Contrary to popular belief, Hollywood romcoms, and my beloved romance novels tell us, relationships aren’t always full of ease (or easy, HAE solutions).
In fact, the longer I’m in mine, the more I realize that relationships require work, specifically dedication, conversation, and growth. Where is the story showing that?!
As you know, my beau and I have been together a long time. What you may not know is that the majority of our relationship (8+ years) was long-distance, ranging from a 45 minute drive to being on different continents. As hard as this could be at times, I’m grateful because it prepared us for jobs that require us to travel frequently (about 50% of the time). We regularly miss birthdays and anniversaries, family gatherings & lazy weekends.
We’re really damn good at finding creative ways to make our relationship a priority!
You might think I’m an old pro at this and handled it exceptionally well. Here’s what really happens:
First I complain. It sounded a little something like, “Ugh this sucks sooooooooo much! I thought living together meant we would spend more time together!”
Then I get grateful. A la, “Ok this situation isn’t ideal. But we’re supporting the other while they pursue dreams. I get to spread #freedominpleasure to folks across the country and he gets to make connections, visit new destinations, and do work he loves.”
Lastly, we get creative. To do that, we answered the one question that’ll make your relationship easier :
How do we make time for us while still being independent?
Here are the four ideas that are working for us.
4 Creative Ideas to Make Your Relationship a Priority
- Make date night non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter when it happens or what we do – but it has to happen. We get a little fancy* and try out a new bar, restaurant, or both. It can be a quick night out if we both have early mornings or a more elaborate evening. *Dressing up is optional but highly recommended to add to the “special” feeling” of the evening.
- Limit solo evenings out to once per week. I’m Italian so food = love. Limiting our solo nights out allows us to cook and eat together several times each week. Dinner is also the time when we catch up, share, vent, and plan.
- One morning a week, start your day together. We do this by getting up early and heading to the gym. It allows us to support each other in an area of our lives where we usually ride solo. I feel you should know that we don’t actually work out together. Simply staring in sync helps us feel connected.
- Every Sunday evening we review our schedule for the week. We plan out date night and our nights out along with who is cooking when. We do our best to stay flexible and find ways around obstacles, like weeks when one of us has something every night.
There are no right or wrong answers to this question. Every couple has different wants, needs, and priorities. The most important part is that you and your partner answer this question together. So if any of my ideas inspired an “Oh heck no!” in your mind, know that’s totally ok.
In the comments below, tell me: what do you do to keep your relationship fun + strong?
Your Partner in Passion,