The Rolling Stones were full of wise words, but they were wrong about one thing: Time isn’t always on your side. When my boyfriend and I were in high school, there was one summer when our work schedules were almost exactly opposite. He had early, early morning to afternoon; I had early evening to night. In between, we had to find time for sleep (sort of), a social life and of course, each other. When this happens in your 20s, there are numerous other responsibilities to factor in. But like the knowledge that first-time DIY hair dye is best done with a buddy, some high school lessons are golden. Here are a few the BF and I took away from that summer that still prove helpful when our schedules keep us apart.
Compromise is key
This may seem like a basic relationship truth, but it’s even more important when your everyday couple time has a deadline. You have to be willing to compromise how you spend your time together and when. If that means you get less sleep or do something you’re usually not partial to (like paintballing or watching a WWI doc), you have to be open to it if it makes one or both of your lives easier or happier. Getting to spend quality time together that’s as stress-free as possible is your reward.
Making the most of the mundane
Planning time to do laundry with your SO sounds about as exciting as penciling in time for small talk with your dentist. But keeping up with errands is important (unless you don’t mind soap scum and a pantry stock of baking soda and Zoodles). If you don’t, you risk letting simple responsibilities build up stress in your life. The trick is to turn chores into couple time that doesn’t bore you to tears. Lighten up grocery shopping by seeing who can save the most money, or secretly picking up your mutual faves for after (a reasonable excuse to buy those kettle chips on sale).
Creativity rules the roost
You already know time for each other in your schedules is limited. So create time pockets where you didn’t have them before. Visit each other at work as much as possible: try a new café© for lunch, or just pop in for a quick chat n’ kiss on a break. Forgo an extra hour of sleep once or twice a week (unless you’re already getting up at a hideously early hour) to have a relaxing breakfast together.
And most importantly, make the time that you do have count. Relaxing nights in are therapeutic when your schedule’s hectic, but try to plan an exciting date once a week. Try something new together: a type of food, an activity, a place. Sharing new experiences will keep you from feeling robbed of the bonding that naturally occurs when you have all the time in the world for each other.