Remember that person that you chose to spend your life with? You know, the one whose toothbrush is beside yours but you can’t seem to remember the last time you were in the same room together? Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you’ve found yourselves slap in the middle of the race of life. It seems like when you’re trying to get things done, the easiest thing to skimp on is time with your spouse. You see each other every day and you’ll have the rest of your lives to enjoy each other, right? Taking your spouse for granted is so easy to do, but it results in long-term damage, and can leave you feeling you’re more like roommates than partners. Try these tips to help connect!
- Have a perpetual conversation – Buy a journal and begin a letter to your spouse. Write down the things you appreciate about your spouse and why you’re glad you’re going through life together. If you’ve not been connecting a lot, acknowledge that. Let him/her know that they are missed and that you’re looking forward to finding time to reconnect. Leave it where your spouse will find it and have them respond when they’re ready. The journal can serve as an ongoing love letter as you write in it periodically. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing – just something you do every now and then to encourage your spouse and reassure them about how you feel.
- Use technology in a positive way– Communicate with one another during the day via phone call, texting, e-mailing, instant messaging – and not just to remind your spouse to pick up milk on the way home. Just let your spouse know that you’re thinking about them and that you care what’s going on during their day. Don’t rely on electronic conversation for all of your talking, though. It’s just a nice tool for touching base during a busy day.
- Date Night – The frequency can vary. Some people prefer a weekly date night. Others monthly. Whatever you decide on, put it on the calendar. It’s so easy to put it off if you don’t. If money is an issue, plan a stay at home date. See ideas for low key at home date night here.
- 10 focused minutes per day – find your time (coffee in the morning before the day starts, right after you get home from work, right after dinner) and make it happen. Remember that being in the same building is not the same as spending time together. Carve out 10 minutes of focused talking/listening each day. If you have kids, teach them to know when your 10 minutes are and do not allow them to interrupt.
- Work alongside one another – Do chores together. Resist temptation to divide and conquer. Often, the list of chores at the end of the day is long. Try to at least be in the same room doing chores. It may take a little longer, but at you’ll have company while you’re working and a chance to have a conversation. Also, serve together. Choose volunteer opportunities that appeal to you both. Helping others while working together will strengthen your partnership and benefit others.
- Synchronize your day – This gets tricky sometimes, but to the best of your ability, try to plan your day so that you’re around each other as much as possible. Eat at the same time. Go to bed at the same time – even if you’re reading or watching TV while your spouse falls asleep.
- Monthly Meeting – This may sound too unromantic, but plan a monthly business meeting, with an agenda, to touch base about budgets, schedules, vacation planning, retirement planning, etc. This will keep you both in the loop about what’s going on with your family and it will allow for date night conversation to remain light and fun. Far too often, spouses aren’t on the same page about plans. A meeting will help you feel like you’re working toward a common goal.
The most important tip here – be intentional about making your spouse feel like a priority! Do you have a way to do that we’ve not included here? Share it in the comments! We’d love to hear about it!