5 Tips to Avoid Complacency in Your Relationship

There is almost a feeling that you can’t have it all, well certainly not all at once. That something has always got to give, something has to be sacrificed.

For example if you want the big successful career then it means forgoing family and sacrificing relationships.

We are a growing culture that celebrates being busy, we wear it like a badge of honour, with frequent murmurs that there aren’t enough hours in the day. (Well yes there are, the problem is we are not using them efficiently anymore). Getting caught up in the ‘busy-ness’ distracts us from being present and easily leads us into a less than desirable rhythm.  To forget what is important for us and individuals and also for us in our relationships. The first thing we do when we feel pressured by work and in turn time, is drop the things we enjoy doing most, neglect those we enjoy spending time with, in an effort to try to ‘catch up’. We let the people down who mean most and are closest to us.

Why? Because it’s easier, because they will understand and we will make it up to them (and invariably don’t).

At times yes this has to happen, but consider,  how frequently are you putting yourself and your relationship to the bottom of a very busy to-do-list? 

If you’re anything like me I am not a fan of regimented dates, I like spontaneity and impulse. But how do you strive for that in your relationship when work, life, wedding planning (insert applicable or all three!) and everything else seems to be getting in the way?  And then there’s family and friends, exercise and God forbid a social life to fit in too. With the pressures of  modern day life, how do you avoid complacency?

I’ve invited Nu Bride reader Hannah who has an exceptionally demanding job to share some of her story about getting the balance right in her relationship things of out of kilt. What worked for her and her partner to help them re-prioritise their relationship.

Nikos Gogas

Over to Hannah!

Time is flying, months disappearing and our workload beginning to taking over again. “How did we get to this point in the year already?” It doesn’t seem five minutes since were in 2016 and it was Christmas Day

In fact, time is moving in just the same steady fashion that it always has, but our lives, particularly professionally, have picked up a fast and often unmanageable pace. With this supposed ‘lack of free time’ and increase in working hours, many of us struggle with ensuring our relationships continue in a balanced and happy way without sacrificing our careers.

Nowadays it is rare to hear of couples having the same working pattern and having a steady routine in this area. Working in the wedding and events industry and having a partner as a chef, I am a prime example of the modern woman who is trying to balance work, a social life and a loving relationship.

Is it hard? Yes.

Have I figured out a perfect solution? No.

But I have found certain tools and concepts that allow me to be more mindful and conscious of our situation to ensure that we are dedicating time to each other and working just as hard on our relationship as we are on our careers.

We all dedicate time in our week to the gym, to our clients, to events, but we so often fail to have that dedication for the key person in our life. It is rarely a conscious decision but we tend to leave them as the last person to slot in our diaries, (because they will understand) and it’s time to move them up the list and put them back at number one where they should be.

I know that my other half is long-suffering and unfortunately gets neglected only too often.  I tired to pinpoint the exact moment that lack of ‘together time’ made an appearance in my conscious mind, and I remember that being quite soon after we started to live together. Just because we were going home to the same place every night didn’t mean that we were nurturing our relationship and dedicating uninterrupted time to each other. Short discussions later and we both understood the efforts needed to create balance, feel understanding and spend time together. His spontaneous bookings for afternoon tea, my arrangements to meet him for the local pub quiz and our joint enthusiasm for a movie night and take-away pizza all helped. Every little effort made a difference and, to this day, it still does.

With this in mind, I have put together five tips for allocating time to each other’s lives, regardless of your schedules that have really worked for us.

Do something together

 

Bird and Wild Flower

Sounds simple?

It is. Find time to do something together that you both love but something normal. Time together doesn’t have to mean booking a fancy dinner or making extravagant plans; it can simply mean going to the cinema to see that film you’ve both been fancying for a few weeks now, or just cooking together at home.

In our household, after a long working week, we find that cooking brunch at home is our day-off treat and allows us to have a leisurely start to the day and just enjoy a delicious meal together!

(Nu Bride: It helps that your other half is a chef of course!)

Leave a message

Source via | Joyfully Mad

It may be old-fashioned and some may find it cheesy, but leaving a note for your other half could potentially make all the difference to their day, as well as keeping you both connected. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting this be a lengthy thought-out sonnet – more of a scribble on a post-it note with “Have a great day!”

(Nu Bride: Tee hee Mr Nu Bride and I do this from time to time, great fun and an instant booster especially when you are pulled way from each other).

I know that when his 16-hour work days combined with my 12hour+ work days kick in, a note left in my lunch box or a scribble tucked inside my bag makes me smile and knows he’s thought of me.

 

Be sociable

Via Nu Bride

One key thing that couples tend to assume is that ‘quality time’ only counts if it involves solely the two of you, but this most definitely is not the case.

Time together doesn’t have to be isolated, why not make it a social occasion and meet up with that other couple you’ve been meaning to catch up with for ages. As long as the conversation is flowing, you’re together and you’re having fun… who cares if there’s a couple of others who have joined?!

 

Plan a trip

Nikos Gogas

For us, nothing screams excitement more than going away together so we know that the anticipation of a trip keeps us going when we haven’t seen each other properly for a while.

With this in mind, have a look at your diaries and take those annual leave days that you hadn’t yet booked off, and plan something fun. I’m not just talking the Maldives, Barbados, Thailand (although this would, of course, be lovely!)… this can be as simple as a long weekend city break to Barcelona, a country escape to the New Forest, or even a night away in London with a trip to the theatre. If it’s away from the norm, then book it and do it.

 

Communicate

Bloc Memoire

Probably the best tip that can be given for trying to find more balance in your relationship is, quite simply, to communicate.

If it’s all getting a bit much with your schedules continually clashing and you miss each other, just say it. Don’t wait.

There is no shame to be at a place in your relationship where you can openly say “Baby I miss you at the moment, should I book a table for date night next week? Which day is best for you?” This shows that you’re sounding the alarm bells that you need to see your partner and (again) following up with action by creating a time in the diary and something fun to do rather than allowing it to continue.

Yes, the modern world is a busy old place. And yes, we are running out of free hours in the week. (Nu Bride: Going to play devils advocate here, there aren’t less hours, we just have to be more mindful of and efficient with our time, a digital detox might help – it’s amazing how much time is easily wasted on our mobile phones) But let’s not neglect that relationship that we have worked so hard to nurture, we can all make a conscious effort to dedicate some time to our other halves as a priority, consistently and make that time count.

I couldn’t agree more. 

The Talent

Featured header Image: Bridle Photography,

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