Quality time: how to make more time for your relationship?

tijd voor je partner

We’re all busy, busier, busiest. So, taking your relationship for granted sometimes is not that unusual. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s good to regularly do things together. How can you make more quality time for yourself and your partner?

You’re busiest at 35

According to British researchers, are lives are busiest when we’re 35 years old. Or, as professor Tanja van der Lippe from the University Utrecht put it on RTL Nieuws: it’s the rush hour of our lives. We can certainly relate to that. At that age, many people have a family with young children, a job where you have to go into the workplace five days a week and a home with a mortgage to match. Sleeping in for the day doesn’t happen when you have young kids, and your freedom is severely limited. The same British research also showed that our lives are the most boring when we’re 35 years old. We’ve chosen a career path, and those who want to do something spontaneous need to find room in their busy schedules first.

The Michelangelo phenomenon

During these super busy times, it’s important to make time for each other. That’s how you maintain a strong relationship, which is precisely what you need when you feel you always need to be ‘on’. If you’re in a good relationship, you bring out the best in each other. This is what couples therapist Stephen Drigotas calls the Michelangelo phenomenon: you support each other in becoming who you want to be. You’ll also accept more from other people if you think lovingly about them. And, research shows that people who spend more time together are happier about their relationships.

Tips for quality time with your partner

A common complaint in couples therapy is that the partners don’t have time for each other. There is simply too little time and too much to do to also work on the relationship. However, it’s essential to make the time. As couples- and psychotherapist Lori Hollander says: “It might seem impossible, but if you think your relationship, marriage and your family’s future is important, then you need to make time.” This can be done with little steps: you don’t need to suddenly start working less. With these tips, you take matters into your own hands again.

Make more time with six tips

  • Make a schedule for tasks. How do you currently divide the tasks, like doing laundry, cleaning, taking the kids to school, and shopping for groceries? What can be improved?
  • Make a wish list: what would you like to do if you had more time together? Don’t forget about sex: this often ends up at the bottom of the list but it’s crucial to many couples for a healthy relationship.
  • Think about what can change: is it possible to take a day off without the kids? Can you make an agreement that, after a certain time, laptops and phones are turned off? And, is it okay if the house is a little bit less clean? Order your groceries and hire a cleaner if this would take some of the workload off your hands.
  • Develop a pattern: that makes it easier to get things done. For instance, if you have a theatre subscription. You don’t want to miss out on a great performance. Or you could wake up fifteen minutes earlier, so you have time to drink coffee together in the morning.
  • Make quality time a priority. Plan for your time together by looking at your schedules. Maybe this isn’t all that spontaneous, but it is necessary during the busiest time in your life.
  • Appreciate your time together. Your relationship is one of the most important things in your life.

Quality time with your partner: what to do?

So, you’ve made time for each other in your schedules, but now the question remains: what will you do with that time? It doesn’t always have to be something grand and compelling (but of course, it’s alright if it is).

Go out for lunch every week

Do you work near each other? Then maybe go out for lunch together every Friday. Turn off your phones, so you can enjoy a good conversation and only pay attention to each other. If lunching together isn’t an option, then you can pick one day in the weekend to wake up earlier than your kids do so you can enjoy a quiet breakfast together.

Take a weekend trip every now and then

When you have young kids, there’s always something. Every now and then, you don’t want to be papa and mama, but just be partners. There is no better feeling than going out without having to bring the stroller or diaper bag. Drop the kids off with grandpa and grandma or hire a babysitter and book a hotel room for you and your partner. Taking the time to relax together does wonders for your relationship.

Also read: Tips for hot evenings when it’s cold outside

Have one or multiple nights a week away from your screens

There is nothing more annoying than talking to a partner who is constantly looking at a screen. Agree that, after a certain time of day, or on a specific day of the week, the screens get turned off. For instance, my phone automatically shuts off all messages and calls received between 9:00 pm and 7:00 am. You might also agree not to take the phone with you into the bedroom. In addition, you can regularly turn off the television. This way you have more time to read a good book, talk, play a game or listen to music together.

Don’t forget about sex

Couples therapist Hollander already said it: sex often ends up low on the to-do list. However, it’s very important that you also keep paying attention to each other in bed. Even if you feel tired. Do you want to spice up your sex life so things aren’t just plain vanilla anymore? Then pick out an exciting new sex toy. Or our arousing Naughty & Nice advent calendar!


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