner if you bring gratitude into the relationship. Marriages where partners regularly express gratitude for one another have a greater sense of relationship satisfaction, commitment, intimacy, and support for goal pursuit.
You can express gratitude by complimenting your partner and continuing to use basic manners, but the best way is by having empathy and understanding the job they do every day in their role as your partner.
Understanding this will give you a deeper appreciation of the impact your partner has on the quality of your life with them in it. And remember, you get back what you give. If you show appreciation, you’ll get appreciation in return.
Use Technology for Good
You can connect with your partner just by reaching out. Studies often point to “phone snubbing/phubbing” resulting in a decline in marital satisfaction, but the truth is when it comes to staying close through your busy schedule – technology is going to be your best friend.
Text messaging is a great way to connect with your partner throughout the day. Little gestures, inside jokes, and momentary snapshots into your day are all ways to say, “I’m thinking about you.” And let’s be honest, it’s nice to know when your partner is thinking of you.
Use Skype or Facetime to have a “face-to-face” chat (or intimate time – we won’t judge) with your partner when you can’t be together.
Email and social media are also great avenues for sending each other cute photos or tagging your spouse in something funny to keep your connection alive until you can see each other in person again.
A study done by Northwestern University found that couples who have deep trust often report more fulfilling relationships than couples who don’t. Building this kind of trust is important in any relationship if you want to connect with your partner, especially one where you’re both spending a lot of time apart.
Having trust in your spouse will help you feel comfortable and supported in your relationship. Not to mention, give you peace of mind about what your spouse is up to while you’re not around.
Make Time for Date Night
Dating is a huge way that you and your partner can stay connected. Research on the importance of a regular date night shows that couples who spend quality time together are less likely to separate and experience a boost in excitement, passionate love, and relationship communication.
Choose one night a week and designate it as your date night. This will give you the chance to connect and romance one another away from the stress of work or raising children.
Research shows that the standby of “dinner and a movie” just isn’t going to cut it. In order to reap the benefits of quality time, you and your spouse need to do something you wouldn’t normally do.
Some ideas for spending time together could be taking a cooking class, going to the gym, hiking, kayaking, wine tastings, outdoor dining with live music, festivals, or farmer’s markets.
Taking the time to spend time together will help you connect with your partner by building memories.
Make Each Other Laugh
One way you and your spouse can strengthen your bond is by cracking jokes together. Studies show that couples who laugh together are happier, more supported, and more likely to stay together for the long haul.
Sometimes you might be so busy that you only have time for a joke. This is still a great way to connect with your partner and keep the day-to-day stuff light and happy.
Touch is a huge way that couples connect, and we’re not just talking about what goes on behind closed doors. If you want to connect with your partner try hugging them, making eye contact, resting on them, standing close, or holding hands.
The oxytocin hormone released during intimate moments has been shown to heighten emotional intimacy between couples, reduce stress, and make couples more likely to say “I love you“.
This powerful hormone can help keep you and your spouse feeling connected, even when you have to be apart during travels.
This physical intimacy doesn’t have to take place in the bedroom, either. Physical affection such as cuddling, holding hands, hugging, giving a massage, caressing, or kissing on the lips or face have also been strongly related to partner satisfaction.
Run Errands Together
This isn’t exactly the most romantic thing you can do with your spouse, but if you’re truly strapped for time, why not run your errands together to connect with your partner?
Make a date out of picking up your groceries and running around town. Use this precious alone time as an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level or to joke and play around together.
Share a Hobby/Routine Together
Being adaptable is one of the top qualities of a lasting relationship. One way you can be adaptable with your schedule is by working your interests into your everyday routine.
When your partner is already a regular part of your day (be it working out, going on lunch dates, playing an instrument/sharing a hobby together, etc.) it makes it a lot easier to have meaningful moments amidst an otherwise chaotic schedule.
Be Willing to Make Sacrifices to Connect with Your Partner
If you have a busy AF schedule, the last thing you want is to add another item to your to-do list. But the bottom line is this: If it’s important to you, you’ll make time for it. It’s as simple as that! And if the goal is truly to connect with your partner then, be ready to compromise.
Making time for your partner means making sacrifices. This might mean sacrificing family time, time at work, with friends or even sacrificing a few hours of sleep to spend quality time together as a couple.
Relationships aren’t always convenient, but making your loving partner a priority in your life is always worth it. Keep that in mind when you’re having a 7 AM coffee date with your sweetheart (even though you thought you’d rather hit the snooze button).
In order to connect with your partner, you have to make them a priority.
You don’t have to abandon connecting with your partner. Nurturing a partnership is a rewarding and exciting endeavor, so why can it feel so impossible to achieve?
By opening the lines of communication, being deliberate with your schedule, and not forgetting about the little things in life, you can connect with your partner in multiple ways, and your spouse will be able to keep the fire alive in your relationship.