REPURPOSING TIME TO CONNECT
It could be parenting, work demands, financial constraints and the list goes on, but for many of us the traditional date of dinner and a movie is hard to fit in. If you are a parent, the child care alone could make the whole thing seem out of reach, let alone staying up that late with 6 am wake-up calls promised by little feet. Even my friends without children find other demands can take up that connection time once prioritized in early dating days.
As someone who writes about this stuff quite regularly, I know all too well the wear and tear signs of not putting time into the relationship. My husband and I both felt that need for connection but weren’t sure how to squeeze it in with all the other demands. But then it happened, out of the blue, four times in the last week and a half, we found ourselves regularly dating! It was shocking. How you might ask? It wasn’t planned so the success should be attainable and upon reflection I knew I had to share as these how to’s just might help you.
Four Ways to Connect with Your Partner:
The Commuter Call: Okay, this first one isn’t a date per say, but it has sure helped the connection. My husband started a daily ritual for us and this has probably been the biggest help. It was no doubt born out of the fact that with the kids, activities and our mutual need to check out for a bit at the end of a long day we weren’t really communicating other than logistics. At least not in a focused way. My husband has about a 15-20-minute commute while I am longer. It is a short window, but he started calling me in the morning while we were both on our way to work so that we could talk. And we do, we talk uninterrupted and it has helped the connection. And although this won’t work for everyone, like if you carpool with cubicle mate John or you are the bus for the kids, you might find you have a window somewhere in your day where you could prioritize an old-fashioned phone call.
The Window of Opportunity: Another way we got a date in was by jumping on 45 minutes where we were both free, in the same town, and the kids were busy. My husband had gone to the walk-in clinic and I was waiting for gymnastics to end, call us crazy but we decided to grab a drink and an appetizer. We hustled to a restaurant, ordered the quickest app on the menu, had the bill upfront and enjoyed a quick chat. I think normally we would have thought the time was too rushed to make it worthwhile, and of course there are always other things to be doing but I am glad we chose to try, it was spontaneous and fun.
Lunch Dates: I have written about them before, but they are so great if you can swing them. You are generally more alert, it is less expensive, and it takes care of babysitting for the school aged children. Like many of you, my husband and I don’t work that close together, our drive to meet would literally take the entire lunch hour, but again this was the week where all dates seemed to work, and we found ourselves again in the same area with a cancelled appointment for my husband and a free hour for me. We had a great time but as this was a few dates in we were also thinking, “how are we on a date again? what is happening?!”
Book It: So, in this same week and a half period we had two dates already in the calendar. This is traditional and not as sneaky or spontaneous but sometimes the events are useful as it is the only way many of us get a date in. I had bought tickets to see Gary Chapman who wrote “The Five Love Languages” so by its mere subject we had to make that a go. My husband also had his work party, so we were booked for that too. Check and check.
To summarize, have phone dates, don’t shrug off those spontaneous moments, give lunch a chance and book it. Easy peasy. For added success remember to keep expectations chill, phones down, and try to talk about more than scheduling and bank statements.