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Tips: Finding Time for Each Other

Tags: finding time for each other, tips, communication, finding time for my partner
Featured in Microsite: Couples Living Apart

Juggling friends, family and work commitments often leaves partners struggling to find time for each other. Check out these tips for a bit of help putting ‘couple time’ back on the agenda.

Avoid putting too much pressure on your partner. As relationships develop it’s normal for couples who once spent all their time together to feel a need to carve out some independence for themselves.

Don’t take your partner’s need for ‘me’ time as rejection. It’s unlikely you’ll both always want the same amount of individual and together time – sometimes balancing the two can be tricky.

Reminisce together on the happy times you spent in those early days. It’ll remind you just why you fell in love and help you think of ways to recreate some of those special fuzzy moments.

Try to commit to at least an hour of ‘couple’ time each week. That’s time without children, friends or family members, when the focus is solely on each other. Put it in the diary and let it be a time you both look forward to. Couple time should be a high priority event that doesn’t get trumped for anything less than an emergency.

Find a babysitter. Or if the budget won’t stretch to one, put the kids to bed and schedule an ‘at-home’ date night for a little later in the evening.

Don’t bring up the negatives in your relationship on a date night – there’s no quicker way to kill the mood and leave you feeling disconnected. If there are burning issues that need to be addressed save them for a scheduled catch up where the point is to focus on overcoming any obstacles in your relationship.

Celebrate anniversaries and significant dates. They’re an opportunity to look at how you’ve grown both as individuals and as a couple, and remind you of the things that first brought you together. Try to do something special for your partner on these occasions; you don’t need to spend money, just think of something that’ll put a smile on their face.

Develop time management skills. If you want to spend time with your partner, but just can’t find enough hours in the day try to follow these four steps: Plan ahead – 10 minutes spent thinking about how to maximise your time over the day can save you hours.  Delegate – if someone can do something for you that will create time for your relationship, let them. It could be as simple as getting the kids to wash up after dinner. Say no – simple, but effective.  Cut back – you may enjoy them all but too many activities can put your relationship at risk, pick only the most important.

Do some homebuilding. They might sound horribly like chores, but decorating, gardening, cooking a meal, or doing the food shopping together can actually build intimacy – and it gets things done in half the time!

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Comments

  • User-anonymous jus123 Flag

    Hi Jay thanks for yor reply. All my family live away so only get a babysitter once in a blue moon but its pointless anyway. He goes to bed about 09:30 gets up at 16:30-17:00 starts gettin ready for work at 18:00 out the door at 18:45. Fri & Sat he doesnt start gettin ready til 20:00. He does get up a bit earlier on a Sat & Sun but he is either tired or catchin up on jobs he needs to do. Its frustrating as he says he wants quality time but the only chance we get is when kids are in bed and hes out at work i dont understand how he says theres ways round it but yet gives up no ideas. We spend no time as a family. He thinks sat in the living room when kids are around is enough. I just feel at a dead end and feel he doesnt get how difficult it is. There so much to write it would be an essay lol. I can live like this for now as its not forever as when i can work he can give up some hrs.

    Tue 17, Mar 2015 at 8:17pm
  • User-anonymous Jay Flag

    That sounds like you are longing to get closer to him when he is at home...am I right? You both have an awful lot on...you with your little 2 year old and him with 70 hours work. Is there any way that someone would take care of your two year old for a few hours maybe once every two weeks ...so that you two can go somewhere..for a meal/ even to the cinema...anywhere you can both have a bit of enjoyment together. You don't give enough detail for a fuller answer...why not post on the forum with more detail...of ow you get on when you are together during the day...I know a good part of it will be him catching up on his sleep...but aside from that.

    Tue 17, Mar 2015 at 11:08am
  • User-anonymous jus123 Flag

    I was hoping someone would be able to give some advice. I have been with my partner 9 years..we have to children 5 yrs & 2 yrs who has mild cerebral palsy. My partner works 7 nights a week (70hrs) and only has tome off when he has his holidays. I am a full time carer to my 2 yr old. How do we make time to spend together as a couple? He says its me??? He leaves 4 work just after teatime n gets home just before school run. I feel really lonely almost like a single parent and then i have this from him. Any ideas would be appreciated thanks.

    Mon 16, Mar 2015 at 8:59pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Hi Anon I felt really sad for you on reading your post and what I think might be helpful for you is if you post on the Forum where your post wont get missed and you will get support from the wider community.
    For partner obviously has an issue with you being pregnant and seems unable to cope with this period in your relationship. I also guess he has notread any of the articles on this site. Perhaps he is a Peter Pan figure and will never grow up - some men are like this unfortunately, and some men are really caring and supportive of their partners. Read some of the articles on this site for additional support. Take care of yourself as you need all the rest you can get.

    Mon 25, Aug 2014 at 3:30pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    My fiance (F) has been role model to my two girls 11 & 13 (D) now for 4 years. I am 35 and expecting our first baby in 6 weeks. I really need help with an issue. It has been a problem for months now....

