Time is not your problem ... mindset is!
Even though we're relationship coaches and have written numerous e-books and books about how to create an amazing and passionate long-lasting relationship, we also know exactly how TOUGH it can be to practice what we preach!
Just like everyone else, we're busy people.
Sometimes it feels like we're constantly on-the-go between work activities and spending time with extended family and friends. As a couple (and as individuals), we both lead vibrant and full lives, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
BUT, we can definitely tell when our busy lives take a toll on our relationship.
And this happens to EVERY couple when they stop making time to feed and nurture their relationship. Yep, even though we're experts, it happens to us, too!
One (or both) of us gets "snippy" easily. We're less patient with each other and when challenges come up. "Little" things said or done get blown out of proportion. We can feel distance slipping in between us.
The trick with "making time" for romance is that it starts to feel more like work and 'one more thing to do.' Too many people approach the quandary of finding the time and energy for romance with their partner with an attitude of: I know I should, but I'm all tapped out!
A couple promises each other that once things calm down, they'll schedule a date night, a weekend getaway, or even just an uninterrupted 15 minutes for a foot massage.
However, they continue to soldier on, putting their relationship behind just about everything else.
They truly intend to make time for romance, but the promised date gets pushed further and further back.
When the negative side effects of being over-scheduled, tense, and not tending to your relationship add up, misunderstandings, miscommunication, and mistaken beliefs become a regular occurrence. The distance between you gets so vast that it soon feels nearly impossible to bridge.
Thus, your busy life starts killing your relationship.
But, we've discovered in our own marriage, you CAN make time for romance even when you're uber-busy.
Here are the 4 ways you can maintain a healthy and happy relationship when life is overwhelming, stressful and the 'busy-ness' feels like it will never stop:
1. Check your approach
Take a look at your overall approach. What are your usual thoughts about your partner, yourself, and, generally, the kind of time commitment you think is required to keep passion stoked in a relationship?
If you believe that you absolutely have NO time to set aside on a regular basis to connect with your partner, that's your cue to take a step back and examine the way you're thinking. It really does make a difference!
We aren't saying you should try to force "romance" when you're feeling this way, but we DO recommend that you explore the extent to which you're adding to your stress with certain thoughts and beliefs.
2. Re-think how you allocate your time and energy
When things get busy and stressful, one reoccurring thought we have is that there's "not enough." There's "not enough" money to go on a trip and unwind together. There's "not enough" hours in the day for each other.
Lack thinking — characterized by the "not enoughs" — only intensifies stress and takes us away from each other. It robs us of potential connecting time that we actually would have had if we weren't so caught up in lack thinking!
Your situation is not exactly the same as ours, but we invite you to really look at the time and energy you DO have for your use (compared to the very limited time and energy you may think you have). Be aware when you fall into "not enough" thinking. The more you can challenge lack thinking and remind yourself of possibilities, the more time for romance you'll find!
3. Sort out your priorities
Watch how you spend your time on a daily basis. How much of your day goes to "vegging out"? How often do you commit to activities that aren't actually important to you, but that you feel like you "have" to do, otherwise you'd feel guilty?
Experiment with being choosier with your personal and family schedule. Make new and different choices so that connecting and romance are also a priority.
4. Create meaningful romantic mini-moments
Together, with your partner, talk about what sounds enjoyable and relaxing. Maybe you both have different ideas on what "romance" is and that's okay. Take turns trying out new ways to connect and stay connected. This can happen during an evening out or even just in the five minutes you linger over a kiss before you both head out the door in the morning.
Set aside your pre-conceived notions that romance and passion have to look at certain way and, instead, stay open to opportunities to really be with one another — no matter what you're doing.
The secret is to get creative and have fun with this.
For more romance and intimacy-boosting ideas, check out our free ebook, "Passionate Spark~Lasting Love".