If you or your partner work ALL THE TIME (and you’re ok with it), read on for a few tips on how to keep the romance alive. If you’re not ok with it, read this article too.
What is Love?
There are two kinds of love. The first one is an attraction, or an intense emotion. You feel an extreme amount as you “fall in love” at the beginning of the relationship. Then, that feeling fluctuates over time.
The second type of love is not an emotion, but an action and a choice.
You choose to show her off to your work colleagues. You choose to take out the trash, even when it’s not your turn. You choose to be there next to her every morning of every day.
You need both types to sustain connection, and you do not get a pass on them just because you or your partner are busy.
Love as an emotion requires emotional availability. You both have to make yourselves emotionally available, and both have to be receptive to the other. Love as an action requires just that–action.
The Bare Minimum
The busy couple who still sustain their relationship do something that accomplishes both on a daily basis. My wife and I go through these questions. It doesn’t have to take more than ten minutes, and you can both do it on your commute via text.Some people tell me that trying to do this in the morning feels rushed, no matter how much time you get, because everyone feels it when they have somewhere to be. But once you’re on the train, or bus, or walking to work, you can relate a bit and put some real thought into it.Those questions cover 3 of the 4 relationship pillars: connection, growth, and appreciation. The beautiful thing about this practice is that you are performing an action that makes you and your partner feel more loved.
There’s always plenty more that you can do. Each one of these will bring you a bit closer. The really important thing is that you’re both being intentional, and both making a habit of spending time together.
You Always Have Time For What’s Most Important
Imagine that a client is emailing or texting you. Do you reply right away? Picture your client asking you to go to lunch. Do you accept? What if you’re late to a meeting? Do you apologize?
Most of us do, because we prioritize our work. We think there are real-world consequences for bad behavior with clients–and there are–but our mistake is in assuming there are none when we do the same thing to our partners..
Maybe there aren’t any immediately, but you may wake up one day and she’s not there. You may cause friction that leads to a fight. Your eulogy may not have much to report, other than “he was a great human resource officer.”
Sounds pathetic, right?
It is pathetic! There are consequences. Make time for what matters most.