    ...Last night I popped. I had had enough. I had asked to spend the evening with Him, He reluctantly agreed. After he went down to meet a mate for some money. It was late. He insisted in letting D go despite me not agreeing.
    That was the start. Then when he told D she was to go up so he could spend some time with Me, he said it like he sympathised with her and didn't want her to go to her room.
    I should explain here before I go on too much that my day had been hard. I cleaned the house, made the dinner, washed up after myself so D didn't have too much and I had been feeling rotten all day. Watching D and F relaxing and playing and generally having a fab time was wearing thin on me. I felt ignored and unworthy. And totally in appreciated. F even complained about his dinner and left it.
    The time came where D was to go up to her room. F was so patronising to me in front of her. Reacting to me sitting awkwardly and annoyed on the sofa. Baby was laying in a position that was difficult to get comfy and the advice I read said not to sit or lay on back on sofa as this can make baby lay worse.
    Anyway back to the story. . I felt embarrassed as he patronisingly babied me giving me the remote and telling me I need to sit back an relax ( said in baby English) and commented that the problem I had lay only with me. D at this point is sitting at the table. Listening and watching.
    I am fed up with not having adult time. D has had free rain of the evenings with no bed time as F sees no need in the school holidays. I desperately needed adult time regardless of if F could bring himself to be loving or not. D had been hyperactive due to sweets and was prattling around being silly. I felt like shit an honestly particularly unloved. I mean I had been asked if I was ok a million times but the questions were not sincere. When I said that it felt like he didn't want to spend time with me he confirmed that he didn't want to as I always have a problem. my stress levels peaked so high i went upstairs out of the way leaving D and F up. I could hear them laughing together. It really hurt. I was so stressed I had a massive nose bleed and was extremely emotional. D helped me with my nose bleed as F continued to be dis approving saying I was over the top.
    I came back down to have a wee at 11:15pm and said that I felt D should go to bed. I thought I had been listened to. I trusted F to stick to it. At 1:15am I needed another wee. F wasn't downstairs as I was about to go up to D's room he came out. He had been chatting with her for 20 mins saying goodnight.
    It enraged me. Why would he need to do that? He'd been downstairs just the two of them for hours. It's like they are being mates. And mates like that are never accepted by girlfriends. She may be 13 and my daughter and none of it is sexual however the time and dedication he puts in while putting none into his actual girlfriend (34 weeks pregnant) is insulting.
    An argument ensued. I was furious he could not respect me or teach D to respect me. I was sad that he actually seemed to prefer her company than mine and I feel that their relationship is completely inappropriate. After all how would he feel if another guy was smoking weed and staying up with His SD til after midnight? He shouldn't be stoned around the kids. Certainly not late at night (at his most stoned) it is condoning it to D showing her it's ok to smoke.
    There are two issues breaking us right now...

    1) his over the top friendship with my 13 year old child who he admits he prefers spending time with. Blurring his parental boundaries.

    2) his in capability to support me through this pregnancy and his lack of interest in me as a person.

    These two things together make each of them worse. F told me that he prefers D company as he can have a laugh with her and she is fun. I am however apparently totally boring and too sensible. he says I am trying to make him an old person. And he is young. He said in anger he doesn't love me or like me.
    It is upsetting that even when I don't have a problem he still treats me like I am not there. He says the children should always come before me. The most I get is 'you ok?' Thrown across the room to me multiple times.
    He said last night he is leaving this morning. He has had enough of my unhappiness. He has had enough of being told his relationship with D is inappropriate. Maybe it's for the best. Since we don't have a good relationship anymore. The only way we connect is sexually. And I'm worth far more than just that. Last night confirmed that he doesn't have interest in me as a person. When he said all I talk about is what's for dinner it showed me how little interest he takes, how little conversation we have and how far apart we have become.
    I have tried and tried to connect with him. Just the night before last I asked if he would like to sit and watch a film - just him and me ( this was when he was on his wag back from clothes shopping with D and her friend) and there was an awkward lack of answer. Needless to say it didn't happen. I went to bed before D and F (again) and felt like shit.
    He never notices my needs. Surely at this point he should have seen I craved adult company? Could he not have wanted to be with me too? I mean, I'm not needy, I get on with my thing all day long lack of adult evenings has built resentment. What gets most parents through the day is the thought of kids bed time is it not? It's only sometimes that I feel the need to connect with him of an evening and I don't mean sexually.
    I feel we have no friendship. The plutonic part of our relationship is dying. He just sees me unhappy and making problems. It hurts that I find him so attractive an I want a friendship.. When he is not interested. He is evidently not in love with me any more . He says ' I love you' when we are not arguing but he never actually shows it.
    I don't know what to do. Is he taking his step dad role to far or am I in the wrong?

    Mon 25, Aug 2014 at 8:56am