"I miss you, sweetie."
This was a comment my fiancé made today. He doesn't mean he misses seeing me, but rather he is feeling disconnected. It has been a hectic week so far and, as he put it, this week feels like we are just passing in a hall, but not connecting.
He's right; it's how I feel as well. Chores, tending to our kids, dinner prep, and work, all attributed to this. Arriving home from teaching at 10:30 last night after working an 11-hour day didn't help either. I am not worried though because the fiancé and I know the formula for success to keep our relationship healthy. It's simple, actually:
Do the work necessary to keep the relationship on track.
Last weekend, for example, we had a kid-free, relaxed weekend to reenergize our relationship after the busy workweek last week. We were slow to get up in the morning, went to two movies, had interruption-free conversations (hard with four kids at home), ate out at great restaurants, enjoyed cooking together, and watched hockey. To us, it was perfect.
Realistically, it's not always possible to carve out that much alone time for most busy couples.
Here are some quick, easy ways to do the work to stay connected when life gets busy:
- Place a love note in a briefcase or coat pocket.
- Reach out in the middle of the day with an I-love-you text or email. Better yet, a quick call.
- Do something unexpected.
- Establish a weekly in-home date night. It could be watching a video, seeing your favorite TV show, or having a later dinner without the kids.
- When you have that moment to connect, give all of your attention to your partner (i.e., no electronic devices)
- Wake up ten minutes earlier to snuggle before the day begins.
- Email a link to a YouTube video of a special song you both love.
- Slow dance in the middle of the living room.
- Get up early enough to see the sun rise together before going to work.
- Ask about the other's day, and listen attentively.
Please share: what are the small ways you work to keep your relationship fresh and healthy?